A Smart Kitchen Location – Working From The ‘Big Picture’ Down To The Detail
Before you design your kitchen, and certainly before you build your new kitchen – let’s make sure you have located your kitchen in a smart kitchen location – in the best location for you, and for the benefit of other functions within your home.
This is Part One of our Kitchen Design Series “Good Kitchen Design – Creating A Kitchen That Suits You And Your Home Style”. In our last article we discussed current popular trends of kitchen design, and the added pressures of balancing good design and functionality.
Have you thought about a smart location for your kitchen within your home renovation?
To establish the best ‘smart kitchen location’ you will need to consider, and analyse, the best location for your new kitchen for you and for the overall design and layout of your home. Consider how your smart kitchen should function for you, and – more specifically at this point of your design – how you want to be able to interact with your family and guests while you are cooking in your new smart kitchen.
You may well be thinking along these lines already. That’s great. Lets just make sure that you’ve thought through all the smart kitchen options…
We have listed a few scenarios that illustrate how a kitchen’s location and features can vary household interactions and functions within a home.
Kitchen Scenario 1 – Some people like to whip up a cooking storm whilst having a laugh with friends and sharing a bottle of wine. Such a kitchen is open to the living and entertaining areas in an “open plan” affair.
This open plan scenario assumes you are a whizz in the kitchen; your kitchen prowess fully on show and open to critique; and that you don’t mind the spread of cooking smells and kitchen fallout affecting the other functions within your open plan areas.
Kitchen Scenario 2 – Others people may prefer a more traditional scenario. That being, preparing food behind closed doors, keeping their kitchen habits discrete, and ensuring cooking smells are kept separate from the living areas. This scenario gives cooking for friends and family an element of mystique – enhancing the ‘big reveal’ to dining guests once the chef is ready.
Kitchen Scenario 3 – (Based loosely on my grandmother’s kitchen) Another kitchen concept that is becoming more popular these days is the kitchen and the butler’s kitchen. In my grandmother’s home the kitchen was open to the ‘relaxed’ dining area, whilst the pantry was a room acccessible directly form the kitchen. I should note that my grandmother’s house was built in the 1880s and it also housed a formal dining room and a lounge room. In this scenario the pantry stored dry food, bottles, as well as items like the cleaning equipment. The pantry did not feature a sink, but it did allow storing away all the kitchen detritus. This in turn yielded a kitchen with plentiful bench areas with fundamental under-bench storage of crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils. Her kitchen was delightfully uncluttered.
Today a dual-room kitchen serves another purpose. The primary kitchen space is the ‘show kitchen’ allowing you to present clean, tidy and organised to your dinner guests’ congregating at the dining table or the bench. In the second space, the butler’s pantry, you can house essentially another kitchen, or simply store those extras, such as in my grandmother’s pantry, away from eyeshot.
There are many layout variations in addition to the three scenarios described above. Consider the options, and what scenario works best for you, your family and your lifestyle.
The most common kitchen layout these days creates a kitchen layout as a distinct area defined by walls on two or three sides, with an ‘open’ side featuring an island or peninsula bench.
In this scenario the kitchen bench provides a distinction between the kitchen and living and/or dining spaces. This provides you with the benefit of being able to work in the kitchen enjoying conversations with your dining guests or family, allowing for a great connection to these areas for supervising kids, or entertaining guests. This scenario began as “open plan living” and has many pros and cons.
It is important to analyse your household and family needs to ensure the optimum location of your kitchen within your home. This will assist you to establish a smart kitchen location within your home.
Once this is understood you can then consider how to plan out the kitchen itself, including aspects such as what your kitchen needs to accommodate, how much bench space you need, and what appliances and fixed items you require. These aspects will be described in our next article, “Part 2: The Ideal Layout For Your Kitchen – Tradition Versus Groove”.
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Don’t forget to consider the other outdoor areas of your home besides your living, dining and meals area. There are often other zones of your home and garden that you may wish to ensure provide a visual connection, or indeed immediate connection.
And then there are the bonus features of your home and site that can help to enhance the quality of the space you are creating. Is there good natural daylight just outside, or is there a view to gaze onto whilst waiting for the kettle to boil.
Consider other features of your home such as a garden view, connection to outdoor spaces such as the BBQ area or the kids’ play equipment. Whether you are redesigning your existing kitchen space, or starting from scratch on a new site – make your cost and renovation efforts even more worthwhile by considering the big picture, and be lateral with your smart kitchen design.