A living room is usually the home’s social hub but many of us also spend relatively large amounts of time in the kitchen. It’s often said as a joke, but is nevertheless true, that all the best parties eventually end up in the kitchen. It is hugely important, therefore, to have a kitchen that suits your individual character and requirements.
There are lots of different designs to choose from, including everything from shabby chic and rustic to minimalistic, modern and French. In fact, there probably aren’t enough names to go round. Designing a kitchen to suit your character is like finding a new species in the Amazon and you are perfectly entitled to make up your own name for it, but here are a few suggestions for designs and materials to get you thinking.
The sink, range and refrigerator fit neatly into this minimalist design, as it allows the various appliances to be split up according to requirements. The wall ovens and cook top, for example, can be located in different parts of the space.
A zone design is ideal for breaking the kitchen space up into different areas. There are in effect different work stations for eating, cooking, and cleaning and provide plenty of elbow room for several people to be working in the kitchen at the same time.
Often called a corridor kitchen, this type of design is characterized by two straight runs. The range is usually on one side and the sink on the other. By adding an island opposite the main cabinets, a galley can be created from a one-wall design fairly easily. The space loss due to limited wall cabinets in an open kitchen can be recouped by installing an island.
An L-shaped design is best if your priority is for more privacy when you cook. The shape effectively diverts traffic away from the main work area. An island can be added to increase interaction with guests and family if you feel too isolated.
A U-shaped design is great for increased storage capacity. It allows the work area to be spread out and is ideal for one-cook kitchens.
- Natural surfaces such as marble, granite, and limestone can fit seamlessly with any style. Avoid elaborate treatment of the edges as this may introduce an overly ornate element, and install beautiful shutters for the windows to complement the plain, natural surfaces.
- Streamlined tiling is an alternative interpretation of traditional tiling for floors. For example, instead of a basket-weave pattern, classic tumbled tiles can be stacked in a grid to create a backsplash feature.
- Minimalist accents such as deconstructed arrangements of flowers and pared-down pottery accessories are characteristic of minimalist designs. Clutter and fussy displays are avoided and any patterns are kept graphic and simple.
There are so many ideas floating around for inspirational kitchen designs that it is often difficult to know where to start. Much comes down to personal taste and how you see the kitchen in relation to the rest of your household. Flick through a few magazines and websites, or visit showrooms, to pick up some first impressions and take it from there.