5 Design Elements Every Home Kitchen Needs
The kitchen is the undisputed hub of the home and the zone where all the culinary action happens. Having seen oodles of kitchens in my time, I’ve come to realise how many are poorly put together from a design perspective and how many don’t work well for the people who live in them.
Here’s a checklist you can perform on your current kitchen, or one you’re in the process of creating, to see if it contains all the kitchen design elements you need.
Above: This space from The Kitchen Place is sleek and contemporary
1. A benchtop that works for your lifestyle
Benchtops aren’t complex creatures but you can choose the wrong one for your lifestyle. Stone benchtops are stunners, no doubt, but they can be high maintenance and don’t lend themselves to spills of the acidic variety, like juices. Engineered stone benchtops can give you the same look but with less need to fret over potential stains. A timber benchtop is another option – looking stellar in a country kitchen – but keeping it smooth and shiny takes ongoing work.
Before you lock in a benchtop option, ask a professional for some advice and be as detailed as you can about who uses the kitchen and what other circumstances might come into play.
2. A clever layout for simple operation
Whether you have a galley, L-shape or U-shape kitchen configuration, there are ideal ways to lay out each space. The biggest thing to bear in mind is that you should travel between your fridge, cooktop and sink in a triangular motion. This setup ensures you aren’t walking all the way to the other end of the kitchen to grab something from the fridge, then walking all the way back to the stove.
It’s also wise to place your fridge near the entry of the kitchen, so that people (especially kids) aren’t running to the end of the kitchen during dinnertime and getting in your way.
3. Ample storage that’s easy to access
One of the biggest issues I see in kitchens is that there’s not enough storage, or that there aren’t enough unique options to house different items. The tupperware cupboard can often resembles a game of jenga; ready to topple at any moment, as does the space you keep your pots and pans. Consider deep, large drawers to hold big items and even small, roller doors that open up to house your kettle and toaster. Sometimes you don’t want to show off your everyday items and this is a perfect solution.
Also consider alternative types of storage, like for books, phone chargers and other items that you will use in this space on a regular basis.
Above: This space from The Kitchen Place features dual lighting – an important element!
4. Lighting that’s dual-purpose
Lighting in a kitchen should be functional – first and foremost. You want decent wattage overhead and also over your stovetop. But also consider mood lighting in cupboards with glass doors – to showcase particular items. Also think about bringing in stylish pendant lights over an island bench or light under cupboards to show off a stunning splashback.
Lighting changes the mood in a space like nothing else can, so it’s important you take time to carefully consider the different options.
5. Your personality shining through
You spend so much time in the kitchen that you really need to put your stamp on the design. The style of the kitchen is the best place to start. Do you like sleek and contemporary, the softness of a french vintage style or the charm of a country cottage?
The fit-out you choose will greatly impact the accessories you bring into the space later on, so don’t rush this decision and ensure that your kitchen speaks to who you are as much as any other living space does.
The kitchens featured in this post come courtesy of the team at The Kitchen Place, who are the undisputed masters of home kitchen design and fit-outs.
In operation since 1978, their mantra is to create kitchens from a ‘point of you’ – so they’re all about tailor-made spaces, with all cabinetry made in their Melbourne factory.
Visit their website and get creating your kitchen the way you want it: