The Kitchen Design Process

Loxwood Kitchen Cabinet Storage systems

The Kitchen Design Process

Having been involved with interior design for over 30 years, and kitchen design in particular, it will come as no surprise I’m regularly consulted by friends and family looking for ideas and suggestions about how they can improve their home, and the kitchen is generally at the top of the list.

The challenges have certainly changed since I produced my first hand drawn designs back in 1980. A first step is often finding a way to enlarge the space, taking out an internal wall or two, or perhaps a full extension which will create that multi functional room which seems an almost pre requisite for modern day family life. We are often asked to work with the appointed architect and liaise with the building contractor which we’re always happy to do.

As in most other areas of our lives, technology now plays a major role. Developments in computer aided design now help deliver colour rendered images, enabling us to view the proposed design from any angle and avoid making costly mistakes. Images can now include the chosen flooring, different work surfaces, the colour and finish of the walls and tiles, and we can draw on a comprehensive library of appliances and internal fittings to further illustrate the finished product. A new innovation shortly being introduced is the inclusion of a graphic import feature which will enable access to a vast and growing selection of online libraries from Google Sketch up. A recent example would be a roof lantern.

Technology doesn’t stop with the design process. New developments can now provide integrated audio systems with wireless connectivity, a great feature whereby you can use your iPod and iPhone to listen to your favourite music in the kitchen. Drop down TV screens can be hidden away under the wall units and tucked away when not in use.

Cabinets can now be fitted with a variety of sophisticated wirework systems which allow convenient and easy access to those difficult to reach corners, or just simply used to help organise the storage.

We’re constantly looking for new ways we can improve and enhance the design process so do let us have your ideas and suggestions.

The Kitchen Design Challenge

kitchen design Sussex

The Kitchen Design Challenge

If you’ve recently looked at buying a new car, you’re spoilt for choice. For any given budget, the range of options is endless, and keeping up with the technology available is quite a challenge.

The same can also be said about kitchen design. In the past, the work triangle was said to be revolutionary, simplifying the design approach by placing the fridge, sink and cooker within easy reach, and to some degree these elements still dictate the layout of many designs, but of course, the kitchen now has to fulfill so many other functions; a place for the computer, somewhere for that collection of cookery books and perhaps a television to keep up with the results from Wimbledon. We recently completed a kitchen which included two dishwashers and a second kitchen sink. A wine cooler was also an essential part of the plan together with a combination microwave, a product that has become increasingly popular.

One addition that has become very popular is the island. Access from all sides opens up a number of possibilities for additional storage, an overhang on one side can provide seating for a chat over a coffee, and the extra work surface is always welcome, especially when the children need help with homework. Careful consideration needs to be taken regarding the space between the main body of the kitchen and the island, but this can usually be addressed by paying attention to the width of the doors on the units where the main work is carried out. For smaller spaces or maximum flexibility, the island can be put on wheels which lock when in use, and can be moved out of the way when the guests arrive.

The ultimate solution to many design challenges is a bespoke product. Imagine what can be achieved if you can have any size, height or depth of cabinetry. Add in a mix of materials for work surfaces, the vast array of kitchen paint colours available, dozens of options for handles and you can achieve your dream, a kitchen that is totally you and reflects your personality and lifestyle.

Galley Kitchen Designs

fitted kitchen designAccepted by many as the easiest to work in, the galley kitchen design can often be one of the most difficult to design and can easily become a boring corridor.

The room can often be narrow, and with two people working in the kitchen, the traffic can become a problem.

One of my favourite solutions is to break-front the cabinets using angled units or simply drop the depth of one section back to a run of shallow cabinets. Reduced depth cabinets can be very useful and save you having to rummage around for those small items that always get lost at the back.

Try to avoid too many tall units as they will certainly make the room feel smaller and overbearing.

You can enhance the visual effect by introducing different surface materials or for something different, try insetting timber drawer fronts into a painted frame.

Open wall units or just shelving will also help reduce the tunnel effect, and again, they don’t have to be the industry standard depth.

Bespoke solutions for awkward spaces.

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