Working together: Kitchen Design, designers and Installers
Planning and designing a kitchen in a new home extension is undoubtedly a thrilling and creative endeavour. However, it can be fraught with complexities, particularly when it comes to efficiently zoning the space, ensuring harmonious integration with the rest of the property, and handling practical elements such as lighting and room flow. In this article, we delve into in-depth advice and suggestions for tackling these challenges, with the goal of creating a highly functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen space.
Mastering the Art of Zoning
Zoning a kitchen space within a new extension commences with a comprehensive understanding of the client's aspirations and functional needs. It's paramount to take into account all the features they want to include, from utility cupboards and WCs to specific areas for hanging coats. To create a well-zoned kitchen, it's crucial to organise these areas in a way that utilises the space most efficiently, thus preventing excessive use of room and the emergence of unproductive or 'dead' zones within the kitchen. Careful planning can result in a kitchen that caters to the homeowners' needs without sacrificing space or functionality.
Creating a Seamless Connection with the Rest of the House
Establishing a sense of continuity with the existing house, particularly when the extension is a contemporary addition to a period property, can pose a significant challenge. One effective method is to extend a similar flooring style or tone throughout the new and old areas. Options such as engineered oak flooring, straight board, or parquet could harmonise both spaces, creating a seamless flow. Another important aspect to consider when maintaining cohesion is the logical connection to other areas of the house. For instance, situating the coat area near the hallway allows for convenient access and supports the feeling of a united space.
Ensuring a Welcoming and Warm Atmosphere
Preventing a new kitchen extension from giving off a cold or cavernous vibe requires thoughtful selection of colours and textures. Incorporating warm hues and tactile materials can contribute significantly to the atmosphere. You might want to consider off- or warm-white tones, like the Ammonite shade from Farrow & Ball, renowned for their warming effect. Additionally, introducing elements such as exposed brickwork can infuse a traditional character into the new space. This helps to achieve a balance of detail that doesn't border on the cluttered or overly busy, yet ensures the room doesn't feel bare or stark.
Practical Elements: Accessibility and Flow
The crux of practical considerations is related to the flow of traffic and accessibility within the space. The positioning of the main entry point into the kitchen can impact how people move through the room. The goal is to ensure a smooth, unobstructed flow of traffic. This can be achieved by reducing the number of entry points into the kitchen — the fewer entries, the easier it is to optimise and zone the space. Proper planning of access points can contribute to a functional, user-friendly kitchen layout.
Shedding Light on the Importance of Illumination
Lighting holds a pivotal role in the overall ambiance and functionality of a kitchen. While kitchens can generally tolerate being in slightly darker areas compared to dining or living spaces, it is always advisable to maximise natural light whenever possible. One approach is to keep the back wall, especially if it leads to a garden, as open as possible. This strategy not only lets in an abundance of light but also provides pleasing views of the outside, enhancing the overall kitchen experience.
Forging a Connection Between Inside and Outside Spaces
Creating a seamless transition between the kitchen extension and the garden or other outdoor spaces is essential for achieving a harmonious aesthetic. This can be done by extending a continuous exposed brick wall from the interior to the exterior, thereby drawing the eye through the house. Additionally, matching floor tiles from the kitchen to the patio can further blend the two areas, resulting in a cohesive space that integrates the indoors with the outdoors effortlessly.
Sidestepping Common Pitfalls in Kitchen Design
When embarking on the journey of designing a kitchen in a new extension, it is wise to be aware of potential pitfalls. A common misstep to avoid is obstructing the primary access points or limiting sources of natural light. As emphasised earlier, retaining as much of the back wall leading to the garden as possible can help to maximise both light and views. By taking this comprehensive advice onboard, you can pave the way for a kitchen extension that is not only functional but is also a pleasing and seamless addition to your home.