These are a great idea for both base and wall units as they do help to maximise space – but traditional corner units can also be a nightmare as you can easily forget what’s hiding away at the back of them and you constantly have to pull everything out just to get what you want. So, wherever possible use a carousel fitting inside or one of my favourite magic corners!
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.
Be very careful of the quality when it comes to magic corners as some can be a bit flimsy and whatever you do don’t overload them with heavy items like mixers or blenders. An easy mistake to make with corner units is to forget the corner post that comes with them – this is very important as it prevents the door handles from bashing into each other – so when ordering your base units make sure whoever you are purchasing it from knows that you need a corner unit as opposed to a standard base unit and ask for a corner post! You also need to allow for the width of this corner post when working out the best combination of base units.
What makes a kitchen memorable is what happens in it, and we should be doing everything possible to not only sit down and eat together, but to also cook together. Start with something really simple like having an extra chef`s knife around for eager sous chefs. For full-on remodeling projects, think about how you want the space to flow and accommodate a gaggle of helpers: maybe a custom center island on wheels? My budget version of that is felt pads under the legs of my small butcher block that allow me to slide it out toward the living room and get people chopping onions or greasing ramekins. This gives me room in the kitchen proper to accomplish the more involved acrobatics of throwing a serious dinner party.
If you can’t physically make a kitchen bigger by knocking through to another room, there are small changes you can make to ensure you’re getting to most from the space you do have. Simple things like replacing your cupboard door fronts with thinner designs or choosing smaller appliances that fit under cupboards or easily inside them. Get rid of freestanding appliances such as fridges and install under counter fridges and freezers. This means you can give yourself more worktop space in the area which was previously taken up by a free standing appliance.
Huge American fridge freezers are one of the most common design mistakes made. They take up a lot of room and as much of the freezer storage space is taken up by an ice making machine, they are not that practical either. One of the contributors on the show even had the fridge freezer in their living room because it wouldn’t fit it in the kitchen! Choose a fridge that is the right size for your kitchen and provides you with the storage you need.
One technique for enlivening an outdoor space is to create a focal point in the form of a fire pit, dining area or gazebo. Focus on complementing this focal point with your furniture. For example, if your fire pit is oval-shaped with smooth curves, a set of sling-backed or egg chairs and simple end tables might be a good fit. On the other hand, if your chairs will be set around a rustic, campfire-like fire ring constructed of heavy fire-resistant bricks, you may want a more substantial set of heavy wooden or wrought iron chairs.
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.
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