Organizing a kitchen is another task when designing a house, especially if you approach this issue with utmost seriousness. The comfort of being in this room can be ruined even by a single socket that is located in the wrong place or, God forbid, may not be at hand when you need it most. In the kitchen, as in no other place, it is paramount to think through everything to the smallest detail. And it is this room that has so many life hacks and tips on how to make it functional and comfortable for all family members.
What should be the countertop?
The countertop in the kitchen is one of the most important elements of the entire room. It should not only be beautiful and fit well into the interior (where, by the way, it can be the main focus of the whole design) but also be quite strong. Hot dishes are often placed on the countertop, it is constantly in contact with water from the sink, scratched with a knife and subjected to other domestic torture. All this once again proves that in the first place it is worth choosing not even the appearance, but the material from which it is made. Today, the market offers a great variety of different options and the main ones are as follows:
- Marble. It is a natural stone, which is famous for its durability and aesthetics. The countertop made of this material will be heat-resistant, impact-resistant and will not be affected by water. Speaking of cons, the main thing here will be the cost. This is because the material itself has a high price, and besides, manufacturing is a very laborious and long process. Marble does not tolerate sudden temperature changes. Because of this, it can crack. Also, the porous texture absorbs all substances and if you forget to wipe the stain from some colouring substance, then there is a risk that it will stay there forever.
- Granite. One of the most durable materials that, with proper care, will last for decades. It looks very nice in the interior. Like marble, it is not affected by moisture. It does not fade in the sun, is easy to care for and resistant to temperatures. Among the shortcomings, like marble, it absorbs dyes and you need to carefully monitor this. Granite has a small colour palette and a fairly heavy weight. Typically, countertops made of this material are installed on reinforced structures, since ordinary cabinets can deform under the weight. In aesthetic terms, the disadvantages include too noticeable seams between the canvases.
- Quartz. This material is a “side effect” of marble and granite. It is a crumb of these two materials, bonded with epoxy oils. Due to this, such a countertop will be much cheaper than the one made of a whole natural stone, but in terms of durability and properties, it will practically not differ from them. Like natural stone countertops, quartz is resistant to sunlight, easy to clean, highly hygienic and beautiful. The main disadvantage is the complexity of the repair since cracks and chips on the surface cannot be repaired or made invisible. For a quartz countertop, you will also have to make a reinforced structure.
- Acrylic. Universal material consisting of mineral chips, acrylic resin and coloured pigments. It can be made in almost any colour and shape, which is just the perfect solution for any, even the most extraordinary, interior. It has no obvious seams and joints, it lends itself to restoration, is resistant to dirt and has a long service life. There are only two main disadvantages: lack of thermal resistance and low resistance to damage. Such countertops are often scratched, however, they are easily restored.
- Ceramics. Probably the most versatile option: durable, easily restored in the presence of chips or scratches, resistant to various kinds of damage (which, by the way, appear quite rarely even with intensive use), including aggressive household chemicals. Such countertops have a beautiful appearance and look great in different interiors. In case of flaws, a separate tile is easily replaced. The main disadvantages are the rather high cost and the fact that the joints require special attention since water and dirt can accumulate there. The problem is solved by regular cleaning with special detergents.
- Wood. The first thing to think about is water damage to the wood, but when treated with the necessary agents, wood countertops boast excellent water resistance. These countertops are made of durable wood, look great in many interiors and add comfort to the home. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to take care of. The surface is easily sanded, so you can restore the original appearance. The main disadvantage is the low resistance to high temperatures. Wood countertops are flammable, so you need to be careful about this. And also they are prone to fungus and mould, subject to improper use and neglect of treatment with special water repellent mixtures.
- Glass. Durable and temperature-resistant material with a large colour palette in the arsenal. Compared to natural stone, it has a very low weight and does not require additional reinforcement for the furniture on which it will be installed. The main disadvantage is that if defects appear, you will have to change the entire surface at once, it will be impossible to replace any individual piece.
Organization of lighting in the working area of the kitchen
Usually, the kitchen has two zones: working and dining. For these two spaces, the requirements will be different, since their purposes are fundamentally different. The working area should have a harder bright light, but the dining area should have softer lighting. For both, two types of lamps are used: main (pendant lamps or chandeliers) and secondary (built-in spotlights, LED lighting, linear and overhead lamps).
In order to create the right lighting in the kitchen, there are certain requirements for all living spaces. They include standards for colour temperature, brightness and luminous flux. These requirements state that the kitchen and other general living areas must have at least 150 lux of illumination. Our designer will help you with the correct measurements and selection of the right light.
