The saying that beauty is only skin deep is true for kitchens, as well as life in general. If you’re renovating, building or planning to buy, when it comes to the heart of the home, it’s crucial to see beyond a kitchen’s impressive exterior to how it functions. A beautiful, on-trend kitchen can be a showpiece but, if the area doesn’t work effectively, using it can be an ugly experience.
Fortunately, while choosing the fixtures, fittings and finishes of a kitchen can be overwhelming, the foundations to a successful, high-functioning kitchen exist outside the realms of style: they are straightforward and clear-cut.
The golden triangle
If you’re in the process of, or planning to build a kitchen, knowledge of the golden triangle is a must. The golden triangle consists of the kitchens three main work spaces – the stove, sink and fridge – to form a triangle to ensure optimum flow in the working space. Grabbing vegetables from the fridge, peeling them in the sink and then moving them to the oven to roast becomes a seamless exercise. The areas for food storage, preparing and then cooking should all be within a few arm lengths. There is even a magic set of numbers for this ergonomic setup: the triangle should be between 1.2m and 2.7m, for optimal functionality.
The dishwasher and cupboard marriage
The kitchen triangle is paramount, but so is the relationship between the dishwasher and where its inhabitants are stored. When you open the dishwasher, the cupboards and drawers where things such as plates, bowls, spoons and forks are kept should be within immediate reach. Removing clean crockery and placing them straight in their drawer, which is within arm’s length, is key. This setup not only makes putting things away simpler, but quicker too.
Generous storage and bench space
It’s easy to muddle these pivotal elements even when we understand that kitchens need adequate bench space to prepare food and entertain guests. At least 300mm of bench on either side of the stove ensures food prep and cooking is a dream. Likewise, having space to keep all the kitchen paraphernalia is important. As a guide, a kitchen for a three-person household or more should have roughly 3.3m of wall cupboards and 2.7m of base cabinet storage. Making sure there is bench space on the kitchen’s perimeter will allow people to gather without clogging the essential work space.
For an add-on creature comfort endorsed by those in the know, consider installing a pot filler tap above the stove to put an end to lugging a heavy pot of water from the sink to the stovetop.
Creating a beautiful kitchen is important, but its function is crucial. Consulting a professional before undertaking a new kitchen design will help to ensure these vital elements are met.