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Designing your kitchen: functionality and aesthetics

How to design a kitchen

Designing a kitchen can be a unique experience and, if you’re not sure how to do it, also stressful. This applies whether you are renovating your current home or designing a new kitchen from scratch. The risk is feeling overwhelmed by the number of decisions to make: from organizing the utilities to the furniture, from choosing the appliances to adopting the style.

The reason for all this? It's simple. The kitchen is the heart of the home, the room where we spend most of our time. It’s where functionality and practicality must be perfectly balanced with the available space and dimensions. Not surprisingly, designing and furnishing a kitchen requires time, the right attention, and a touch of creativity. The kitchen is a place that must not only be functional, reflecting the style and personality of those who live in it, but also practical because it is the beating heart of the entire house.

Some tips to follow for designing your kitchen

When immersed in the world of kitchens, it’s natural to seek inspiration and ideas online or on social media. Sometimes, instead, we rely on the advice of relatives and friends to compare their experiences or to trust the opinion of someone who seems more capable than us.

During the kitchen design journey, however, it’s easy to fall into some common mistakes. To avoid this, we’ve gathered some tips because we want to help ensure that designing your kitchen is a happy moment in your life and a path free from as many obstacles and stress as possible.

First of all, evaluate the space

Using the floor plan of the room designated for the kitchen, you can outline a project draft that takes into account the dimensions and shape of the available space, allowing you to better plan the arrangement of elements. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Side Space: Ensure you leave enough space around the furniture for easy and convenient opening of doors. This will guarantee greater practicality during daily use of the kitchen.
  • Working Distance from Appliances: Plan for at least one meter of space in front of drawers, the dishwasher, the oven, and other appliances you will use daily, so you can work more comfortably and use them without obstacles.
  • Height of Elements: Position the countertop at a comfortable height, around 90 cm from the ground, and the cabinets at an accessible distance, a maximum of 140 cm. Also, make sure the hood is positioned correctly, at a distance of about 60-70 cm from the stove, for better vapor and smoke extraction.
  • Placement of Electrical Outlets: Outlets should be positioned about 30 cm from the ground, while those for the hood should be placed at a height of about 180 cm. Outlets for smaller appliances should be positioned at least 60 cm from the sink for safety reasons.

Carefully considering these aspects, your kitchen design will be more suited to everyday life.

The importance of kitchen type

Whether you have an open space or a separate room for your kitchen, it is essential to adapt the design to the specific characteristics of the environment. There are different types of kitchens to consider, each with its own distinct advantages. The main types to consider are:

  • Linear Kitchen: This is the ideal type of kitchen for narrower and elongated spaces. The linear kitchen involves arranging the furniture along a single wall, maximizing space and facilitating the workflow. It is particularly suitable for those seeking efficient solutions but must contain their kitchen in limited spaces.
  • Corner Kitchen: Perfect for optimizing the corners of the room, this type of kitchen involves placing appliances and furniture in the corners between two connected walls, making the best use of the available area. It is the ideal choice if you want to use every centimeter of space but still have to deal with the limited dimensions of the room.
  • U-Shaped Kitchen: A U-shaped kitchen, so-called for the arrangement of elements along three sides, offers functional and flexible organization, aimed at maximizing the available space. This kitchen creates a spacious environment and allows for better organization of furniture and appliances, facilitating movement between different work areas. Designing a U-shaped kitchen is the best advice for those who desire ample space during meal preparation but want to ensure they can maintain a certain order. However, it is important to consider that this type of kitchen may not be the best choice for open spaces.
  • Kitchen with Island: The kitchen with an island is characterized by a section separate from the rest, usually positioned towards the center of the room and used as a dining table or additional workspace. This type of kitchen requires ample space and specific planning of utilities, especially if you want to integrate a stove or sink on the island. It is perfect for those who desire a multifunctional kitchen environment and a classic design.
  • Kitchen with Peninsula: Similar to the kitchen with an island but with a protruding part compared to the central body, this type of kitchen can be used as a worktop or cooking area, as well as a breakfast area or for quick meals. It is a versatile choice for those who desire a functional and welcoming kitchen area.

Each type of kitchen offers specific advantages and adapts to your needs and requirements.

Remember that details make the difference

Designing a kitchen requires particular attention to details, and among these is certainly the choice of finishes. It is important to keep one thing in mind: “functionality first.”

In the kitchen, aesthetics matter, but you must always remember the purpose of the room you are designing. For this reason, the finishes must be pleasant to the eye but also of high quality, resistant, and durable.

