The kitchen is the hub of any modern home. It needs to be stylish yet functional, a comfortable space to inhabit and simple to maintain. Here are some points to consider when designing a new kitchen or upgrading your old one.
1. The hob you choose is arguably the most important aspect of a modern kitchen. When it comes to cleanliness, induction hobs are by far the easiest to wipe down. But if you’ve just got to have a gas cooker, go for brushed aluminium; it’s simple to clean, with a contemporary aesthetic.
2. Be sure to invest in a decent extraction hood that will extract moisture and grease before it gets a chance to settle on your surfaces and fittings.
3. Wooden surfaces look beautiful, but require intensive maintenance. Consider glass counters, or even polished concrete, for a contemporary and functional alternative. Quartz, Corian and laminates are also good choices that don’t have grout to scrub and never require sealing.
4. You will want to choose wisely when installing a new backsplash. Tiles can be beautiful, but where there are tiles there is grout, and where there is grout there is mould and grime. Either use a large tile to minimise areas of grout, or try an alternative material like stainless steel or glass.
5. Storage. Frameless cabinets are in and ornamentation is out – clean horizontal lines define the modern kitchen. Elaborate wooden fittings tend to discolour as grease collects around the ornaments so it’s always best to avoid these.
There are many ingenious storage solutions on the market today, like roll-out pantries, which optimize use of space and keep your disordered larder nicely out of sight behind a smooth surface.
Open shelves are a prevalent design feature of many modern kitchens, but are only practical for items in regular circulation; leaving old crockery on a shelf to collect dust and grease is not a good look. A couple of shelves for plates and bowls etc. is a nice touch, especially when placed next to the sink or dishwasher to make the tidying up that little bit more efficient.
6. Integrate your appliances. Hide ugly objects behind uniform cabinet doors or purchase built-in appliances which will add to the fluidity of your design and keep your beautiful surfaces free of clutter. You can find a wide range of Bosch appliances from the Co-operative electrical shop.
7. Don’t forget the kitchen sink. A double sink with a manoeuvrable mixer faucet and combined draining board will greatly improve the functionality of any kitchen.
8. Choose suitable flooring. Again, try to avoid tiles as they will inevitably collect grime between them and the sealant can perish if not kept scrupulously clean. Go for linoleum or laminates for a smooth surface that your mop will love.
9. Islands are a great design element if you have the space – it can also double up as an extra work surface or a breakfast bar.
10. A beautiful kitchen longs to be kept clean. Create a continuity of neutral colours with your units, surfaces and fittings, interspersed with complementary colour accents on smaller objects, such as bar stools or lighting.
You can also keep your kitchen energy efficient by using Energy Monitors
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