Design tips for the kitchen




The Manila Times

Build & Design

THE kitchen is probably one of the most important areas in the house for obvious reasons. In terms of space, we want the kitchen to be tidy, clean and with greater freedom of movement. Here are some tips on how to design the kitchen. Layout If you were to ask a professional designer, they will say the first thing to consider is the layout or floor plan, which may be the most important factor. The kitchen is meant to be a functional space. A well-designed kitchen will allow you to maximize your movement, minimize the need to stop and reach, and improve your ability to make full use of the space. If you plan to design the kitchen yourself, you might want to use a design app to help you envision what you have in mind. The kitchen is often a hightraffic area. Therefore, it is important to create ample space to allow greater movement, and clear of obstructions and possible hazards. An open refrigerator or oven door, for instance, must not impede movement and if there are people helping out, there should be plenty of space to move around without getting in each other’s way. Experts like to use the term, the “kitchen work triangle.” A typical kitchen is centered on three important elements — the stove, refrigerator and sink — though there can be more than one depending on your needs. A poor layout will make work in the kitchen very arduous. The idea is to design the kitchen in such a way it is easy to move between these three elements when cooking. Comfortability During the design process, you must keep in mind the key tasks in the kitchen — preparing, serving and cleaning up. The fixtures in the kitchen must be close enough from each other such as the space between the stove and sink; and between the refrigerator and stove. If they are positioned apart, it may cause complications during the performance of tasks. They should be within comfortable proximity from each other. It helps reduce risks as well such as accidentally dropping something on the floor. Multifunctionality Gone are the days when kitchens used to be entirely utilitarian meant for only one purpose — cooking. Nowadays, kitchens are designed to be versatile. It should serve more than just a place to cook, but also to be an entertaining and relaxing space. With that in mind, kitchens today are designed in such a way that they are open and inviting, such as adding seats, to allow people to relax and socialize without interfering with the work being done. Sink first In the design phase, it is highly advised to place the sink first and design from there. While the oven and refrigerator are also vital fixtures (in relation to the kitchen work triangle), the sink traditionally is the place we will likely spend more time. Stove In positioning the stove and/or oven, they should be placed on the exterior wall. This will make it easier and less expensive to install a ventilation system to draw out any smoke and odors. Vertical storage Rather than install cabinets, maximize the use of the wall by making it space for storage in the form of shelves, cupboards, wall hooks and racks. The layout of the cupboard should be organized depending on how you use the space. It is advisable to place commonly used items together near to each other and where they are within easy reach. If stocked properly, the wall helps add dimension to the aesthetic. Kitchen island For kitchens with larger spaces, a kitchen island may be added. This is a countertop placed in the middle where food preparation is also done. When installing an island, make sure it will not create an obstruction in front of the major appliances. Make sure the doors of the refrigerator or oven can swing freely and still have space for people to pass. At the same time, it should be within convenient reach with the rest of the fixtures. Kitchen work can be tedious but if well-designed, it can make the tasks less burdensome and more comfortable if the abovementioned factors are taken into consideration.