How to plan the perfect chef’s kitchen
Things to keep in mind when designing your new kitchen space
It’s critical in successful kitchen design to not only make sure everything functionally needed will fit into the design, but that how it will be used and the flow of work within the space is considered. Visualising yourself within the kitchen space cooking and seeing where you naturally would move through the space is an important part of the process of designing your kitchen – along with working through the needs of other users of the space. For example, is there an area towards the outer edges of the kitchen that could cater for kids or snacks to reduce people moving in to the heart of the kitchen? Is there opportunity to locate a drawer which houses all of your oils, vinegars, herbs, spices and condiments within easy reach of the cooking zone?. These sorts of considerations improves flow within the kitchen and helps to promote ease of use especially with more than one person using the space. With careful planning it is easy to design a kitchen which allows two or even three people to co-exist in the same kitchen space without
getting in each other’s way. To start the process, a great way to approach the design is to try and break up your design into ‘zones’- cooking (oven, cooktop, microwave), making (small appliances like toasters, coffee machines, food processors etc.) serving (plates, cutlery, platters and boards) and storing (pantry, fridge, wine fridge).
Natural light is vital in any space but often forgotten in the kitchen where it is often needed most. Working zones like the kitchen need great light which will make the environment much more enjoyable, especially since so much more time is spent in this space. Recently VELUX (our go-to skylight brand) launched an awareness campaign in the U.S that highlights the effects of living unhealthy lives in our own homes. We spend 90% of our time indoors which has led to various forms of social disorders. This has now become a major issue for society. The real power of skylights is the transformation of different light values throughout the seasons. You will experience priceless moments when you view the sun, the rain, the trees, the moon and even the stars all through what is essentially a simple product. VELUX created a beautiful and compelling video about the benefits of natural light – it’s a must-see for anyone renovating. Take a look!
There are so many clever ways of bringing the light in, these are some that we love:
- Talk about bring the light in! With a glass wall above and below the wall cabinets they almost appear to be floating. We love how Architect Prineas has literally brought the outside in.
- A glass window splash back which overlooks a green wall is a gorgeous addition to this kitchen by Fairweather Constructions.
- The kitchen in our North Bondi project needed plenty of natural light as the homeowners loved to entertain. A long linear glass window behind the sink, glass door and overhead skylight perfectly lit the space.
- Even smaller kitchens need plenty of light. In our Maroubra House project, we added glass louvered windows to the easterly elevation for light from the garden and a stunning breeze.
- Your windows can also be functional, as in our Paddington Townhouse project. A bifold glass window is a gorgeous way of opening the connection between your alfresco entertaining area and the kitchen.
- Overhead sky-lights perfectly light this stunning kitchen with natural light. Via Coco Kelley.
- Not only does the overhead skylight light this room it makes it feel so much larger. Image via Velux.
- Our Bronte Villa project the neutral palette is perfectly showcased by the overhead skylight which provides lots of natural light on the island bench.
- Skylights can also make the cooking process much more enjoyable. Velux does a range of automated blinds which help you to control the overhead light plus you can choose skylights which open getting rid of hot air or cooking smells.
Choosing the right mix of materials for your kitchen is of vital importance, especially for the longevity of your space. It’s also the perfect opportunity to continue a cohesive palette within the home to deliver on the overall intention of the home – tranquility, energizing, or rejuvenating.
Here are some we love:
- Airy Concrete from Caesarstone 2. Coloured Concrete Benchtops and Sinks from Concrete Nation. 3. A modern take on the classic subway tile; Devon White from Earp Bros. 4. Turbine Grey from Caesarstone. 5. Alabastro Chevron Flooring from Havwoods. 6. White Stone Paint from Haymes Paint. 7. Nazari Chauen tiles from Earp Bros.
STORAGE / JOINERY
Every kitchen needs amazing storage, especially large families or households who love to entertain. What is often not considered however is the internal functionality of storage, a cupboard without clever storage solutions easily become a mess. Here are some of our favourite ways of using joinery to solve your kitchen storage from some of our projects.
- A bi-fold appliance cabinet which we incorporated into our Randwick Kitchen project allows you to keep your benchtop appliances close at hand but easy to put away.
- Integrated exposed shelving is a nice way of breaking up a wall and provides you with plenty of storage and display area without having to include an entire wall of cabinets. See more images of our Bronte House project here.
- In our Ayana House project solid walnut boxes took advantage of the high ceilings. As these are up rather high they are a great way of adding styling elements to the kitchen like plants and accessories.
- Similar to the bi-fold appliance cabinet in number one. We added a narrow height pull out shelf in our North Bondi project for ease of use.
- Designing your cabinetry drawers to fit the right size of draw inserts ensures that every bit of storage in your kitchen is taken advantage of.
- Including an open cavity in your kitchen joinery is a great spot for cookbooks, decorative items and things you like to keep close at hand like serving ware and décor.
- If you have high ceilings, place clever joinery solutions like wine bottle storage above your kitchen cabinets like in our Ayana House project.
Appliances aren’t just utilitarian anymore, great ones pre-empt our needs, make our lives easier and our cooking better. We asked our design team to share with us what new appliances have caught their eye in the past few months, click here to explore the edit.
YOU ASKED, WE ANSWERED:
It seems everyone has kitchen renovations on the mind. We asked our designers Harriet & Dan to answer some of your questions on Instagram about kitchen renovations:
@elomie25: How do you incorporate new flooring in your kitchen that’s continuous throughout?
Harriet: Timber is my go-to for kitchen flooring! You can choose either hardwood or engineered and then carry it throughout your home. If you have existing floors engineered boards can be used directly on top of your existing flooring so you can save the cost of completely redoing your floors. In living and bedroom spaces you can then layer with a rug for softness and area definition.
@paris_a_dean: I would love to have sink and stove in the back run making the island is clutter free. Thoughts?
Harriet: This is always my preference. I’m a big fan of entertaining so love to have the island free for food prep and serving. And it does help it stay clutter free!
@rebeccahazley: Placement of things in an island bench i.e. sink or cooktop or nothing?
Harriet: This decision usually comes from the best design solution for the space. It really depends on how much space you have as well as the location of windows as that will limit where your stove can be placed. In an ideal scenario, I prefer the island to be kept clear so you can utilize the full size of the bench.
@jonnyamen: Where is my money best invested in a reno?
Dan: Kitchens sell houses! Beautiful and functional kitchen and bathrooms spaces add the most resale value to your home. You can also enhance your home’s value in the living spaces with open plan designs and connection to the outside.
@bethany.mcmenamin: Butlers Panty vs. kitchen- what appliances in each?
Dan: Butler’s pantry - This is where you want to put all of your daily use items that you don’t want to put away every time after use and don’t want on display. This will maximise convenience and free up space in your front of house kitchen. Some things to consider including in your butler’s pantry are your: Dishwasher, big pot sink, microwave, small appliances, toasters, kettles coffee machine.
Kitchen - This is where you place the appliances that you need easy access to whilst cooking. Some things to include are your: fridge, stovetops, main oven and your zip tap or filtered water tap with your front of house sink.