Another thing to consider is the choice of materials. For the flooring, common options include parquet, laminate, and porcelain stoneware. The latter is particularly suitable for the kitchen environment due to its resistance and stylistic versatility. In any case, make sure to choose a material that meets your needs.

In a kitchen, there’s another thing that needs its dose of attention: the color. To best design the color of your kitchen, it is essential to consider the lighting of the room and the tone of the furniture. If the walls and furniture are light and the room is well-lit, you can opt for a dark floor and create a beautiful contrast. Conversely, if the room is small and lacks natural light, a light floor can create the illusion of a much larger space.

When it comes to choosing the right color, you can start with the classics, such as:

  • White Kitchen: Choosing a white kitchen is a timeless classic. This bright color is ideal for creating a sense of space and cleanliness in the environment. A white kitchen reflects light, making spaces brighter and more spacious. Moreover, it offers great versatility in pairing with other colors and materials, allowing you to personalize the style of the environment according to your preferences.
  • Black Kitchen: A black kitchen adds a touch of elegance and modernity to the environment. It is an increasingly chosen option by Italian families. However, it is important to consider that black absorbs light, so it is essential to have good lighting, natural or artificial, to avoid the space from appearing too dark. A black kitchen can create a sophisticated and refined atmosphere but requires careful design to balance its visual impact.
  • Gray Kitchen: Gray is a versatile and sophisticated color that suits many decor styles. A gray kitchen can create a contemporary and elegant atmosphere without being too dominant in the environment. Moreover, gray is a color that can be easily paired with other tones and materials, giving you the possibility of personalizing the room. The neutral tone of a gray kitchen is perfect for those who desire a refined and timeless style.
  • Wood Kitchen: A wood kitchen offers a warm, welcoming, and natural atmosphere, perfect for those who love rustic or traditional style. Wood conveys a sense of comfort and familiarity. Moreover, it is a resistant and durable material that can be easily paired with other furnishing elements to create a unique style.

Carefully considering these points and evaluating the options available to you, you will be able to select the perfect finishes for your kitchen.

Have you ever heard of the kitchen triangle rule?

You might think it’s a complicated geometry rule and has nothing to do with furnishing and designing your kitchen. In reality, this scientific rule is fundamental for a well-designed and practical kitchen.

Imagine your kitchen divided into three key areas: the cooking area, the washing area, and the storage area. Positioning these areas to form a hypothetical triangle is the core of the triangle rule. The goal is for the sum of the distances between these areas to be less than 6 meters, allowing for smooth movements while working in the kitchen. So, why should you care about this triangle? Simple: it will help you reduce travel time and optimize space, making your kitchen not only functional but also pleasant to use. Even if the sum of the distances slightly exceeds 6 meters, the rule can still be applied, but if it far exceeds this threshold, it might be necessary to reconsider the design. It is particularly useful for kitchens with islands, peninsulas, or corners, but also for linear kitchens, where correct positioning of the different areas is essential to ensure maximum efficiency.

The classic question: "where do I put this?"

The placement of appliances is an aspect to consider carefully during the design of your kitchen. Placing the sink and the stove close to each other facilitates movements during food preparation, while installing the dishwasher next to the sink helps avoid dirt and water spills during dish unloading.

Always remember to design your kitchen to respond to your actual needs and strategically arrange appliances, areas, and furniture. Optimizing the workflow allows you to have everything at hand, reducing preparation and cleaning times.

Especially avoid the constant feeling of never having enough space.

Another tip is to choose energy-efficient appliances. On one hand, your wallet will be happy, and on the other, you also protect the environment.

Induction cooktop or traditional stove?

In recent years, induction cooktops have gained popularity thanks to their practicality and safety. This technology allows for easy temperature regulation and reduces the risk of accidental burns because it transfers heat directly to the pot without significant dispersion.

On the other hand, gas stoves still hold a prominent position among cooking enthusiasts for their versatility and familiarity. Experienced chefs often appreciate the precision and control offered by an open flame, which allows for instant temperature adjustment and adaptability to different cooking techniques.

When designing your kitchen, remember to keep in mind the choices you will have to face.

And finally, a last useful tip

When designing your kitchen, it is essential to ensure that the final result fully reflects your desires and needs. Take the time to fully understand how you use the space and adapt the design accordingly. The first step is to design it with the fewest necessary elements and then add extras if space allows, especially if you have a kitchen with limited dimensions. During the design phase, remember that freedom of movement is crucial, especially while cooking, to avoid domestic accidents or unintentionally spilling utensils, dishes, and food on the floor. Even if it may be tempting to follow current trends, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to designing your kitchen. This space should reflect your unique way of living and working, creating an environment that is truly yours.

Do you have any questions?

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