Designing your dream kitchen -Interior Design Advice

Designing your dream kitchen -Interior Design Advice

There are a few key elements when designing your dream kitchen that you need to consider.  Award winning interior designer Susan Quirke shares some invaluable tips.

1.       Is the room that the kitchen is being set in going to be an open plan room leading into the living room, or is it a separate kitchen area?  Consider how much natural light the room gets as well as floor to ceiling height.  Its also important to consider the overall look of your home.  All these elements are key to consider and tie in when looking at the kitchen.  If you get quite a lot of natural light you can more easily play around with dramatic textures and colours.

2.       How do you use your kitchen?  This may seem like an odd question as we are all generally doing the same thing in our kitchens! However, some people like a more social kitchen and some people see the space as more functional. Therefore a social kitchen area will have a greater importance placed on the island area as a gathering space. Some clients hate cooking with their back to their guests so want the hob included on the island instead of further back. These all affect the design.


Kitchen Design by SieMatic


Kitchen Design by SieMatic

3.     Consider the overall layout of your kitchen according to the style of your room.  If you have a long narrow room then this will suit a galley style kitchen, or if you have the chance to open up the space by maybe taking out a non-structural wall then this will allow the kitchen to be part of the overall room and more of a feature. There will be limitations but you need to look at all these options at the beginning.

4.     Consider materials - This is a major element of the kitchen and there are so many choices . You may decide to opt for a neutral base with white units and then a dramatic splash back or worktop.  It all depends on your taste but don’t be afraid to be bold and blend colours and materials together. Some clients want a really industrial style kitchen with lots of stainless steel and stone and some want a very modern sleek kitchen that blends more with the overall furniture etc. Adding some colour with the splash back or some high level units is a good way of creating something dramatic with a neutral base. Look at the flooring and walls as well as lighting when choosing your materials, as the kitchen is an area that can look cold if not done well.


Kitchen Design by QMC

5.       Consider lighting - This is a key element for the space to keep it from looking cold, and for highlighting the beautiful materials. There are so many options available now.  You can have illuminated edge lit doors, or light shining from behind a frosted glass front or down onto a dramatic splash back. Make sure the lighting is integrated into the kitchen itself and also within the overall room, so that it’s a cohesive scheme that softens the space and allows for flexibility.

Kitchen Design by QMC

6.       Kitchen Dining - This has now become a major part of the kitchen, where clients want to integrate the dining element as part of the kitchen by adding a table to the side of the island in the same materials or creating a more useable bar area that combines as an eating space. It’s no longer a case of cooking in the kitchen area and moving to another room it’s now a much more social room where people combine having après dinner drinks or casual eating as part of the kitchen itself.

Kitchen Design by QMC

Kitchen Design by QMC

7.        Consider the shape of the kitchen - Incorporating an island gives you greater flexibility to do something exciting with your design.  The kitchen no longer needs to be a rectangular shape as you can now add curves, circular ends and soften up the space. Even if you prefer a more standard shaped kitchen, by adding a ceiling feature overhead or softening the ends with a curved worktop, it will add to the overall design of your kitchen.

Credit: mostbeautifulthings.net

8.      Practical elements - These include where you want the sink in comparison to the oven. Whether you want a large fridge and whether you want a washing machine combined into the kitchen design. Consider how many sockets you need and where they should be positioned. Do you want a TV in the kitchen while you are cooking? Do you want a wine fridge or coffee machine? Make out your list of wants and needs. Some things may be on your wish list and not must haves, but it’s really helpful to get everything down on paper first.

There are many considerations when thinking about your dream kitchen and as its one of the most expensive if not the most expensive element of your home, it’s crucial to plan upfront and look at all the options. You can have a white kitchen with a jewel like splash back or a dark timber kitchen with an illuminated island area. The key elements are to make sure the kitchen works in your specific space not just in the showroom.  Make sure all elements are thought through from flooring to wall colours to lighting and the electrical element so that you get exactly what you want. Think about everything upfront and make sure you understand your own space and taste before you start looking in showrooms, which have masses of space and retail lighting. What looks great in a showroom may not look as good in your home.

Susan Quirke MD www.q-mc.co.uk

Image credits: Quirke McNamara Consultancy

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