Kitchens have evolved a lot over the years. Once found only in the rear of the house, today's kitchen design takes the kitchen out the background. The challenge for kitchen design is in creating a more open-faced kitchen, that is part of a dining area, a family room or a great room.
In deciding on how to design your kitchen, you must take into consideration such things as: will your kitchen have an island? Will it be of a modern or traditional design? What kinds of appliances will you need for your new kitchen design? What kind of lighting design?
1. Kitchen as 'Great Room'
Whether you are redesigning an existing kitchen or planning a new kitchen in a new home there are some design considerations to keep in mind, such as including in an island or peninsula as part of the kitchen design. These can be used to connect the kitchen to a nearby dining area or family room thereby creating a 'great room'. A kitchen island or peninsula will allow the cook to keep in visual and conversational contact with family members or guests in the adjoining family or dining room.
2. Create a Kitchen Canopy
To give the kitchen some visible borders without blocking views create a kitchen canopy. Also a high ceiling in the kitchen can create the perception of spaciousness.
3. Using Kitchen Cabinet Color to Set Tone of Kitchen Design
Kitchen cabinets will help set the tone for the whole room. The choice of wood will influence the overall look of your cabinets. To create a light look, use a light wood such as ash, beech, birch, oak, maple, or chestnut. For medium range, select cherry. To darker kitchens, choose wood that has some color to it.
4. Plan Out Use of Cabinets and Drawers in The New Kitchen Design
Plan out in the kitchen design blueprint just how your cabinets and drawers will be used and how much space and storage you will need before you start your new kitchen design. The first thing to examine is the counter surface area. Look at where you put everything in your existing kitchen and where in your new kitchen design will these things will go in the new space. Will there be more than one person cooking at a time. If so, will there be enough room for two cooks in the kitchen to work together?
5. Use The Galley-Type Kitchen Design
As for counter arrangements, many kitchen designers agree the galley-type design to be the best in terms of efficiency with it's single aisle and counters to either side, making it easy to turn around to go from sink to cooking range.
6. Under-Cabinet Kitchen Lighting
Kitchen lighting can be an overlooked area of kitchen design. Even if the kitchen has generally good lighting, the counter areas can be somewhat dark. For these areas under-cabinet lighting can help provide more light to work in. By using simple spots or fluorescent lights a smaller kitchen can be made to look larger.
7. Looking at Countertops
Granite, marble, and limestone are all popular natural materials for use in countertops are available in many colors. Ceramic tile kitchen countertops are versatile, practical, and also available in many colors, as well as many shapes, patterns, and finishes. Solid surface countertops provide seamless acrylic faces. Solid surfaces also come in almost limitless colors, patterns, and styles, and are stain and heat resistant. Laminate countertops are more affordable but not built to last. Concrete countertops are known for versatility, as well as strength. Wood countertops are long lasting and easy to clean and repair but the wood will not withstand exposure to water and household chemicals. Stainless steel countertops lack the elegance of granite or tile. These countertops do not absorb stains, but tends to scratch easily.
Despite what you may read in the trendiest kitchen design magazines, updating the look of your kitchen really does not require that your spend a lot of time and money. There are some simple and inexpensive ways to give your kitchen a brand new look.
Some small change here and there that you can make in your kitchen can still create a big effect on how your kitchen looks. You can get ideas about what you would like incorporate into your kitchen decorating and remodeling project from books, magazines, and internet sites dealing with kitchen design ideas.
There are 7 relatively low cost kitchen-decorating ideas to create a beautiful kitchen:
1. Replacing the cabinet doors and fronts. Then you can reface the remaining fixtures. This will greatly change the whole look and feel of your kitchen.
2. Painting your cabinets white and changing the hardware, such as knobs, handles, or pulls.
3. Using solid core MFD doors, which are medium density fiberboard or timber. They can be fitted to a solid door base. This type of door can be painted to create any look you may want.
4. Using color to renovate the kitchen is another example of inexpensive kitchen decorating. You can paint your walls and cabinets. When it comes to painting your existing cabinetry, you can use decorative finishes. Some examples are creating a distressed finish to add an aged look, and faux and glazed finishes. These are all simple to do and cost effective.
5. Another area of the kitchen you can easily update is the faucet and sink. It is possible to locate moderately priced sinks that can cost from $50 $300. They are also available in many colors, and styles. Porcelain, stainless steel, and acrylic are the materials that are available for sinks. For faucets, you will find that they are available in many styles and finishes, and depending on the type of faucet can range in price from $50 to$750.
