For those of you who follow my blog or instagram stories, you will know how much time I spend in my kitchen, and it’s taken many years to get it just how it works well for me and that really is the key, I stopped looking at other peoples kitchens in envy as what you want from a kitchen will vary from person to person. Some of us have large families and do lots of cooking and others simply put do not.
I decided when planning my kitchen that it would be a total renovation and by knocking out an old fireplace, moving a radiator and changing the layout of the sink and built in oven I could achieve so much more space and a better flow.
Now flow is my thing, not only is my kitchen used for a family of 5, its also my business premises, so a very busy space, I don’t want to be tripping over others whilst carrying cakes straight out the oven so I knew I needed a social space where the kids and hubby could sit and chat without getting under my feet, I started with this element of the kitchen, moving a radiator to another wall so I could incorporate a table and chairs. We previously had this in the form of an island, but I have a real love hate thing going on with kitchen islands, in interior magazines and show homes I love an island as much as the next person but it became the bain of my life and communal dumping ground for keys, phones, homework etc as well as smack bang in the centre of the kitchen totally breaking the flow, I did warn you flow is my thing!
so with island gone and somewhere to sit the family I moved my focus to the all important kitchen work triangle. What is that I hear you ask? basically where kitchen design should start, way before looking at the aesthetic of the kitchen and choosing cupboards and handles, if you get this right your kitchen will flow. A kitchen work triangle will provide efficiency into the running of your kitchen, when you think of it your main kitchen duties will revolve around the fridge, the oven and the sink, so draw imaginary lines between these 3 items to form a triangle, any shape triangle is fine and it works well in very small kitchen to very big open plan kitchens.
So once i’d worked with the kitchen planner to finalise a design it was time to choose appliances, the kitchen range, worktops, taps etc the list is endless but take your time, you’ll be living with this for some years to come. I wanted a light cheery kitchen so cream units and light flooring gave the kitchen a fresh and modern feel. I’m not a fan of loads of appliances on show, so those that could be built in were such as the dishwasher, a second fridge for my business use were all concealed. We chose a Franke sunken sink in white which isn’t for the faint hearted, I work hard to keep it clean but i looks so good, I’ll address how to keep a kitchen clean in a future blog.
As a baker and cake decorator I knew I needed a solid and hygienic work surface, as much as I desperately wanted wooded tops commercially they just don’t work for me. Granite ticked all the boxes, it stays cool even on a hot day which is perfect for rolling out fondant icing for my cakes, you can put hot pans straight onto it, it doesn’t stain, get knife marks in and doesn’t chip if you drop something on it. I won’t lie it isn’t cheap but its for life, even if I have a new kitchen in the future the granite will stay. It is so hygienic and easy to keep clean too and then there is the sparkly bits, that alone sold me on granite.
Lighting is one area we got very wrong and ended up changing it, it really is key in a kitchen, we eventually went for LED spotlights in the ceiling, with an overhead pendant light above the table, this was crucial as the kids sit there to do homework and need to see what they are doing. Then just because I loved them we put in ( when I say we I mean our amazing electrician) lights around the kick boards which reflect across the kitchen floor highlighting the grain in the oak flooring.
I debated for a long time what to put up at the windows, at one stage I wasn’t going to put anything up as we have the most amazing views from our windows, I really didn’t want to block any of it out with curtains or shutters, so we have walnut venetian blinds which stay up most of the time allowing us to see the views and stunning sunsets but when the sun is beaming through and blinding us we can pull them down as needed.
However big enough your kitchen is, you will always need more cupboards but with clever cupboard storage you can simply achieve this, we have a large cupboard as a pull out larder so when pulled out I can walk around it finding what I need. Our corner cupboard has 2 carousel shelves which pull out into the kitchen to enable you can reach everything in the cupboard and little extras like a pull out spice rack will also help with filling awkward left over spaces.
The key to designing your perfect kitchen is to observe and be aware of how you use your space, think about what you want your kitchen to give you in return, for me it is a calm relaxed free flowing feel which would be a hub for the family.
Most of all enjoy your kitchen, you’ll be spending lots of time in it