Back in the old days, people design and build kitchens that are only good to look at. Before, designers and homeowners usually prioritise aesthetics over functionality. The result? People end up like this in their own kitchens:
- Contorting their bodies when reaching or avoiding something
- Squeezing all pots and pans inside cupboards and drawers
- Working on the shadowy parts of the kitchen
- Working on a bench space that’s either too cramped or too large
- Cursing because their kitchens make their hip and back hurt
Thankfully, we now know better. Our designs progressed and every design pro out there knows that function and ergonomics is as important as beauty when designing spaces.
The designer plays an important part
Building the kitchen is an important part of building a good home. To ensure you end up with a kitchen that’s functional, safe, and attractive, consider having a great designer on board your project. Some people hesitate because they are afraid that they might not afford to pay a designer’s fee.
Truth is, no one must feel hesitant to ask for a designer’s help. Not all designers charge expensive fees. Some even offer different modes of payment, which helps homeowners who can’t afford to pay on the spot. All you need to do is approach them and tell them about your plans.
Think about it. A well-designed kitchen is an investment. It’s a need, not a luxury. Also, a professionally designed kitchen will pay for itself for it adds value to your property. If you have plans to sell your house in the future, never hesitate to invest in a good kitchen for it might cost more in the future.
What you should look for in a designer
Find a professional designer who will work closely with you. He/she must assess your tastes and needs, and figure out how to create them in a limited time and budget. The designer must know how to make the kitchen complement the rest of the house.
The tricky part is, ‘designers’ are classified into different categories. The pro you need depends on how complicated your project is.
First, there are architects. You need them when you need to reconfigure the space. Ask for their help when your kitchen renovation requires you to remove walls, add steel beams, add a new window, or extend the kitchen to an outdoor entertaining area. Architects are your choice when you need your kitchen to fit in your home perfectly like a puzzle.
If your project is complex, it’s best to look for an architect who can maybe “do it all”, but recommends cabinet makers, carpenters, or interior designers who can help polish the finished product. Architects must arrange the necessary contractors and manage the project for you when you need it too.
Then, there are building designers. You need them for projects like when you need to build a new kitchen have a new layout, change the workflow, update the cabinets, and improve kitchen traffic.
At the end of the day, choose a designer who
- Suggests kitchen design and style principles that match your taste
- Applies ergonomics and safety considerations
- Offers multiple, but curated kitchen material and product options
- Follows building regulations and council standards, and
- Knows how trades and building services work
The ingredients of a great kitchen design
Kitchens are complex areas to design. There are lots of things to take into account.
Here are the things that you must consider:
- The distances between major work areas (sink, refrigerator, stove)
- The position of those work areas relative to each other
- The amount and type of storage needed
- How accessible the storage areas are
- How easy it is to clean the kitchen
- How strong and durable your building materials, products and appliances are
- The number of people who will use the kitchen on a regular basis and for what purpose/s
- How tall they are
- Whether those people are left handed or right handed
- Whether they have any physical impairments and difficulties
- Where to position lights and windows
- How lighting affects the room’s looks, functionality, and safety
- Plumbing and electrical fixtures positioned in accordance with the codes and standards
- Who will build and assemble the kitchen
How to choose the right designer
At the end of the day, it’s all down to your personal preferences. Get in touch with at least three designers in your area. Compare their work and their offers. Consider:
- The one with a style you prefer
- The person whom you communicate best with, and
- The one who understands your goals and the results you hope to achieve
- The designer who values your requirements and incorporates it in their creative vision.