Whenever the word ‘kitchen’ is mentioned during a conversation, most likely the first image that is evoked is the cutting of vegetables and cooking in pots on stove. But is that really the only functions of a kitchen: food preparation and cooking? This may have been true in different times…
Nowadays, it has become one of the most crucial rooms of the house. It has become the centre of family activity, and not only that! It is the place where one can both drink a coffee while preparing dinner, as well as hosting friends. It’s where the agendas of the family are often decided upon, even if only for a few fleeting moments each day.
Therefore, in the rush of day-to-day, it is essential that everything is accessible, organised and functional! It is extremely important to have a kitchen that suits you perfectly and is adapted to your needs from day to day. The available space, materials and intensity of use, amongst others, are factors that will weigh on your choice.
Planning a kitchen can be tricky… there are so many details to consider, which may create the risk for many to give up before they've even started, for lack of motivation.
Fortunately, we here at homify won’t let that happen, so today’s article contains all the steps to plan your new kitchen, with all the details that must be considered in the process. Come with us to build up your motivation!
The first thing to do when thinking about making changes in the kitchen is to decide on your starting point. Do you want to renew the space, starting with some elements that are already present, or have a blank canvas, where you can plan everything from scratch?
If you are planning a renovation, you should start by deciding which elements you want to keep and which to replace. Has the bench been damaged? Then it’s out for sure! Are you sentimental about a table which is still in good condition? Keep it and, if necessary, consider restoration. Remember that you can only make a change in the layout of the kitchen if there are direct benefits resulting from the change. If it will only hinder the project, it’s not worth starting with.
If you are thinking of selling the house and to renew it for this purpose, keep everything at a basic level, yet functional, to make room for the creativity of new owners.
If you want to change everything and start from scratch, congratulations! It is the dream of many. But you also have much work ahead of you. Think about your needs to make the outline of your perfect kitchen. Do you love to cook and have a large family? Then the size of the bench and storage areas will be vital. Does most of your family members cook for themselves or just heat snacks in the microwave? Reduce the kitchen to a minimum and enjoy the space for other purposes!
Does your family often make meals in the kitchen? Consider a mixed space for your kitchen and dining room, as in the above image. This concept is proposed by the Portuguese MRS Interior Design for an inspirational space in the countryside – perfect for lunches with family and friends!
The next step is to determine the equipment you will need, and what style you want. Today there are many types of appliances at your disposal to perfectly fit the kitchen style. A perfect example is the refrigerator shown in the image above. More than a simple appliance, it is a fundamental decorative accessory to get the retro style in your kitchen.
This doesn't mean you should go crazy, buying on impulse and taking into account aesthetics only. Make sure the consumption of the equipment rates very well. A good choice will mean much less spent on electricity and translates into significant savings. Where possible, choose equipment with an energy rating of A++.
You should also consider what kind of equipment is appropriate. If you don’t cook in the oven, you’ll not need one, and your purchase will be a waste of resources.
Finally, always take accurate measurements of the space where the device will be and let the store know of your exact dimensions. You will not want to realise that the appliances do not fit in the assigned places after delivery at your home. Can you imagine the setbacks?
After planning the design of the kitchen and furniture, and after choosing the necessary equipment, the difficult part of building the structure and setting up the kitchen begins. For this part of the process, the best thing to do is to turn to professionals.
Note the image of the kitchen: countertops and white cabinets, stainless steel island with attached table, designer chairs, and perfect lighting. All this requires time and a very accurate schedule.
When hiring a professional to plan and build your kitchen, you will ensure that everything is done in the correct order. If you choose to do the scheduling yourself, however, make sure that deliveries are made sequentially, beginning with building materials and finishing with decorative accessories.
Some details of your kitchen will require special attention in order for the environment to be to your liking and be functional. What about the walls?
The option to simply leave your walls painted is modern, practical and hygienic, but can also become dull. The walls can be decorated to give the kitchen a personal touch. Choose finishes to our liking and use them creatively. The choices are manifold… mosaics, stainless steel, wood, panels, vinyl stickers and more. Make your kitchen walls a personal statement.
See, for example, this kitchen image, a design with a rustic touch that comes to us from Brazil. The kitchen furniture in itself is very beautiful, but what really gives character to the space is the walls with erratic, colourful mosaics, creating a patchwork effect which is jovial and fun.
As with the walls, the floor can be the basis from which the style of your kitchen is initiated, and so it’s another detail with which you should take some time to research.
If you’re looking for durability, strength and impeccable aesthetics, invest in stone floors or solid wood. If you have a limited budget, vinyl floors have perfect aesthetic options at a much lower cost. If you’re looking for high resistance and low maintenance, tiles are the perfect choice. If you are one of those souls favoured by luck and don’t have to worry about a budget, opt for all-marble floors as in the image. The luxurious elegance of the stone is timeless.
The choice is yours alone, and with so many options, the only thing to lose is time in doing research, but we guarantee it will be worth it!
Finally, turn your attention to the complementary furniture of the dining area, if you have one. Once you have reached this point, choose furniture suited to the countertops, floors, walls and appliances you have already installed. However, keep in mind that a risk you may face at this stage is encountering a lack of space. Ideally, include a table and chairs in sufficient numbers in its original design, especially in smaller kitchens.
When your space is even more limited, opt for retractable tables and little bulky benches. However, if your kitchen is spacious as in this image, you can let your imagination go wild. This project is presented by Alma Portuguesa and displays a hint of the shabby chic style.
After all, we can only conclude by saying that planning a kitchen takes hard work, needs investment, and requires some effort, but the result will be your own. Enjoy it!
For more kitchen inspiration, don't miss: The Simple Guide To More Spacious Kitchens.