Top kitchen design tips from leading Architect
We asked leading Hampshire based Architect Stuart Bone to give us his top kitchen design tips when considering a kitchen extension or open plan kitchen living space project.
1. Don’t be too afraid to move your kitchen. There may be some reasons for keeping your kitchen in the same place such as service positions but in many cases these can be moved so don’t always let this hold you back. Electrical wiring is best renewed in such a project, so sockets are in the right place. You also get the peace of mind that the wiring is checked and certified to the correct standard. Another reason for thinking about repositioning a kitchen could be that it can be less disruptive while the work is going on, as the old kitchen could still function until the new one is ready.
2. Kitchen Islands can be great but only if they fit. We have all seen island kitchens and how desirable they are. They are all the rage in cookery shows such as ‘The Great British Bakeoff’. Many of our clients ask for Islands nowadays. However they don’t always fit into the space available. To work an Island needs space around it. Think about alternatives, like peninsular units, which can give a similar effect if the space is not there.
3. Wall units, if you must. Cupboard space is undeniably useful, but it doesn’t always make a great look.
Even with lighting, wall units above a working area can compromise the use of the worktop. There is also usually a gap between the wall unit and the ceiling which is wasted, rather ugly and the proportions of the room are sometimes lost. Think about concentrating much of your storage in a full height space, along one wall, leaving the worktop free and full of natural light.
4. It’s great to have enough sockets for every single appliance that you might have, or acquire in the future, but once out and plugged in that ice-cream maker that you only occasionally use can begin to be a permanent presence in the kitchen and visible from everywhere in the room. Better perhaps to have enough cupboard space to hide these really useful gadgets away until they are truly needed, leaving your worktops beautifully clear.
5. Remember that with an island, or a peninsular unit you may be showing the face of the kitchen not normally seen, like the back of base units. See this as an opportunity for some expression, or if you like, go a bit wild. This will be the visible face of your kitchen, from the rest of the room. You put Art on the walls, so why not treat your kitchen as an extension of your taste throughout the house?
Stuart Bone BA (Hons) Dip Arch, Director at PWP Architects, Havant, Hampshire