14 Nov Things to Consider When Planning a New Kitchen
There are a few things to consider before sinking your teeth into any new kitchen design. But, if you want a kitchen that can withstand the inevitable wear and tear, then you need to plan for it properly.
Planning for a new kitchen is often like shopping for a new car. There are so many colours to chose from, finishes to select and styles to ponder over. And with all these distractions, homeowners are often tempted to overlook the behind-the-scenes fundamentals of a new kitchen design. Aesthetics aside, right at the top of every new kitchen planning list should be functionality.
With a room that is often considered the real workhorse of a home, the primary target for a new kitchen should be to enhance and embrace the necessary functionality. From the location of the kitchen rubbish bin, to the amount of storage offered and all the details between. When it comes to planning a new kitchen, these are the real heroes of the story. You will never get a happy ending by pushing the importance of functionality aside.
So, what does it take to design an amazing new kitchen? What are the trade secrets that make a new kitchen design successful?
To answer these questions, our Harrington Kitchens expert team have pieced together some new kitchen tips and tricks to help highlight some of the things to look out for when planning for a new kitchen.
Harrington Kitchens new kitchen design planning guide
As we have mentioned above, functionality pulls rank in well-planned new kitchen designs. You need to forget the aesthetics initially and concentrate all efforts purely on the main uses of your new kitchen.
#1 Plan for the now and the very near
Following are a few things to think about in the first instance when planning a new kitchen:
- What are your main intended uses of the new kitchen area – cooking, entertaining, dining, etc
- How can you cater for those main uses – equipment required, seating, storage, etc
- Will these requirements change in the near future – expanding family, kids leaving home, etc
Only once you have pondered over these few basics, you can get started on effective ways to meet the requirements of your new kitchen.
#2 Embrace the triangle
Regardless of the size of any new kitchen, one of the most important elements to get right is the kitchen triangle. This is an invisible area in which the sink, fridge and oven is placed to form a triangle shape. Why? A triangle makes it easy to perform essential tasks in the kitchen, such as cooking, and has been standard in new kitchen design since the early twentieth century.
* Tip: read more about the kitchen triangle here.
It is true – you can never have too much kitchen storage. Ensure your new kitchen has ample amount for what you need, then add a little more.
Make use of clever storage solutions like slide out cabinetry, appliance garages, open shelving or suspended pot racks. Or, if space and budget allows, you could go the extra mile and build a butler’s pantry into your new kitchen plan.
* Tip: to see if a butler’s pantry is right for your new kitchen, check out our online article here.
Lighting is one of those elements in a new kitchen that falls into both categories of aesthetics and functionality. However, many people focus on how good the lighting should look above how well it needs to perform. And in a kitchen (remember, the workhorse area…) it is important not to neglect lighting for functionality.
Lighting must have three layers – general, task and ambience.
Examples of recommended options when planning new kitchen lighting are:
- LED recessed lighting for general use
- Additional LED lighting under cabinets for task use
- LED pendants for decorative and ambience (aesthetics)
Following are some other lighting tips to consider when planning your new kitchen:
- lights should be high efficacy
- consider eco-friendly lighting options wherever possible, such as a sunlight inside your new kitchen pantry
- run your lights on dimmer switches to save on power when bright lights are not required
- yellow-toned lights can make cabinetry look completely off-colour. We prefer white-based lighting for a more aesthetically-pleasing aspect
#5 Cater for your crowd
Does your home see a crowd of people come and go? Is it a full household, a couple without kids or just you? Ensure your new kitchen plans take all of this into consideration.
How do you intend to cater for your crowd? Following are some examples to consider.
A kitchen bench with overhang can double as a breakfast bar or extra seating area for guests when they come over.
A breakfast nook tucked neatly into an unused or awkward corner of your new kitchen area can work wonders, particularly for larger families in smaller homes. It can be as simple as creating some simple bench seating and a table. Use this space as intended (for a breakfast area) as well as coffee catch-up’s with friends, a place for Mum and Dad to read the paper, or a study and homework area for the kids.
If you are a home cook, you will need plenty of bench space to prepare your favourite meals. And if you are a home entertainer, you are likely to need ample space for drinks and nibbles too. If you can’t fit the bench space of your dreams into your new kitchen plans, consider some alternatives such as a butcher’s block or a cart on wheels that you can use when needed then store it away.
#6 Power up
The increase in technology and gadgets like Google Home or Alexia, charging stations, sound systems, counter top cooking appliances, etc, require more power. Don’t neglect the need for plenty of power outlets in your new kitchen design.
#7 Design features
Once you have the basics of functionality sorted, you can dive into the stratosphere of new kitchen design features.
- Budget first. Prioritise your new kitchen design must-haves compared to those new kitchen nice-to-haves
- Do your research. Check out kitchen trends that are popular now and how long they have been “trending”. Do they coincide nicely with the rest of your home?
Remember that top-of-the-range is not always the best option too. Something that is uber expensive may be great for appeal, but a less expensive product might wear better with knocks and bumps for example. Also, unless you have plenty of time on your hands (or a full time cleaner on board), a new kitchen can get messy over time. Consider options that are simple to clean and maintain. Think floors, cabinets and splashbacks in particular.
* Tip: don’t get caught up in trend regret – see our recent article here.
The most important thing to consider when planning for your new kitchen is to plan for the new kitchen in the first place! Cover off the functionality before getting into any of the cosmetics.
The team at Harrington Kitchens have over 20 years experience designing custom-made kitchens to suit every type of home and lifestyle. 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. We’ll show you how we can make your dream kitchen a reality.