The main secret of comfortable lighting is not only compliance with such standards, but also the correct distribution of lighting levels. In the kitchen, it will not be possible to do with only one main light, for example, a chandelier or pendant lamps. During cooking, you will become an obstacle for yourself, as you will cover all the lighting with your back and create an additional shadow. Secondary lighting (for example, LED strips or spotlights) must be present in the working area. The same goes for the dishwashing and dining areas.
The key to comfortable use of the kitchen space is its proper zoning. Usually, it includes 5 main components:
- Cooking area. Such an area should be located next to the stove and oven since this is where cooking takes place. This place should contain pots, pans, cooking accessories (whisks, tongs, spatulas), spices, oils, hot pads, etc.
- Preparation area. This area contains everything necessary for the preparation of products: washing, cutting, and cooking. It will be extremely inconvenient if this area is far from the stove, as you will constantly have to run to the other side of the kitchen to pour prepared foods into a frying pan or pan. Colanders, knives, mixing bowls, small appliances, containers, graters, measuring cups, etc. are typically found in this area.
- The storage area accommodates everyday utensils, baking and serving accessories.
- Food area. Such a place does not have to be in the working area of the kitchen. It includes a refrigerator and drawers with long-term storage products.
- The cleaning area is located near the sink or dishwasher. There are trash cans, cleaning products, sponges, paper towels, napkins, etc.
Shelf and cabinet dividers
The more space there is the more clutter there is. If you know about this rule first-hand but are tired of this problem in cabinets, then dividers on the shelves in the cabinet will be a good solution. They will help organize the space so that every jar and bottle can be seen. They work like a cutlery organizer, only helping to organize larger things. And in a good kitchen, organizers are something that you cannot do without. Therefore, if you want to conveniently organize the kitchen, consider this option for arranging the order in cabinets.
Corner storage is a great example of making the most of space. There is no longer room in modern designs for unreasonable consumption and the creation of something beautiful but useless. Corner storage can be not only stationary: the shelves can be pushed forward, sideways and even twisted. A good kitchen designer will tell you how to use the place, which usually does not work for its owners, but only takes up precious space. Such shelves are well suited for storing not the most popular or just overall utensils, which create a feeling of disorder, as they do not fit anywhere.
If you are a happy owner of a deep kitchen, then this option of shelves is exactly for you. Good depth is not only additional space but also an additional inconvenience. Shelves that can be rolled out are a great solution to this problem since all the appliances, pots or jars standing there can be easily reached. Also, thanks to good fittings, such shelves can withstand quite a lot of weight.
Drawers of this type are called Gullwing, which means “gull wing”. Such organization options in the kitchen have not yet gained decent popularity, however, they are increasingly pleasing modern customers. These drawers have extra space on the side for very small items, and when closed, these extra “wings” simply fold up and slide in.
It is rare when someone uses the edge of the countertop for its intended purpose, and this unclaimed place can become another space for storing small things. There are perfectly placed cells in which you can put spices, a couple of additional sets of cutlery or accessories for cooking. Such “boxes” usually have lids that protect items from unnecessary pollution and create an invisible effect, which does not affect the appearance of the countertop and the kitchen as a whole.
Wall cabinets to ceilings
Does your height, on which the lower workspace will be based, and the height of the rooms allow you to make the upper part of the kitchen to the ceiling? Congratulations, you are the lucky one! Wall cabinets of this type have huge advantages over their younger counterparts, not reaching the very top. First: dust and grease from cooking will not accumulate on them. And the second most important thing is one more extra space for storing things that you don’t need daily, but you will need in principle. This type of thing usually creates the most problems, since, for example, equipment needs to be stored somewhere, but you only need to use it for a holiday or when preparing some individual dishes. These cabinets won’t be as easy to climb into as the ones on the bottom tier, but a chair or a small ladder will do the trick.
Kitchens with an island in the centre
When it comes to kitchens of this type, you involuntarily imagine an American country house in which a large wealthy family lives. They have breakfast and dinner together, on weekends they drink coffee together near this island, and sometimes gather loud parties around it. Sometimes this part of the interior also plays the role of a dining table, and then such a solution compensates for the waste of space for placing the island. The bottom can also be used for storage, while the top can be covered with a countertop or hold a sink or stovetop. Unfortunately, if your kitchen does not have enough free space, then it will be impossible to install such an island.
If you have problems with the layout of the kitchen, call us!
If you want to properly organize the kitchen, but do not know how to do it, our designers will be happy to help you with this. They will create a space that will be not only beautiful but also functional. Since we spend most of our time in the kitchen, cooking or having a pleasant conversation with the whole family over a cup of tea, this room should be perfect. It should have reinforced sockets, if required by the appliances, there should be the right lighting so that it is comfortable to cook food and everything should be at hand so that you don’t have to run to the other end of the room with a hot baking sheet for the right device. All this will ensure the correct layout of not only the room itself but also the entire kitchen set. Come to our office and we will create the perfect space for you!