Kitchen Flooring Guide
The kitchen is one of the most high-traffic areas in the house, so durability, low maintenance, easy clean and non-slip options should be high on your list of priorities. Here you’ll find style tips on what to consider when choosing kitchen designs.
Kitchen Flooring Guide
Kitchen Flooring Guide
Style tips for your kitchen designs
Kitchens often end up being the centre of a household, as the place where we cook all of our meals and, ever more frequently, gather to eat as well. In this role as the social and activity hub of the home, kitchens have become multi-purpose rooms; not only places where we cook, but also places that we want to be comfortable enough to sit and chat with friends and family too.
When designing a classy kitchen we should have all of this functionality in mind. Also, as kitchens usually need to be installed by professionals, a lot of the design will be based around key features such as the sink, oven and fridge which restricts your design freedom a little. These restrictions make design choices for kitchens big decisions - before you get to think about what sort of design nuances you like best, you have to think about the fundamental layout.
Despite this there are still a number of aspects of design that you can maintain full control over when planning your kitchen, so, to help you out, we have compiled a short list of things that you should bear in mind to keep your kitchen your own
Colour schemes are a safe starting point for any room design. While the usual colour rules apply there are certain specific tips that can help you out when deciding which end of the spectrum to show off in your kitchen.
Much like a bathroom, a kitchen will always feel much better when it is clean, and that means light and space are important. Light colours will help with this: The kitchen is a functional place where you really want to be able to see what you're doing after all! That doesn't preclude having dark sideboards though, deep browns and glossy blacks can look really good in a kitchen, but if you do decide to go dark on the surfaces, you might want to lift the contrast elsewhere in the room with lighter colours on the walls. High contrast is the key to avoid ending up with a dingy looking room that can often come from using too rich colour schemes.
The colours you use will also have to match some of the compulsory kitchen appliances. While dishwashers and fridges can often be hidden behind matching coloured doors, sinks, ovens and hobs can't be, so you want to avoid clashes in colour where possible. Most such features will only come in white or chrome/stainless steel; you won't want to have off-white tiling next to white porcelain or beige/greys next to stainless steel, so think what appliances you'll be going for before buying your tiles and paint!
To keep things clean in the kitchen you probably shouldn't go for too many different colours either: Two or three-tone schemes are ideal to keep the lines in a kitchen sharp, and to stop things from looking cluttered or, worse, dirty.
All that said, the kitchen is a great place for some wilder colours if that is your sort of style. You want your design to reflect your own tastes in both style and food. That might mean fresh citrus colours or light blues and greens. You shouldn't ever feel that you need to keep things plain in a kitchen: Strong reds and blues can look great if you want to make your room feel vibrant. The kitchen, more than any other room, is certainly the place for this.
Due to plumbing and electrics most people won't get to pick where in their house the kitchen will be. And that will often mean that you have to work your design around a pre-determined space. This might mean working in a very small and cramped room or a cold and open one. It might also mean that you have to incorporate your kitchen into a dining or sitting area, especially if you live in a flat.
Unfortunately, the space might end up restricting your design choices, but in many cases multi-functional rooms, or limited space can offer more unique design opportunities.
Cramped kitchens will need very careful consideration of storage. More shelving, especially up high, can draw the room in and make it feel even more enclosed. However, cunning kitchen designers can incorporate storage in ever more ingenious ways, with bins, dishwashers and appliances incorporated into the fabric of the kitchen. Kitchens are such modern spaces that it's well worth investigating the cutting edge gadgets available that can help clear things out the way and emphasise your space. Having sideboards and preparation areas that fold away can be a really handy way to making the most of the space you have and help keep your design simple.
The other crucial issue in a kitchen space is lighting and windows. Most kitchens do have windows which can be perfect for natural light and ventilation, but if your kitchen is windowless you're going to have to ensure that your preparation areas are in the most well lit areas. This might mean having to incorporate lighting into the undersides of your cupboards.
Some of the most important design decisions you will have to make in your kitchen will be to do with how much you expand the purpose of your space. While sinks and ovens are pretty much a sure thing whatever the size of your kitchen, you're going to have to make a decision on whether you want extra space for eating or sitting.
One of the most popular extra features in a kitchen is a breakfast bar: The small space for eating on the go if you don't have enough room for a proper dining area. Breakfast bars, or any kitchen eating area, can be great for a kitchen design as they turn a highly practical room into one that can be shared with others. Having a space with seating is ideal if you want to cook with friends or family or if you like to have extra space to spread out when cooking. Seating areas also help split up a kitchen if it adjoins another room, effectively adding a barrier between a cooking area and a living area.
Linked to this is another important kitchen design decision you might have to make when renovating - and that is whether or not to go open plan. Going open plan can often be a big job as you'll almost always have to bring in the professionals to help. However, it's also a great design feature that can open up a room creating space and, more importantly, light. Before making big design decisions like this you'll want to weigh up the pros and cons of living in this sort of space; having a kitchen linked to a living room, for instance, means that the noises and smells of a kitchen can't be blocked out; having a kitchen linked to a dining room can be great for social dinner parties but it will mean that your processes and potential messes are on display to all of your guests!
Open plan kitchens don't have to be limited to dining and living areas though. Opening your kitchen up to conservatories or outside areas can be a really great way to freshen up your kitchen, bring in the light and create a shared area for social occasions, especially in the summer. If you find you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, any sort of open plan space can help turn a simple area for cooking into the social focal point of your home.
Style tips for your kitchen designs - Darren Palmer