07 May Experts Tips for Planning Your New Kitchen
There is a lot more that goes into a successful new kitchen design than many people realise. But with a good plan of attack and a few fundamentals checked off, it can be smooth sailing the entire way. To keep you on the right track, we have gathered some top tips from the experts to help ensure that everything is covered when it comes to your new kitchen design.
Designing a new kitchen or kitchen renovation can often be like taking a kid to a candy shop. There is an overwhelming array of options to select from and it is very easy to be swept up in the excitement of it all. But as one of the most important and prominent areas of any home, it is important to take a deep breath and make any new kitchen decision wisely.
With a plethora of choices, trends coming and going, and new kitchen technology moving as fast as a Marvel comic superhero, what is the best way to plan for your new kitchen?
Harrington Kitchens new kitchen planning guide
Whether you are starting a new kitchen from scratch, renovating or reinventing an existing model, you need to have a firm plan of attack. To help with planning your next new kitchen project, our Harrington Kitchens design team has put together this handy guide to take some of the pressure of making those difficult decisions.
Your new kitchen expectations
The first, and perhaps most important, step is to determine the basic tasks that you expect your new kitchen to perform. While this might sound like a simple question – it is probably the most complex to answer.
To get started, think about some of the new kitchen basics:
- How do you prepare your meals? Do you love to cook a lot a create everything from scratch? Or are you a packet mix master? Or perhaps is it more of a phone out and dine in a situation at your place?
- Are you big on home entertaining or having people over?
- Do you have a large family with active children, or is your home more of an empty nester’s abode?
- Is your kitchen free-flowing and central to the home interior, nestled towards an alfresco area, or an entity all of its own?
- Have you considered the future uses of this new kitchen and could the design orientation need to be improved to meet those needs too? For example – can you make use of a bar window that opens from the kitchen to the alfresco? Can you add an island bench to increase preparation space as the needs of the family grow?
- What budget do you have available to dedicate to your new kitchen?
All these questions will help determine what to necessitate as part of your new kitchen design. Once this is established, it is much easier to plan the new kitchen layout, storage requirements, types of surfaces, and what appliances to incorporate.
Embrace functionality first
Once you’ve answered the big picture questions, the next thing to consider is the function. Addressing, and optimising, the functionality should be foremost when it comes to new kitchen design. Much the same as when you considered the initial aspects of your kitchen requirements, don’t just think about the now when it comes to functionality. Be sure to consider how the way that you use your kitchen may change a little further into the future as well.
Here are some of the important things to consider when thinking about how you want, and need, your new kitchen to function.
New kitchen layout
The key to a truly functional kitchen is getting the workflow between key areas, or stations, right. Some people like to use the idea of a ‘working triangle’ as a basis and plan around that. A ‘working triangle’ is the invisible area, often in the shape of a triangle, that ties the fridge, sink, and cooking area together. With the change in modern kitchen design to include butler’s pantries and food prep areas, the shape and interpretation may not necessarily always be a triangle, but the premise and application remain the same. Optimising and streamlining the access and movement between those integral places makes for a functional new kitchen.
Surfaces and finishes – function vs aesthetics
While aesthetics are definitely important, ultimately the kitchen is a workspace. So be sure to keep that in mind when selecting surfaces and finishes for your new kitchen. And there are plenty of surfaces to consider too – from cabinetry and benchtops to splashbacks and flooring.
Particularly if you expect that you will be giving your kitchen a good workout, you should opt for surfaces that will hold up well with plenty of spills, wear and tear. If you expect that your new kitchen may not see such a high level of use then you may decide to make some different choices when it comes to surfaces and finishes. However, even if you are not a budding Masterchef, you still want to make sure that the choices you make now will see you with a great looking kitchen for many years to come.
Appliances to get the job done
What tools of the trade will be best to get the job done in your new kitchen? What do you really need versus what you want?
Do you need a large oven, or even 2, for all the baking and catering that you love to do? Lots of hot plates for those big family meals? Or perhaps a great coffee machine and microwave for those morning pick-me-ups and quick dinners for one?
Our kitchens and lifestyles are as diverse as our personalities and often there is not an endless amount of space to work with. So consider and choose appliances wisely to make sure that you make the most of your space and best suit your needs.
* Tip: remember to plan for enough power points to cater for benchtop appliances and gadgets too.
Dedicated spaces within the space
The way we live and the way that we use our kitchen areas today means that it’s not always just cooking that happens in these spaces. Other than food preparation, who and what will your new kitchen need to play host to? Is there a dedicated space or nook that can be added to make that easier?
For example, you might like to include a nook for a home entertainment system or a place to neatly store and charge devices. Perhaps somewhere for the kids to do homework so you can supervise while getting dinner ready or a cocktail and drinks station and plenty of seating for when family and friends come over.
Lighting up your new kitchen
Lighting can make or break a good kitchen design. As much as it is great to embrace the aesthetics of impressive lighting, a new kitchen should address all the necessary lighting purposes:
- general lighting – for day to day use
- task lighting – for cooking and preparation
- ambient lighting – lights that make the new kitchen look aesthetically-pleasing
There’s no point in having amazing, decorative lighting if you can’t see properly when you are cutting vegetables so be sure that you cater to all the different lighting uses and requirements in your space.
Storage, storage, storage
Planning storage for a new kitchen is a huge consideration and one that needs plenty of thought. For detailed information and tips when it comes to many facets of kitchen storage, take a look at some of our past articles:
Our #1 new kitchen design tip
The best tip that we can give you for a successful new kitchen design is to enlist the help of expert kitchen designers. There are so many things to consider when planning a new kitchen. It can be a welcome relief to have someone by your side to help navigate and guide you through the entire process from the very early planning stages all the way to installation.
Our Harrington Kitchens team has many years of knowledge and experience in designing custom-made kitchens to suit a variety of lifestyles and design preferences. Our designers work closely with you to ensure that we understand your individual lifestyle and aspirations for your new kitchen and combine those with our expertise to create the perfect space that is functional and looks amazing too.
Contact our team on 1300 662 112, submit an online enquiry , or visit us at our Narellan or Bowral showrooms to discuss your new kitchen project.