5 Inspiring Ways to Design Your New Kitchen Around Your Lifestyle
Have you had the same kitchen for the last 20+ years? If so, it’s likely that it badly needs updating, and even more likely that it doesn’t suit your lifestyle or needs very well. There might be ways you’ve gotten around it (like adding stand-alone cabinets for extra dishes and silverware, or crowding your already small counter-space with all your appliances).
Now, step into your chaotic kitchen and imagine a completely new space designed not as an afterthought, but as a custom room made just for you! It’s easier to achieve than you think, but it does require a some thought and direction.
Everyone uses their kitchen in different ways. If you’re a master chef, you spend a good amount of time cooking and use lots of tools. Those of us with a lot of people to feed need to be as efficient as possible for preparation and cleanup. Anyone who has guests over often will need to consider storage space for extra dinnerware and serving tools.
If you’re going to renovate your cookie cutter kitchen, why not optimize the space and features so you can get the most out of it? Before you decide to renovate your kitchen, redesign it! Sit down and consider your lifestyle, and what your needs are.
Here are a few questions to get you started thinking about your brand-new kitchen’s design:
1. How many people use your kitchen?
Does your kitchen often feel crowded? Or maybe you’re the only one in your household who does the cooking and cleaning. Deciding on the layout of your space depends on how much you can use for storage and prep space, and how much you need to leave for yourself! Smacking elbows with your partner or roommate while you’re using the stove is annoying at best, and dangerous at worst.
Ask yourself where you need the space most, and no matter what, be sure to leave ample room around well-used items like sinks, stoves, microwaves, and fridges.
2. How important are your appliances, and how often do you use them?
One of the worst culprits for taking up space and making a kitchen look cluttered is too many appliances sitting out. Before you design your kitchen space, think about which appliances you use on a daily basis. If you aren’t using your toaster or blender more than twice a week, it could be worthwhile to create an easy-access drawer that stores it until you need to take it out. This will seriously free up your counter space, and make your kitchen look clean and decluttered.
For those appliances you do use daily, like a coffee machine or microwave, blend them into the kitchen design, and place them where they’re easy to access. A microwave positioned too high is a major pain, and a coffee machine that isn’t near a sink can be difficult to empty and refill. Consider the steps you take for daily preparation. If you’re steaming vegetables and cooking pasta often, keep your stove nearer your sink for easy draining. If you’re planning on prepping vegetables on an island, consider putting in a draw-out garbage bin for simple cleanup.
3. How often do you entertain, and how many people?
Entertaining adds an extra element to kitchen design. People who entertain often want to be able to interact with their guests as they prepare a meal. Optimally, you’ll be able to connect your dining space directly to your kitchen. If you have a separate dining room, consider adding an island with a bar in the kitchen, so your guests can relax with a cocktail or coffee while you put the finishing touches on dinner.
You’ll also want to consider storage for extra dinnerware and silverware. Feature cabinets with glass can be a great touch to show off your fine china, and still provide easy access when you need to take it all out for a dinner party. Another helpful addition might be a double oven so you can prep dessert and dinner all at the same time!
4. Which “extras” would you actually use on a daily basis?
Before you start adding features to your kitchen just for the sake of having them, think about what your main challenges are. If you have kids and pets and often find yourself sweeping up, a vacuum dustpan is an incredible investment you won’t regret. Lots of people like the idea of having an island, but if you live alone and you don’t necessarily need that extra counter space, a small dining space to eat on the go could be much more useful. Someone who drinks tea often might want to budget for a hot water tap, while someone who prefers coffee might want to feature a coffee bar.
5. How much storage and prep space do you need?
Limited space is a problem in many kitchens. If you’re designing a kitchen in your brand new, not-even-built-yet home, congrats! Take a deep breath, because chances are, you can spread your kitchen out any which way you like. For those working with pre-existing space, fitting everything in without feeling claustrophobic can be difficult.
If you have limited space, there are a range of ways to get more storage and prep space, without leaving yourself without room to work. A great idea is an island that combines storage, dining, and prep space, or even an island that pulls out just for those occasions when you need it. A well-designed pantry can allow you to stock up on everything you need, without feeling disorganized or crowded.
Creating functional spaces and innovative designs in your kitchen is something Cristal Renovations has endless experience with. If you need a kitchen that works harder for you and you have questions or feel stuck, get in touch to talk to one of our design experts!