Nick Fong, Co-founder of NU Infinity shares some sound advice that will help you design the kitchen of your dreams, where style marries practicality.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a foodie or not, the kitchen is where the heart of the home is. This area plays host to numerous events – from family mealtimes to gatherings and entertaining guests, socialising is always better when accompanied by food and drink.
Many homeowners try to show their kitchen some extra love by carrying out DIY renovations, only to later realise that they had spent a bomb on new cabinets, appliances and such just to end up with a kitchen that is either impractical or gaudy – or worse, both!
Fret not, for we have compiled a list of questions and answers that will go a long way in helping you on your kitchen renovation journey:
1. What is your ideal kitchen’s primary function?
This might seem like a trick question – isn’t a kitchen used for well, cooking? You would be surprised, but a kitchen can be so much more. A kitchen’s usage primarily depends on the user; people from different age groups, lifestyles and even races will have different needs and aspirations for their space.
For instance, a bachelor who eats out most of the time will not want a full-blown kitchen; he would prefer a fuss-free workstation with a bar-like setting, made perfect for hosting a group of friends or work colleagues.
Homemakers would prefer a more homely kitchen, designed specifically to cater to their passion for baking or whipping up a feast for their families on a daily basis. Meanwhile, if you aspire for a kitchen that is built to impress, do take note that having a “wow” factor should not compromise the kitchen’s functionality. Ultimately, you would want to design a kitchen that is both aesthetically pleasing and practical.
2. What type of kitchen island would suit your needs?
Having a kitchen island is the quintessential dream of every stylish homeowner. The challenge is in finding the best fit and to decide on a design which can perfectly cater to one’s needs.
An island can be used for food preparation, pastry and cake making aside from also serving as a centrepiece when you are socialising. It could function as a buffet table on which you could arrange an array of food and drinks stylishly. Some may prefer it to have different tiers of variable heights and some may prefer it to be one large flat surface.
Bear in mind that the height of an island may affect people differently; a shorter member of the family may find that their arms tire easily when using the workspace. To be on the safe side, select an adjustable kitchen island so you can alter the height as needed.
3. Are you left-handed or right-handed?
Most products in the market are designed for right-handed users, including kitchen layouts. A small matter such as being left-handed could severely affect your comfort in the kitchen. Here are a few rules lefties should abide to:
- Do not have the hob directly adjacent to a wall
- Pick a sink with a drainer on the left, this provides more countertop space on the left side
- Get custom kitchen cabinets where the doors open to the left.
The main rule of thumb when designing a kitchen is to base it on how the user interacts and manoeuvre themselves in the space. Take note of where you usually would use the chopping board, the placement of washed dishes and the spot for clean plates and bowls on standby for your cooked meals.
4. Is it necessary to have both a dry and wet kitchen?
A simple answer to this question is to ask yourself whether you will be doing heavy cooking every other day. Asians typically find comfort in preparing a proper sit-down meal consisting of various wholesome dishes, made from scratch. Should you fall into this category, then it is best to have two kitchens, where you can then confine the heavy-duty cooking to the wet kitchen.
Should you have limited space to play around with, then it is advisable to stick to a single large kitchen. It might seem like you’re losing out but on the plus side, you will have adequate room to manoeuvre around comfortably, ample worktop space and your appliances will not look hemmed in.
Bear in mind that a single kitchen will function as both a place to cook and socialize, so its design should lean more towards practicality rather than aesthetics. A clear example is by choosing a hardy countertop material such as Quartz or Granite, with a darker shade as opposed to light colour.
5. What kind of accessories and gadgets should I get for my kitchen?
Kitchen accessories and gadgets function to bring the best out of your space aside from making your life easier. No doubt some gadgets are pretty cool to have, but let’s not forget that these babies could burn a hole in your pocket. Only opt for accessories which will provide you with significant “effectiveness” value such as pull-out baskets, peanut frame baskets for blind corners and a solid utensil tray.
Fortunately, for such accessories, there are numerous brands available in the market, providing consumers with a range of pricing options from high-end to affordable.
Those considering to invest in a few gadgets can look into installing a Eubiq (flexible power track system) or a pop-up power tower that rises vertically from your kitchen counter.
6. What colour or tone should my kitchen have?
These days, most new homes which come with a fitted kitchen tend to have a white-based finishing. It is only natural as this tone is generally neutral and easily accepted by the masses. Whilst it may appear crisp and beautiful at first, the ugly truth is that anything white (of plastic nature) will gradually turn yellow with age.
It makes more sense for homeowners to select a kitchen design that would look fresh and contemporary even after a few years. This could be achieved by going for simple and clean designs and by selecting a neutral palette with evergreen materials such as stone and glass.
Great design is all about the little details. With careful planning, you will not stray too far from the fundamentals of a successful kitchen, resulting in a gorgeous space that functions beautifully as well.
Edited by Reena Kaur Bhatt