Types of kitchen – part 1


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First considerations

How will the kitchen be used and by whom. What are the clients’ particular requirements, if any. While considering these requirements, remember that the basic layout of the kitchen may last considerably longer than the present occupiers of the house and, therefore, should not be so idiosyncratic as to devalue the property. For instance, although it is common knowledge that kitchens are frequently ripped out and revamped, the general disposition of the entrance door, main window, position of sink and cooker if needing a flue, will largely condition future layouts unless substantial re-building is undertaken.

Questions to be asked

  • • How many people will the kitchen serve.
  • • Will all meals be served and eaten within, or adjoining the kitchen
  • • Or should there be a ‘breakfast bar’ in the kitchen with a more extensive dining area nearby.
  • • Is the person, who does most of the kitchen, tidy and able to work in a relatively compact area, or would they prefer a more generous layout.
  • • Do the clients have a once-a-month massive shop, and therefore require a large area of food storage, or even a separate larder.
  • • Or do they live conveniently near shops and buy food frequently, and can therefore manage with a relatively small area of food storage.

Cost

Determine whether quite basic cabinets and appliances are required, or whether no expense should be spared. If funds are limited, advise clients not to economise on the initial provision of plumbing and electrical  installations so that some appliances may be added later when more money is available

The family kitchen

The family kitchen is the key room in the house. It not only has to deal with cooking and eating, but may entail the supervision of children, whether toddlers playing on the floor, schoolage children doing homework on the table or playing in the adjacent garden.

It should have links with the outside for access to dustbins and to any outhouses which may have a second fridge-freezer. Where there is a garden, a sheltered paved area could be provided for cooking and eating outdoors, and vegetable and herbs grown for the kitchen. Ideally, the kitchen should not be too far from an outside door to reduce the distance needed to carry shopping.
In the case of the dining-kitchen, the dining area should be accessed first so as to avoid guests walking through the notnecessarily pristine cooking area.
Many clients underestimate how much time is spent in the kitchen by all the members of the family, and wish to tuck the kitchen away in a dreary, north-facing room whilst giving pride of place to the formal dining room which, often, is only used a few times a year. Except for the super-rich who can afford staff or employ outside caterers, a separate dining room has largely become an anachronism for most families. The separate dining room also involves considerably more work in  laying and clearing the table. In this respect, where kitchens are being installed in existing buildings, two adjacent rooms opened up into one makes the serving of meals and the super-
vision of children far simpler.

One essential device for the kitchen-dining room, which cannot be overestimated, is to have a barrier between the cooking and dining area which is a minimum of 1.2 m high. This can take the form of a back to counter unit with a shelf on top or storage cupboards of this height facing the dining area (see above). This device screens the kitchen counters when seated at table, and hides the inevitable mess created when serving up a meal

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  • 1 comment so far ↓

    #1 Home Blogger on 07.12.12 at 3:12 am

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    Good, detailed and relevant article. I am looking to re-design my own kitchen (hence finding your site) and will take a lot of this in to consideration, thanks!

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