Being the centre of activity of every home, a well-designed kitchen is a very important feature
Not only does a kitchen need to be highly functional, there is also a need for a logical flow in terms of activities and storage. Whether you are considering a small kitchen makeover, a complete overhaul or starting from scratch, the planning stage is key. You need to keep in mind the flow of the kitchen triangle, the kitchen essentials list and best kitchen tools and how you will efficiently store everything as well as the essential kitchen appliances and where they will fit. There are scores of innovative storage solutions, modular kitchen designs and exceptional kitchen appliances in the market today which makes choosing what works for you quite confusing. We suggest bringing in design experts to help turn this workhorse of the house into a dream space. Read on to understand what are the essentials of a well designed kitchen.
Before we delve into the features essential for kitchens, let’s understand what the kitchen triangle is. The kitchen triangle or work triangle is made up by the sink (washing area), stove (cooking area) and refrigerator (food storage); it is within this triangle that you will have the most activity. The idea behind this triangle is to use it to direct the flow of traffic. The distance between these three elements should be functionally comfortable. According to the standard rule, the space between each element should be between four to nine feet so that the work area is neither too small nor too big. Of course, use this as a guideline; your personal requirements, comfort and space restrictions need to be factored in.
To begin with, you can choose to design an open, closed or a hybrid design. Explore the different features of each here. The straight kitchen layout usually used in studio apartments has essentially only one wall fitting in everything from storage cabinetry to appliances to the washing area. A galley kitchen layout has work stations placed parallel to each other where the counters and cabinetry also run parallel forming a walkway between them. The U/C shaped kitchen features three walls at 90 degree angles to each other (forming a U shape), lined with workspaces, storage and/or appliances. The L-shaped kitchen layout features the counter and workspace placed in an L-shape on two adjacent walls. Finally, the G-shaped or peninsula kitchen layout follows the U-shaped kitchen layout with a short extension.
The layout for your efficiently designed kitchen will depend on factors like size and space constraints, your essential kitchen appliances, your kitchen storage room or area, etc. Keep in mind the kitchen triangle when choosing the right layout and compartmentalisations. There should be a prepping area, cooking area, washing and cleaning area and storage which includes both food storage as well as kitchen tools and cookware.
For example, your prep station should be adjacent to the stove and not on the opposite counter. The opposite counter can have your sink with enough counterspace to dry utensils. Try and restrict the wet area of your kitchen to one end. Think about how you will use the kitchen and place each area in such a way that you get the most efficient, functional and comfortable movement.
A kitchen that does not incorporate proper storage is just not functional. Take an account of everything you will store in your kitchen – this includes cutlery, crockery, plates, serveware, cookware, cooking spoons and other tools, knives, utensils, essential kitchen items and essential kitchen appliances, pantry items and other appliances like coffee makers, toasters, etc. Once you know what you have, it will be easier to strategically plan your kitchen storage. Also, think about how you will use those items. For example, create enough drawer and/or cabinet storage for your everyday cooking item close to where you want to place your stove.
Additionally, create storage for oils, spices and masalas close to the cooking area. Not only is enough storage space essential to a well designed kitchen, but there are a huge variety of innovation storage solutions to make the most out of your space including awkward nooks or corner storage. You can explore our list of unique drawer design ideas for clever storage here. Another way to add extra counter space and storage to your kitchen is by adding a kitchen island if space permits. Remember to factor in the waste and bin area as well which should be concealed but easy to access. You could also use this area to store cleaning supplies.
Since the kitchen countertop covers quite a big expanse, it factors quite a lot into the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. Installed on top of the lower-level cabinetry or drawers, the counter top can span up to three sides of the kitchen, depending on your kitchen layout with a depth ranging up to two feet. Countertop materials include granite, engineered quartz, terrazzo, marble, and even steel. We recommend opting for a durable material in a darker shade or a stain-resistant or stain proof material. Also choose a material that can resist acidic spills like lemon juice or vinegar. You can also consider a waterfall edge countertop if you are looking to contemporize the look of your kitchen.