6. Another great affordable idea in kitchen decorating is to add a kitchen island. Kitchen islands are great for adding more counter space to the kitchen and provide a gathering place. If you do not have enough money or space to add a permanent kitchen island, but would like to have the advantages of one, you might consider as an alternative getting a kitchen cart. A kitchen cart can have wheels for rolling around, as well as have drawers, shelves, and places to hang utensils. Because they are on wheels they can be cleared out the way.
7. If your kitchen-decorating budget is so small that you can only afford to remodel a small area of your kitchen you might consider adding a kitchen backsplash. A new kitchen backsplash can really dress up a drab, uninspiring kitchen. Kitchen backsplashes are available in so many different styles, colors, and materials. The materials used for backsplashes can include, wood, porcelain, natural stone, glass, stainless steel, and even wallpaper. The costs vary depending on the material you select.
So you can see that redecorating your kitchen can be a simple thing like changing the hardware on your existing cabinetry or painting the walls. Just one small change can do a lot to make your kitchen look brand new.
In deciding on what to do in hiring a kitchen designer a well thought out plan is necessary for any kitchen design project to be successful.
A good kitchen designer should be able to work with you to create the design that will both fit your desires and needs and that squares with your budget.
1. How Much Are You Willing To Spend?
Level with the designer just how much you will be willing to spend on your kitchen design project.
Let the designer know just what you would feel comfortable spending. This way you can insure that the designer and contractor will have a clear direction on where to go with the project and not go overboard. They will have a good idea of the limits when drawing up plans and selecting materials.
2. How Much Time Are You Willing To Devote?
You need to consider what your personal needs are and if you will be able to work around the necessary construction in your kitchen. By consulting with an experienced kitchen designer you can get a good idea of how long your kitchen design project will take by providing a timeline that your family can plan around.
3. What Style Are You Planning For Your Kitchen Design Project?
You want to give the kitchen designer as much information as possible. You need to do as much research as possible before your meeting with a kitchen designer.
First you should consult with design magazines and catalogs to get an idea of what style and design elements you would like to see for your kitchen. To compile more ideas visit kitchen design showrooms, check out products and design on the internet and take notes. What are your likes and dislikes regarding color and styles. Make a scrapbook with clips from the magazines and catalogs, as well as examples of materials and design elements you would like to see in the kitchen. Use these to show the kitchen designer what your vision is for the new kitchen. Also bring a list of questions for your kitchen designer.
4. How Do You Use Your Kitchen?
You need to be prepared for questions that a kitchen designer will ask you when you first meet with him. Among the questions that you need to ask yourself before talking to your kitchen designer are:
Will you be doing a lot of entertaining with family and friends? Is your family busy during the week with lots of activities? You should also fine out what other family members have in the way of ideas.
5. How To Prepare For Your Kitchen Design Project?
You will need to prepare for the disruption that will be caused by your kitchen design project. But with the right planning you can make the project run as smoothly and a quickly as possible.
You need to make sure that the kitchen design project area and the living area are separate for both safety reasons and to stay out of the way of the contractor and his crew. You might have to set up a temporary kitchen in another room of the house. What time of the year you schedule a kitchen design project can make it easier on everyone since in the warmer months it is possible to eat and cook outdoors.
Here are 10 important guidelines for your kitchen design project.
1. For efficiency, the work triangle (the space between the sink, refrigerator, and stove) should measure 26’ or less with no single side longer than 9’, or less than 4’.
2. In kitchens smaller than 150 sq. ft., opt for at least 13’ of base cabinets, 12’ of wall cabinets, and 11’ of countertop. In kitchens which are larger, go with at least 16’ of base cabinets, 15 1/2’ of wall cabinets, and 16 1/2’ of countertop.
3. For convenience, plan work aisles to be at least 42” wide for one cook, and at least 48” wide in multi-cook kitchens.
4. Specify a minimum of 24” of counter space on one side of the sink and at least 18” on the other.
5. To create the most accessible landing for unloading groceries, allow at least 15” of counter space on the handle side of a standard refrigerator; on both sides if it’s a side-by-side model. Or include a landing area directly across from the refrigerator, but no more than 48” away.
6. For cleanup ease, install the dishwasher within 36” of one edge of the sink and allow for at least 21” of standing room next to it.
7. For microwaves and ovens, provide at least 15 “ of counter space nearby, at least 16” deep.
8. For optimum clearance, no entry, appliance, or cabinet doors should interfere with another.
9. For comfort and to help avoid repetitive-motion injury, plan for work counters of different heights; between 28 and 36” off the floor (easier for chopping and seated-use access), and between 36 and 46” for general tasks (higher counters accommodate taller cooks).
10. To install a cabinet unit above the cook top, make sure the clearance is at least 24” for a fireproof surface, 30” for an unprotected surface.
Designing a kitchen is as much a science as it is an art. Knowing the recommended measurements to use when planning the project can make all the difference in the final outcome.