Kitchens sell houses! It’s an old saying, and one that every real estate agent will agree with. Whatever the size of your home, the kitchen is a room you spend heaps of time in. A kitchen design remodel is one of the most expensive home renovation projects, so you want to get it right the first go.
To help you nail your kitchen design, we asked interiors expert James Treble to share his top tips for creating the perfect kitchen design.
Kitchen layout is key.
The biggest issue with any kitchen is how it performs when you’re cooking. Combine this with its visual impact, especially in an open-plan area, and you can see why a good layout is vital to successful kitchen design. The Kitchen Triangle refers to the positioning of the three most important features in any kitchen — the fridge, cooktop, and sink. By placing them in a triangle, you’ll cut down on foot traffic and make it practical as well as safe when working with hot, sharp or messy items.
Do your homework and plan out a layout on paper. Where do you want the cooktop? Can you watch the kids while you cook? Does that huge fridge fit in the corner? Do you want one oven or two?
You also need to consider things like the placement of windows and doors, ceiling heights, high-traffic areas, as well as making the most of natural light. Once you’ve done this, unless you’re an experienced renovator, call in the experts. Most will offer a design service, and will likely have a great solution for any problem areas.
Define your kitchen style.
When you’re considering finishes, look to the rest of the house for direction. If your home is a Victorian terrace with ornate ceilings, perhaps a shaker-style door would work well. If you have a modern home with clean lines, a flush door with no moulding would be better. Finally, consider your flooring to make sure it complements your choices. Collect as many images as you can to confirm the selection of finishes that work for your desired look.
Storage and accessibility matter.
Good storage space is always a worthwhile investment and can make even the smallest of kitchens a dream to cook in. Storage will usually be a combination of cabinets, overhead wall cabinets, and tall cabinets, with either drawers or doors.
Drawers are easy to open, and save you getting down on your hands and knees to retrieve that pot lid stuck at the back of the cupboard. However, because they use slide-out runners rather than a set of door hinges, they are the more expensive option.
For difficult corners, there are some amazing pull-out and slide-out options, and tall slide-out pantries work a treat for narrow spaces. Don’t forget to use the height of your room. Tall cabinets may be hard to get to on a daily basis, but they offer great storage for those occasionally used items like Nanna’s tea set or Christmas platters.
Man made counters vs. natural materials.
Counters come in a range of material types and looks, from inexpensive laminate to hardwearing man-made stone surfaces in a wide range of colors, textures, and widths; from natural stones such as marble and granite, to synthetic surfaces that can offer the look of no joins. Think which one works best for your needs, your overall design, and your budget.
Go wide with cooktops and ovens.
Cooktops come in varying sizes and finishes, such as glass, enamel, and stainless steel, and can be electric, gas, or induction. I always suggest installing the widest cooktop you can, as we use them much more ovens.
There are a wide variety of ovens to choose from and the technology is becoming more advanced all the time. If you want an easy-to-clean option, a pyrolytic oven cleans itself. Or try a steam oven, which can cook almost everything in a very quick and healthy way.
Door and cabinet finishes: profiles matter.
Kitchen cabinets and doors come in a range of finishes such as laminate, vinyl, polyurethane (a painted door available in gloss, matte, or satin finish), and full timber. Once you’ve chosen the finish, think about the profile. These can include moulded doors, like the colonial square and shaker profiles, or the modern flush door with its simple pencil round edge. Consider if you want handles or a clean finger-pull look, as not all finishes may offer the look you want.
Sinks — worth investing in.
Sinks come in many forms and differing qualities, so be careful when buying that cheap sink-and-tap deal, as the stainless steel will scratch and tarnish quickly. The double-bowl undermount is the sink of choice, providing two deep bowls with a clean, under-countertop look. The downside is they have no drain board, but some come with drop-in cutting boards and separate drain boards.
Appliances that wow.
I’m a fan of putting my appliances on show and love the appearance of stainless steel, but there are also many options for integrated appliances. Whatever look you go for, spending wisely on quality appliances will make even the smallest and most budget-conscious of kitchens sparkle.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.