The kitchen is the hub of the house. It’s the one room that will be visited daily, alongside the bathroom. It needs to be a place that is clean, organized, and functional. Storage needs to be maximized to provide the greatest space for cooking and dining.
It’s one thing to move into a fully furnished house, but another to enter an empty one. Designing a kitchen can seem like a daunting task, as there are so many different considerations.
This article provides 6 essential elements every kitchen needs to have.
1. The Sink
It’s important to decide upfront which one will need. Some people choose a large single sink, and others a second one for rinsing the pans and dishes. Some sink areas contain a waste disposal unit, others have an extra faucet that provides a spray of water for cleaning items, or a glass rinsing tap.
It was interesting to learn from the professionals that a Farmhouse Sink is a type of sink that dates back to the days when there was no running water. It was therefore above average in size so it could store plenty of it. Farmhouse Sinks can be made of different elements, ranging from stainless steel and bamboo to steel or granite.
All in all, you should do your research and decide which type of sink would suit your kitchen best, as there are many different types on the market.
2. Kitchen Appliances
When designing a kitchen or making changes, there is nothing worse than items that don’t match or fit correctly. It’s best to start with an inventory of the appliances and then to design the kitchen around them – and not the other way round. Built-in appliances win the day every time. These can be anything from fridges and freezers to bins.
The most important appliance is no doubt the oven, with microwaves providing an excellent complement to this. Dishwashers need to be as close as possible to the sink. It’s best from a plumbing angle and reduces the risk of spilling stuff over the floor as things are carried.
Fitted units maximize space. They keep smelly bins out of the way. If everything has its place it will be easier to find things when needed. Storage units and wall cabinets can be tailored to suit their contents, be it with drawers or shelves. The doors can be wooden or laminate covered. Glass fronted units are great for displaying glassware.
People often speak of having a ‘working triangle’. What they are referring to is the need for adequate space to cook in. The professionals say there should be at least one-meter space for feet between worktops.
4. Dining Space
Some kitchens only have room for food preparation. Others have breakfast bars and stools. Some kitchen-diners have tables and chairs. They enable children to sit and entertain themselves, or do homework while a parent cooks the dinner.
In the evening guests may arrive and have a glass of wine while they are waiting for their meal to be served. Kitchen islands have become very popular of late. They can be used for cooking or double up as tables to sit at. Those with overhanging legroom can support the storage of chairs.
As the food is prepared in the kitchen, it is essential that there is adequate lighting. Knives are often used, so it is important there is no bloodshed at mealtimes! There are a number of different options to suit different purposes. There can be strip lights or pendant lights with shades. Under-cabinet lighting is tasteful as one can’t see the bulbs, but everything is lit up.
When one has family or guests in the kitchen in the evening, dimmer switches come into their own. The light that was bright for food preparation becomes gentle for evening conversation.
6. Cooking Equipment
This can be an individual thing depending on whether people like slow cookers or woks. Having said that, some things are pretty much essential for all. It’s wise to have at least three different types of knife, plus knife sharpening equipment.
Small appliances will need to find a home, like toasters, mixers, blenders, food processors, kettles, and coffee makers. It’s amazing how much the working space is diminished once these are all put in position.
Pots, pans, and dishes will probably need to be stored in the cabinets. Potentially on display will be the cooking utensils and chopping boards. There’s also baking trays and spice holders, salt cellars, and the like.
When all these elements are brought together in a stylish yet functional way, the stage is set for many a happy hour with family and friends. Cooking can become a joy instead of a chore, and precious memories can be made.