When designing a functional kitchen, it all starts with creating your list. Lists are the KEY. It allows you to gather access your thoughts of the key kitchen elements you need and desire to have. Start with your kitchen design needs. What are your non-negotiables in the space? Be realistic. The key elements like fridge, range, dishwasher then continue down the list, to the type of countertops, hardware, plumbing and lighting fixtures.
Get in the know
It is great to know what you like but is also super helpful to know what you don’t like too. Sourcing specific items will greatly narrow down your time searching. For example, if you know for sure you don’t want your counter stools to be backless, you don’t even have to entertain that style while on the hunt!
It’s a bit of a thing of the past. You need to find out how YOU move within your space. In general, you want to have your three main work areas (fridge, sink, range) close together, but don’t forget this is a guideline. As long as it works for the way you and your family function that’s the main thing.
No kitchen blues
Be ready to set up a make-shift kitchen for around 8 weeks. A lot of the time people are unaware of the timeline a kitchen renovation will truly take. Plan accordingly and make sure that BBQ is in working order and keep your local pizza joint on speed dial.
Make it functional
When our team designs kitchens the majority of the cabinets will be drawer style. You are able to access the entire space vs. a full-height door cabinet, where most of the time the upper part of the cabinet is not being used. Extra unique storage items add into the design like cookie sheets, cutting board pull-outs, pull-outs to access blind corners, oil and spice pulls out on either side of the cooking areas for optimal function are also great additions.
Above all you want to be able to see what you’re doing in the kitchen. Especially when you are using a knife or cheese grater… you all know what I’m talking about. We use lots of layered lighting to help illuminate all of the surfaces in our kitchens. General lighting (pot lights), decorative pendants, and under-cabinet lighting is the bare minimum for us. Trust me, you are going to want all 3. As well as add in those dimmers.
A few things will factor in what type of seating you select. Having a back on your counter stool is always nice, more so if you spend lots of time socializing in your kitchen. Sometimes, if there is a bit more of a pinch point (less than 40″ between your countertop overhang and on an object like the wall) you may want to go with something backless. A backless stool will take up less space and can tuck all the way under your countertop Don’t even get me started on built-in banquette seating… if you have space and can swing it the answer is a resounding YES every time.
Cook Up Style
We love to leave areas for little stylish moments. Floating shelves are a great area to display those special dishes, plants, and cookbooks. If you don’t have space for floaters you can always do a styling against your backsplash area combining cutting boards, cookbooks, and decorative items.
The kitchen is the hub of any home. Give some thought to the design and functional aspects required. If you are looking for a sign to do a kitchen reno, THIS IS IT. Do it. Now Is the time to love your kitchen again.
Award winning Designer Michelle Berwick is the Principal & Creative Founder of Michelle Berwick Design. For almost a decade this notable GTA firm has become sought after for providing livable stylish and uniquely personal interiors.