Designing your new kitchen is frequently the best part of remodeling a kitchen. It can be fun and exhilarating, if you like that sort of thing. It is certainly less difficult work than taking out all the appliances and cupboards; taking out all the crockery and utensils; scraping off the old wallpaper and hacking off the old tiles.
if you do not take pleasure in the idea of creating your own new design for your new kitchen, you could of course hire an interior designer. However, I think that the cooks in the family will have a fairly good idea of what they want and what should go where. Why not have a family brainstorming session on it?
After all, everyone in the family makes use of the kitchen, even if not everyone in the family can cook. Functionality is the key to most kitchen remodels. As the old saying goes: ‘Form follows function’. This is entirely true, the design of your kitchen has to make making use of the kitchen easier – looking good is also possible, but that has to be second.
Space is a very important element when designing a kitchen or any other room, because it is finite, it is limited. The kitchen is sometimes described as ‘the heart of the home’, but how do you make use of your kitchen? Do you all sit in the kitchen talking? Do you eat there or is it only used for cooking and the sporadic cup of coffee with a neighbour? Do the kids use it a lot? Do you have parties where people tend to congregate in the kitchen? The answers to these questions and others should help you determine how much ground space you need.
Storage space is the next deliberation. How much kitchen equipment do you have? Do you have lots of crockery and cooking utensils? Do you have an electrical appliance for every little chore? Do you use them often? Are you happy to have all these things in the back of a cupboard or do you want them left out? If you have children, do they have to have access to your cupboards or does access have to be restricted?
In conjunction with your requirements for floor space, you now have to work out how many cupboards you want at eye-level and how many at floor level. If your appliances have to be left out, you will need a large work surface. If your shiny copper pots and pans need to be on display, you will need rows of hooks or shelves.
Now you can go on to the kitchen catalogues and decide the design of cupboard doors that you prefer. The actual cupboards are usually all the same, that is they are manufactured to set measurements. Only the door and side panel clip-ons are different. Do you want real or fake wood? If wood, what type, light or dark? If light, do you want oak, maple or pine?
Then there is the worktop or counter top. Do you prefer resin, stone or timber? Should it match or contrast with your cupboards? The floor tiling and splash-back tiling is next. At this juncture, it is worth looking at the catalogues again and going to a home improvement centre to look at show kitchen examples.
Lighting is quite important. Do you want a light over your table with adjustable spots aimed at your worktop? Do you want to be able to turn down the light? All of them or only the main light? Back-lighting or down-lighting for the worktop is also really nice.
Owen Jones, the author of this article writes on several subjects, but is currently involved with Jet Power Tools. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please go to our website at Woodworking Power Tools