There is a plethora of advice and a paucity of assistance when it comes to designing your dream kitchen. Advice changes, as fashions change, with the seasons. One minute everything is stainless steel, the next it is retro and pastels. The most important thing to remember about kitchen design is to start with the basics. Forget fashion for a moment, and read up on the ultimate kitchen design do’s and don’ts. If you can think about light, colour, space and storage before making any decisions, you’ll be thinking like a pro.
Let There Be Light
Light is absolutely essential for your kitchen, and with a smaller space it is even more important to consider your light sources. The more light you can throw on to your work spaces the better. Light should guide your design decisions. Natural light can be bounced and enhanced, but it can never be created. Do not fall for the recent inexplicable trend for curtains in your kitchen. Instead, opt for roller blinds, which will maximise the available light during the day. Bouncing light around your kitchen is now a possibility with glossy kitchen cabinets and shiny splashbacks. Skilfully placed, they will brighten up dark corners.
Image courtesy of Granite Transformations
There is a constant battle for storage over style and vice versa in kitchens. Designers have tried to address this by coming up with ideas which utilise every space available. The addition of under-cupboard plinth storage and ceiling-high cupboards helps enormously with storage, so take full advantage of every design trick on offer. Even large kitchens need all the storage space they can cram in. Large kitchens often double up as dining areas, so consider using a kitchen island as it offers a work surface, storage space and dining area in one.
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Skylights can be an answer to both the storage and lighting problem. By throwing light downwards and outwards, the need for small windows is reduced, freeing up valuable vertical wall space which can then be used for high-rise cupboards. With a galley kitchen, consider installing French windows opening out on to your garden. If you lay a deck right outside the exit you can leave the windows open during the summer, increasing the feeling of space by making a garden room.
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Think carefully about colour. A dark colour and dark units may close a small kitchen down, but will add immense drama to a larger kitchen. Dark colours are great for evening dining and entertaining, but if you are trying to maximise light it will be swallowed up by gloomy shades. Gloss cupboard doors are really popular at the moment, and they do add a real sense of chic and prestige to your kitchen. Think about textures and finishes at the same time as you consider light to make the best use of what you have. By keeping tall cabinets the same colour you can add a sense of height to a kitchen with a low ceiling. Using white wall cabinets on the walls and more brightly coloured base units gives a sense of space too. Another favourite trick that designers use is installing units which are on legs, giving the illusion of more floor space. Add a shiny floor surface and the effect is increased.
Image courtesy of Ideastodecor