This a place in your home that receives heavy foot traffic on a daily basis. It is also most likely to get dirty with spills, stains and scratches. The flooring needs to be durable, anti-skid, comfortable, aesthetic and able to withstand the daily use as well as moisture, stain and scratch proof. Explore our recommendations for the ideal materials for kitchen flooring here.
Not only is the placement of the kitchen sink important for a purposefully designed kitchen, but the sink in itself requires planning. When trying to decide what kitchen sink design would work best for you, keep in mind how much space you can allot, the size of the remaining countertop and how much under counter storage needs to be sacrificed to accommodate the sink. Also think about how you would use the sink, how many dirty utensils it will have to accommodate and if your kitchen is big enough to incorporate two sinks – one for dishes and a smaller one for washing and cooking prep.
You can choose from single basin or double basin sinks as well as sinks with attached accessories like dry racks or drip trays. Read our comprehensive guide to kitchen sinks here.
From the cabinets and drawers, to countertops and kitchen backsplash, to flooring, to door knobs and drawer channels to faucets and accessories – always go in for high-quality items as these will see a lot of use on a daily basis. Materials like PVC kitchen cabinets are gaining popularity in modern modular kitchens. There are a host of kitchen faucets which include quite a few features including a pull-down sprayer that can be very useful in a well designed kitchen. Make sure to go in for sturdy drawer channels and cabinet hardware to take the weight and constant use.
We usually consider the bigger essential kitchen appliances like the refrigerator, microwave ovens, dishwashers, blenders etc. in the planning stage. We make enough room to house these as free standing or within the storage cabinetry. If space permits, try not to fit everything in too tightly; give your kitchen the room to grow in the future. This is in case you wish to buy a bigger refrigerator or add something like a wine cooler, for example. Keep in mind storage for other ancillary appliances like toasters, coffee makers, electric kettles, air fryers, etc. You don’t want to clutter your counters with these items so plan room to store them. Remember to factor in multiple and strategically placed power points for your appliances.
A kitchen backsplash not only adds to the overall aesthetic but also protects the walls from oil splatters, heat and moisture exposure. A good backsplash can make cleaning and maintain the look of your kitchen a lot easier. You can go in for solid, metallic or patterned options with different finishes from matte to glossy. Materials range from ceramic or porcelain tiles, natural stone, engineered stone, glass tiles, or even continue the same material used on your countertop. Just make sure it is easy to clean and stain resistant.
Maximise the natural light and ventilation your kitchen receives; try not to place too much in front of the kitchen window. Also make use of layered artificial lighting so that you aren’t working in a dark or dull area. You can consider ceiling lights, spotlights, under and in cabinet lights, hanging lights, etc. to make the kitchen well lit and functional. For lighting like under cabinet lights, place them in such a way that they are concealed but don’t have items or appliances in front of them that throw shadows on your work space and countertops. Improve your kitchen ventilation by installing kitchen hoods, silent exhaust fans or small kitchen fans.
Effective kitchen door design includes the door for the main entrance, the door to the pantry if you have one and even the doors of the kitchen cabinets. All these doors should be designed with the swing of the door and the movement around the kitchen in mind. If installing a ceiling fan, keep in mind how much room the doors of the upper cabinets require to open. For lower level acabinets, don’t install the doors right to the floor.
The kitchen layout, functionality, storage and décor requires a lot of planning to make sure you have a comfortable and functional space that also incorporate clever storage. If you are unsure about how to customise the ideal kitchen, reach out to the Beautiful Homes Service by Asian Paints. The panel of design experts work out every detail and are with you every step of the way to make the process of home interior design easy, enjoyable and hassle-free. You will get the benefit of a panel of designers, seasoned contractors as well as a dedicated project manager to work out each step of the way. You can also peruse the Beautiful Homes online shop or retails stores in various cities for an exceptional range of furniture, lighting, home décor, accessories and wallpapers.