If you are a budding chef looking to renovate your kitchen, it’s important that you consider the design layout carefully. You need a layout that makes navigating the space easy; gadgets that cut down on the time it takes to prepare your favorite dishes; storage solutions that ensure all your utensils, crockery and ingredients are close at hand; and durable materials that can withstand the demands of your kitchen adventures.
Take some inspiration from our design guide below, and take the first steps towards creating the ultimate cook’s kitchen.
Obeying the kitchen work triangle is crucial when it comes to choosing the layout of your kitchen. This ergonomic principle states that you should equally space out the three most-used areas of the room—the sink, cooktop and refrigerator—in a triangle in order to improve efficiency. Each point of the triangle should be at a distance that allows easy maneuverability, and nothing should obstruct movement in-between. This YouTube video explains more.
Wherever possible, your sink should be placed beneath a window, and your oven/hob should have worktop space on at least one side. In order to experiment with the possibilities for your space, try the Wren Living kitchen planner – it’s free, and allows you to visualize almost every aspect of your desired design.
Kitchen units and worktops
There are a range of options when it comes to worktop materials, and each have their pros and cons. However, budding chefs may find granite the best choice: it’s extremely durable, attractive and easy to maintain. The surface is stain, water, and heat-resistant; and its cool, smooth surface is perfect when you’re working with pastry. This 4Homes guide has information about the other countertops available.
Super-strong solid wood is great for kitchen units, and also looks stunning – just make sure to look out for those with a smooth wipe-clean finish. Choose soft-close drawers and doors so you don’t have to endure slams while you’re cooking.
Consider installing an eye-level oven, as this enables you to check on your dishes without uncomfortable stooping. The type of range you choose should depend entirely on your preferences, but most cooks enjoy the flexibility offered by gas rings.
Your sink should have a vegetable drainer and a spray-hose tap so that you can easily clean produce. And, if your budget allows, install a garbage disposal system—these ensure food waste is discarded without mess or smells. Also, make sure you have an extractor fan to help eliminate steam and unwanted odors from your kitchen.
Photo Sources: 1. Alexander Design Group, 2. Pickell Architecture, 3. Carolina Design Associates, 4. Kohler, 5. Home & Stone, 6. Smith & Vansant Architects, 7. Drury Design, 8. Fiorella Design, 9. Thacher & Thompson Architects, 10. Dorn Homes, 11. Murphy & Co Design, 12. Studio 212 Interiors, 13. Smith & Vansant Architects, 14. SF Architecture, 15. Airoom, 16. Witt Construction, 17. Crisp Architects, 18. Cameo Kitchens, 19. Ahmann LLC, 20. Great Spaces, 21. Turan Designs, 22. Gast Architects, 23. Justrich Design, 24. Studio Swann
Lovingly coined ‘the Shack,” this rustic modern cottage designed by Feldman Architecture is an escape from City life for a busy San Francisco couple in Ross, California. The existing home was composed of low ceilings and partition walls creating dark spaces. However, the home held the potential for beautiful mountain views and if one looked carefully, hints of character and charm emerged. Rare old growth redwood siding of the original home and a Sonoma stone fireplace were both maintained as prominent features of the renovation.
During phase one, the original Douglas Fir ceilings were revealed as the sloped roof was opened up and inspired the use of reclaimed, local woods for the mantel, floors and interior doors. These woods warm the interiors and compliment the views to the gardens and Mount Baldy beyond. The kitchen and living room were opened up to an outdoor seating and dining area. Given the limited space and the open views from the living room, the kitchen cabinets were planned down to the details, much like a ship’s galley. The bathroom was brightened with a large translucent window and light porcelain tiles.
SIZE OF HOME: Phase 1 – 706sf / Phase 2 addition – 657sf + 260sf garage
Shortly after the first phase finished, design and construction began on phase two, including a two story addition, garage with green roof and stepped terraces with a swimming pool. The addition extends the area of living room and adds a second floor master suite with sweeping views of Mount Baldy. The addition and garage are primarily made of materials similar to the original house with board and batten siding in a natural stain.
Photos: Phil Bond