Kitchen Design Hacks - 8 tips from Vince Muir

We often get asked for our tips and tricks on how to design the perfect kitchen, so we put together a few pointers on what not to do. These are a few of the most common mistakes, ones that we have seen all too often and that emphasise the importance of a well-designed kitchen. 

  1. There is usually more than one person in the kitchen during meal prep, so it is important that the kitchen has enough space for at least two people to be operating in at the same time. This doesn’t require a large floor plan, rather a few small changes that maximise the effectiveness of your space. A nice sized island with space available for prepping on both sides, or long enough for a few people to be using simultaneously, makes a huge difference in allowing a comfortable cooking space for more than one person. Having seating at your island allows those sitting and chatting while someone is cooking to get involved while not being in the way and makes the process of cooking a social and fun experience rather than isolating the cook to the kitchen alone. These are some of the most important factors in kitchen design and bringing family and friends together while cooking and preparing food is one of our priorities at Holly Wood. After all, the kitchen is the heart of the home and preparing food shouldn’t be a chore, but a fun activity for everyone. 
  2. Having good flow in the kitchen is extremely important in making the space user friendly. Harmony between each function of your kitchen can be the difference between a space you enjoy being in and one you avoid. You should never be bumping into people, or squeezing through small gaps when the fridge doors are open. Fridges and large cupboards should have enough space so that when the doors are open they are not blocking the walkways. It is important to be able to move between different sections of your kitchen space without having to navigate around units or other people. To do this, always make sure you have designated areas for specific functions, and everything needed for that function can be found in that space. For example, near the stove you should have your pot drawers. 
  3. Whilst many think cupboards are perfect for the corners of the kitchen, in actual fact they are impractical, unnecessary and also fairly costly. Alternatives would be to leave a gap or to just use one elevation and an island, with a bit of imagination it is possible to find a better, more practical solution!
  4. QUALITY RUNNERS! If there is something to spend money on in your kitchen it is getting the best quality runners and hardware that you can afford. Cheap runners cause all sorts of problems like sticking, sagging or even complete runner failure. Other clever hardware choices to make in your kitchen are pivot bins as opposed to sliding bins to avoid dirt in the runners and heavy duty runners on large drawers with enough hinges to support them and avoid sagging.
  5. One thing no one wants in their kitchen is rotting wood… water damage around a sink is pretty common and the only way to avoid this is by choosing the right kind of countertop. Engineered stone, granite, marble or stainless steel are all good options for the countertop around your sink, they’re hard wearing and impervious to water damage. 
  6. Balancing the number of drawers to cupboards in your kitchen requires forethought into where things will be stored, what will be on display and what will be put away. Drawers are best for things like cutlery and food as they are easy to access and things don’t get lost at the back whereas cupboards are best for glassware that can be easily broken and won’t withstand a heavy hand pulling open a drawer. Drawer inserts are great for cutlery, plate dowels work for separating your crockery, pan dividers ensure your cookware stays damage-free and spice racks make reaching your ingredients easier. Again, runners are important to get right here to ensure they can handle the weight and extension of the drawer. 
  7. Counters are for working on, not for storing things on and so, with the exception of your kettle, toaster and coffee machine, everything else should be kept in cupboards, drawers or open shelves above the counter. Open shelves are great for displaying those beautiful crockery items, pots and bakeware and can add splashes of colour to your kitchen.
  8. Kitchens are the heart of the home and have become something of a social hub in recent times, and so integrating your kitchen into your living area creates a more harmonious, interactive space. Adding seating to your island or any other counter space is a great way to encourage interaction and create a place perfect for gathering. 

To achieve your dream kitchen, neither your space nor your budget need to be massive. With the right design, a bit of thought, and some inspiration, you can get what you want. Settling is not an option when it comes to your kitchen, be bold with your choices while staying practical and you will end up with something incredible!