While you might not be putting out fifty roast chickens a night, you stand to benefit from emulating aspects of restaurant kitchens, like easy-to-clean finishes and open shelving. A home kitchen shouldn`t feel clinically sterile, but it also should feel like a place where you can get things done. Peek inside your favorite restaurant`s kitchen, and borrow the ideas you like best. Working with a smaller budget but want that chef-like vibe? Restaurant supply stores have some pretty great deals, like metal bains marie that are inexpensive ways to store your utensils, or infinitely versatile aluminum mixing bowls.
A good vibe goes a long way. Music, flowers, wine: these are all things that contribute to the design of your space, especially if your kitchen design project doesn`t involve knocking down walls. If you`re designing from scratch, don`t lose sight of the smaller, personal touches. Having fresh flowers on the counter each week and listening to music that gets your hips swinging are as much a part of the beauty of your kitchen as anything.
You don`t need full sets of knives and cookware. A stockpot, a ten-inch skillet, and a two- or three-quart saucepan will cook most of the food you want to eat. Likewise with knives: after a chef`s knife or two, a paring knife, and a bread knife, any additional cutlery is just showing off. The trick is to make sure what you do have is of high quality. One really well-made knife is an investment that will last a lifetime, and it`ll help you love to cook more than you ever imagined. When choosing appliances, if space is limited, consider under-counter refrigeration and smaller dishwashers. My twenty-four inch stove recently kicked out a meal for thirty people. It is possible. Embrace the ideas of emptiness and space.
Cooker hoods have become one item in the kitchen that you can really make a statement with. Top-of-the range statement hoods can cost well over £1000 so be careful when buying something that looks similar but costs a lot less – they’re usually badly made. As a rule try to stick to one of the better known brands – if there is one item in the kitchen that is prone to breaking down it’s the hood. As a designer I’m not particularly excited about having an “out-there’’ cooker hood as they tend to date pretty quickly and it’s an expensive item to change once the trends move on. So, often I think it’s best to go for a concealed/integrated or canopy hood – telescopic hoods are really smart as they only project into the room when in use and are otherwise inconspicuous.
You should consider the various materials available for patio furniture. Traditional wicker or bamboo patio furniture now comes in a variety of weights, colors and pricing tiers. For a more substantial feel, you might try redwood or cedar furniture, which will be naturally resistant to warping, decay and insects. If you`re worried about weather wear, you might want to consider wrought iron or stone for tables and chairs. Even cushions for couches and chairs are now made of acrylic fabrics that can withstand all types of weather and sun exposure.
If there is one thing you must do when you are re-designing your kitchen it is to measure up properly and produce a scaled plan of the room – quite often simply by doing the maths and working out the optimum combination of base units you can gain extra storage space. Allow for opening space on your plan, make sure cabinets will fit beneath windows and always position tall cabinets at the end of your worktop. Start with the basics of kitchen design. Work to the traditional triangular layout of a food prep area, fridge and sink, all within easy reach of one another. It still applies to modern kitchen layouts.Be very careful where you position tall units as they can cast unwanted shadows – in corners or at the end of a worktop run is best, but even better is between two walls, in a “niche”. When in a niche a neat trick is to use panelling or studwork around the tall units to give the impression of recessed units.
A ten-dollar quart of paint can transform a kitchen by adding color to a backsplash or accent wall. Really beautiful linen kitchen towels make a statement. It`s the little things that warm a space most, not the appliances or the layout or the material of the countertops.
Always discuss socket positions with your electrician before they start work! Too many is better than too few. Always consider what splashback material you are using as sockets will increase the cost of some, such as glass, which is cut off-site by specialists – it’s easier to cut-around sockets if you’re using more traditional materials like wall tiles. Sockets should sit a minimum 150mm above worktops and always be installed by a qualified electrician.
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