The Heart of a Home - Kitchens

They are where people come together to socialise and to share a meal.





Cate Davey

The Heart of a Home - Kitchens

They are where people come together to socialise and to share a meal.

Whether you love to cook or not every house has a kitchen, which over time, has evolved to become not just the separate, engine room of house but the main feature with open plan living incorporating the kitchen sink into the living space! Look at any modern build today, whether it is a house, unit or mansion and you will be likely to find a kitchen and dining area, with the lounge room often within the same room too.

‘Form follows function’ is a principle associated with late 19th and early 20th century architecture and industrial design in general, and it means the shape of a building or object should primarily relate to its intended function or purpose. So, what does this mean for you when looking at homes and primarily when it comes to the kitchen?

Assess what your needs are in terms of a kitchen layout, storage, bench space and floor plan. You will also need to consider the basic principles of interior design:

Balance and symmetry - A well-balanced room communicates a sense of relaxation and security. When you enter a space that follows the kitchen design principle of balance, the whole room will feel centred and composed throughout. To create a balanced room, start with a centre point. As the point where your gaze lands, this is typically the literal centre of a wall or room, though it may not be. Around that centre, build symmetry.

Focal points - Common kitchen focal points include the stovetop, backsplash, and hood, but your kitchen’s focal point may be a sink, centre island, or a window. Ideally, other objects in the room will support and not compete with the decided focal point, although larger spaces might benefit from having multiple focal points.

Scale and proportion - The kitchen design principles of scale and proportion ensure that elements in a room are properly sized in relation to one another. Any object should be scaled relative to its surroundings so as not to seem too large or too small for a room. For example, a huge double fridge freezer may be too imposing in a small kitchen.

Consider what kitchen layout would suit your needs, if you don’t spend much time in the kitchen you may want a simple design, for those with families a larger floorplan that open into a family room may be more suitable. The various kitchen designs are:

One wall - Cabinets and appliances are fixed on a single wall.

Galley style - is characterized by two walls opposite of each other—or two parallel countertops with a walkway in between them

L- shape - maximizing corner space it consists of countertops on two adjoining walls that are perpendicular, forming an L.

U-shape/Horseshoe - has three walls of cabinets/appliances. Today, this design has evolved from three walls to an L-shaped kitchen with an island forming the third “wall.”

Peninsula - is a connected island, converting an L-shaped layout into a horseshoe, or turning a horseshoe kitchen into a G-shaped design.

Other things to look for in your kitchen are benchtop materials e.g. Laminex, stainless steel, wood, marble, granite, ceramic or concrete. Take into account what is serviceable, easy to clean and won’t stain or wear too easily.

Cosmetic changes are easily done in kitchens if you don’t like the existing cupboard doors or want to change your benchtops. Shop online or at your local hardware stores who offer flat pack and modular kitchens which can transform a dated kitchen into a sleek, streamlined modern wonder.

Storage for kitchens comes in a huge array of options nowadays with soft close drawers and pot drawers replacing traditional cupboards, corner cupboards with carousels, pull out pantry and spice drawers, hidden bins and floor to ceiling cupboards have all made creating your own kitchen space relatively easy to achieve without expensive renovations.

When purchasing a new home and considering updating, kitchen appliances would be the single biggest element of the kitchen that comes down to what you prefer to use and can also be the most expensive. Cooktops come in electric, gas and induction, stoves can be woodfired, electric or a combination of both, fridges and freezers can be side by side, single or plumbed in for water and ice. Rangehoods also come in a vast array of designs and are often a statement piece with architectural elements that make it the focal point. Dishwashers are now considered an essential item and come in a variety of options such as single or double drawer, slim line and are environmentally friendly and water efficient.

Finally, a quick tip that isn’t costly when looking at updating the look of a tired kitchen is a fresh coat of paint and new lighting fixtures. Downlights, over bench lighting, under counter, pendants all can create a new look in your new home. The options are endless.

Kitchens are the heart of the home. They are where people come together to socialise and to share a meal. Where special occasions and memories are created from intimate dinner parties, family meals and the Christmas dinner to birthday cakes. Kitchens have come a long way from backrooms or basements hidden away from view to being celebrated and becoming the centre of a home.
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