A new kitchen is every foodie’s dream. We asked the team at Decorex Joburg and some of their exhibitors to share the tricks of the trade to remember when you do that once-in-a-lifetime kitchen upgrade.
Go scrapbooking. Gareth Roberts of Kitchen Delights advises all his clients that only when they have collected 20 pictures of kitchens that they like, will they know exactly what style of kitchen they want. It’s impossible to design a kitchen for someone until they know exactly what they want.
Don’t forget the walls. Gareth says one of the biggest challenges currently facing kitchen designers, is the absence of wall space in modern kitchens. Architects tend to design open plan living areas and kitchens with large windows and cavities and forget that appliances like fridges and ovens and pantry cupboards require wall space.
Be realistic about your appliances. Wendy Filmalter of Easylife Kitchens says a common mistake is to forget which appliances you have and even those that you are planning to acquire. No kitchen cupboard houses only pots and pans so it’s essential to plan storage or display space for bulky appliances.
Go linear. Open it up, says Lisa Aspeling from Caesarstone, who visited Eurocucina earlier this year. Linear kitchens with long, narrow working, storage and serving areas are far more convenient and people-friendly than a closed in kitchen. Your space will also appear larger if you go for linear shapes.
Personalise your kitchen. One of the other trends that Lisa saw at Eurocucina was a move towards art and other personal touches that give a made-to-measure kitchen a warmth and coziness. Furniture, clocks, flowers and objects that give friends and family an emotional connection make for a much happier space than state of the art design.
Keep it classic. Vinesh Mahraj from the Kitchen Studio advises against choosing the latest fashion when it comes to installing a new kitchen. The look can date and then you’re stuck with it, unless you’re able to go to the expense of installing another kitchen. If you’re really keen on a trendy look, then add the colour with wallpaper, coloured glass and changeable drawer fronts.
Lighting is critical. While recent years have seen tremendous innovation in kitchen lighting, there are still some basic rules that apply says Vinesh Mahraj from the Kitchen Studio. When it comes to an open plan kitchen, it’s important to ensure the colour of lighting in the kitchen is the same as that of the rest of the house. When it comes to the style of the kitchen, each style has a colour that works: Modern kitchens work best with cool white lighting. A contemporary look works with warm white and a traditional kitchen needs yellow incandescent lighting.
Remember the golden triangle. Sashen Subbiah of UCAN do it yourself kitchens says the most important thing to remember when designing a kitchen is to place the fridge, stove and sink in a triangular layout, with short distances between each of the three points. This layout will ensure easy accessibility and a well-functioning kitchen.
Don’t forget the drawers! Sashen Subbiah of UCAN do it yourself kitchens says it’s easy to forget some of the basic rules. Always consider the height of the plug points, the windows and the plumbing while designing. Know what the height of your ceiling is when you are designing bulkheads. And always ensure there are enough drawers in your kitchen.
Treat your kitchen as a living space. Sian Steyn, General Manager of the Decorex SA portfolio, says kitchen designs are increasingly reflecting the same style as other living areas in the house – and are no longer unique creatures standing alone. The homeowner’s personality comes through in his or her kitchen and this integration will continue to grow as our lives, work and family lifestyle are transformed by technology.