A kitchen is by far one of the most important rooms in any house. It is the activities in this small room that can lead to comfort and happiness in the rest of the house. This is a particular room or part of a room where people prepare meals in a living or commercial establishment.
Kitchen has evolved through the ages from the old open place cooking areas to more specific rooms. The invention of cooking range equipment like stoves and spit roasters led to such evolution.
From firewood potteries through iron, copper and bronze pots on coal to modern steel on ovens, the change is evident.
Careful planning and design need to be put in place when putting up the kitchen area. The position of various equipment in the kitchen determined the ease of working there. It is also imperative to understand the following parts of a kitchen.
The Scullery – This is a wash up area. It is the point in the kitchen where you wash all utensils. It consists of the sinks, dishwashers and other equipment used for cleaning.
The Prep Area – It is the food preparation area. It is composed of items such as knives, cutting boards, large bowls and other preparation kitchen tools. This is where vegetables cleaned and cut.
Meat Room – A meat room can be a part of or separate from the preparation area. This is where only meat is stored and prepared for cooking.
Bread Room – It is also known as the bakery. This place is perfect for all preparation from dough making to the baking of cakes, bread rolls, and pies. This may also be a separate area or a part of the pre-area.
Lunch area – This is the dining area in the kitchen where people have their meals.
Cooking area – This area stations all cooking appliances. It is the area where the actual cooking takes place.
A kitchen design outcomes rely heavily on the understanding of various kitchen items and how to classify them.
Different classes of equipment get their place in a particular manner in a specific area. Equipment found in the kitchen include the following.
Non-mechanical equipment – This category is made up of equipment that doesn’t have moving parts. These are mostly the hand-held items in the kitchen.
The list is long but includes bowls, all cutlery, pans, oven trays and dishes, rolling pins and boards, benches, stock pot and shelving.
Mechanical Equipment – The kitchen also utilizes mechanical tools due to the rigorous, tiresome and time-consuming tasks carried out.
These devices can easily be moved or even operated using the hands. Examples include egg slicer, kitchen scissors, can openers, scales, vegetable mill, mortar and pestle, pan scales and floor scales.
Powered Equipment – Machines are known to do bigger tasks efficiently within a shorter time.
A lot of kitchen equipment big and small is powered to ensure work is done faster with superior outcome. Most equipment uses electricity. However, some devices like boilers, ovens, and steamers make use of steam, gas or wood.
Equipment like mechanical knives are mobile and easily operated by hand while others like ovens are bid and fixed.
Other Equipment in this category include the following. Blenders, electric mixers, microwaves, deep fryers, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, salamander, char grill, and ovens.
Fixed Storage areas – These are fixed sections of the kitchen meant for storage of food and devices. Such areas include kitchen cabinets, drawers, sink area, and tables.
Personal taste, preference of color and appliances to use in designing a kitchen is mostly a personal choice.
Transforming this small area into the hub of the whole house requires more than personal taste. Space available, layout, maintenance and practicality of the plan determine how functional the kitchen will be.
For optimum functionality of your kitchen, you need to consider the following:
Budget Available – Lack of proper budgeting when designing the kitchen can lead to skyrocketing expenditure.
A proper plan of what is required and how much each will cost can prevent overspending. It is important to decide the floor and ceiling of your expenditure at the planning stage.
Ensure that essential items such as floor, cabinets, and countertops are prioritized first.
Needs and Layout – Activities to be carried out in the kitchen largely dictate the final plan. Cooking activities differ from one person to another. Despite these variations, design for all kitchens should follow the triangle theory.
The theory dictates that every kitchen should have a natural pathway between the sink, cooktop, and fridge. The countertop should also have sufficient space between items for optimal efficiency.
Cabinetry and Storage. This is often determined by personal preference. There are a variety of choices in material and design to choose from. Wood is the most preferred material in this case.
Laminated and vinyl coated materials are also used to make cabinets. In all cases, kitchen cabinets should be durable, inexpensive and easy to maintain. Basic kitchen cabinetry should include ample island and drawers below the countertop.
Flooring – The kitchen floor is the most used part of the kitchen. The constant walking, sliding, spillage and knocks it gets can easily wear it out.
The choice of a kitchen floor should be guided by its ease of cleaning, durability, appearance and comfort of walking.
Work Surface – This includes the walking area and countertops. These areas are largely determined by activities being carried out.
Regardless of the length, durability, and ease of cleaning and working there should be the guiding factors. Laminated surfaces are good for countertops.
Upon ensuring that all factors are covered before executing a kitchen design, the following steps and ideas are useful in designing a smart and clean kitchen.
Build a better backsplash. The kitchen cannot avoid getting stains every once in a while. Putting up a surface that will withstand grease splatter or sauce stain will ensure an ever smart kitchen. A good backsplash material would be easy to scrub.
Trash it. There is a lot of garbage and trash generated from constant cooking. Designing a discreet, convenient and smell trapping wastebin would be a big plus to the kitchen. You can place Such item under the sink.
Function over Form. It is important to resist the temptation of having certain items in the house before their function is determined. Sleek, luxurious marble tops or wooden floors are good looking but may get scratch or crack.
Embrace Neutral Color. Dark colored surfaces in the kitchen add to its beauty. However, due to activities in the kitchen, dark shouting colors readily amplify scratches or stains on them. Choosing gray colors ensures the partial hiding of imperfections
Set up a proper kitchen. Ensure the kitchen can withstand boiling water and all chores such as food preparation and dishwashing.
Pull out shelves are more convenient for tools storage.
On the other hand, pull up seats ensure than your company in the kitchen is comfortable. There should be a distinct difference between the bar stool and kitchen stool.
Lastly, a good speaker addition in the kitchen makes cooking more fun.