Kitchen is one the most essential places in the house and managing and decorating it is still a challenge for most of us. Whether you are going for a modular kitchen or a compact dining room setup, it requires thoughtful planning making it functional as well as warm and comfortable. Here are some simple ideas and tips to make a comfortable kitchen that is well equipped with every essential item close at hand and completely uncluttered.
L shaped and U shaped Kitchens
With houses becoming smaller, a one wall strip kitchen or even a U-shaped kitchen works very well. The busiest areas are the sink, refrigerator and the hob. In a one wall kitchen, there must be in a line, which makes for less movement back and forth. In the U-shaped kitchen, the appliances are spread over two work platforms and the third is a workstation to cut, chop etc. the important thing to remember is that there must be at least a clearance of four feet between the walls and the counter for it to be optimally functional.
As the name suggests, here the worktop is in the centre of the kitchen. It is undoubtedly one of the more convenient solutions within this space if you have the luxury of a large kitchen. The worktop is a square or rectangular platform that is about 30-40 inches high and holds the hob while accommodating plenty of storage space underneath. This is really useful if you don’t want the containers and dishes that you don’t want to see, thereby ridding the space of clutter.
But attractiveness alone is not enough. Big homes still have the four wall kitchens with huge cooking spaces and workstations. If you do not want an island kitchen, you could also install a round dining table or a small breakfast table in the centre. It is very practical and visually divides the space.
This style of kitchen is popular in the US and is now getting accepted in different parts of the world. It’s now used in several homes where the kitchen is claustrophobic. The walls between the dining room and kitchen are torn down to retain only a low wall of around 28 inches high, over which the platform is placed. This could be a high gloss granite slab or even glass, which serves as a dining table with light dining chairs placed around it. The result is quite classy since it opens up the space in the living room and kitchen creating one large expanse. The kitchen thus becomes a part of the living area and the homemaker can still be a part of the goings on in the house even if she is engaged in cooking or doing something else.
Handle the appliances
In a kitchen, space tends to be limited so every corner must be used. All the appliances should be built in from the dishwasher to the microwave oven. Corner swing out shelves look chic and are the ultimate in efficiently storing big dishes. The aim should be to maintain an ambience of serenity without interfering with the use of appliances while camouflaging bulky appliances.
Organize essential Items
Nothing looks worse than a kitchen cluttered with bottles and pans. Make a list of the equipment you will need; consider the kitchen’s traffic patterns, and make sure storage is adequate. Streamlined cabinet units protect food, china and electronic items from dust and heat. For a more chic look, go for corner cabinets and in built storage cabinets.
Consider ventilation most kitchens feel stuffy because of the natural side effects of cooking. Ventilation over the hob is a must so a chimney/vent or a hood or a window near the hob is essential. A super effective ventilation and extraction system is absolutely essential. Plenty of light and air also adds to the efficiency and ease of maintenance.
Opt for Wall Finishes
Avoid the matt finish on walls as it makes stains harder to wipe off. Choose a semi or high gloss in its place. Instead of leaving the backsplash bare or painted, clad it in tile or granite. This lends protection against staining from oil and steam emitted while cooking. Grout lines are porous, so they are better avoided in the kitchen.
Surfaces and textures
The visual impact of the urban kitchen depends largely on the color and texture of the fixtures, surfaces and fittings. Keep some basic rules in mind. For the main worktop of a kitchen, marble is most inefficient as it is soft and porous and stains easily. If you must use it then treat it with a sealant. Granite is the most efficient option. It is available in huge eight foot slabs and easily sustains stains and heat.