As probably the most hardworking area of your house, your kitchen’s layout and storage features require careful planning. Most of the problems that homeowners face with their cookspace stem from the lack of designing with their needs in mind. If you’re not sure how to nail your kitchen renovation, we’ve compiled a guide on how to steer clear or combat these common kitchen errors outlined below.
PROBLEM: Lack of countertop space
SOLUTION: This is a common design problem where homeowners grossly underestimate how much worktop space they need. If you cook and bake often or tend to whip up multiple dishes at a go, allocating sufficient worktop space next to the hob and fridge is important. Ample countertop space would also ensure safety in the kitchen; you wouldn’t want to be carrying piping hot dishes while looking for a space to set it down. To compensate for the lack of worktop space, you can also look for kitchen trolleys which can be easily wheeled away when you need the space.
PROBLEM: Poorly-planned layout
SOLUTION: Finding it difficult to channel your inner Gordan Ramsay? Bad kitchen planning equates to a poor workflow which will restrict and slow your cooking down. Bear in mind that your kitchen should work specifically for you and with a layout that caters exactly to your individual needs. To achieve the perfect kitchen setting, you should fill your designer in on your cooking habits and lifestyles. With this information, these experts can best conceptualise the perfect cookspace tailor-made for you.
PROBLEM: Too much traffic
SOLUTION: Careful planning in the early stages is once again instrumental to facilitating a smooth traffic flow in your kitchen. This is especially relevant for kitchens with multiple users or for those with kids in the house. This means setting up two separate and spaced out food prepping zones for different users to work without getting into each other’s way. Placing frequently-used appliances such as the fridge near the entrance and the oven and cooker far away from the entrance can also ensure the convenience and safety respectively for the other family members.
PROBLEM: Insufficient storage
SOLUTION: Facing small spaces but large storage needs? Maximise all the wall areas with cabinetry which reach all the way to the ceiling. Reclaim the underutilised areas such as the corners with corner units which reach fully into the depths of the cabinet. To add on to existing cabinet storage, you could invest in slim drawers that can slide within the gaps between the counters. Spice racks and utensil holders to keep your countertop space free are also useful.
PROBLEM: Badly-spaced cabinets & appliances
SOLUTION: Always allocate sufficient space – at least 900mm— between opposing cabinets and appliances. This allows doors and drawers to open clear of each other. Retrospectively, you shouldn’t place the facing units and appliances too far apart. Positioning them within a reasonable distance will cut down on the steps you need to get between them and advocate a smooth work flow.
PROBLEM: Poor lighting
SOLUTION: Not installing task lighting along your counters will result in a dimly-lit countertop. Directing light towards the worktop can make a huge difference when you are preparing and cooking food or washing up. If you’ve neglected this aspect of having adequate lighting, you can probably ask your designer about adding recessed lighting underneath the overhead counter units.
PROBLEM: Poorly-planned power points
SOLUTION: Realising that there aren’t sufficient power points or having sockets that are too far away can be a bummer. Since everyone uses their kitchens differently, your designer should be aware of where your major appliances like the oven, hob and fridge will be placed. That gives a good idea of a central location for the power points. If you are thinking of adding on more appliances later, there is no harm in requesting for extra power points.
PROBLEM: Poor ventilation & extraction
SOLUTION: Do you cook often and when you do, is heavy cooking part of the routine? If this is you, the trendy open-concept kitchen may not be an ideal setting. You wouldn’t want the heavy cooking fumes to spread and linger to the rest of your living zones. Fret not; you can still have a bright and show-worthy kitchen with a semi open-concept setting. Or choose the best-quality hood model in the market with a powerful air extraction setting.