Planning a wedding and designing your first home are both daunting tasks, which can push even the most organised and patient person to the end of their tether. Which tone of tiles should you go for? How soft do you need the sofa? (answer: very!). How do you fit everything you need into an open plan without making it look messy? And, the challenges may, indeed, seem insurmountable when it comes to working out the infinite amount of details which go into sorting your kitchen out.
So, OurWedding approached the experts at PM Hobby in Mriehel, who specialise in helping clients do up their homes with practical solutions, for some tips on how to smoothen the process.
1. Find your layout
“Start by measuring the space you have. Draw up a floor plan with measurements – you will be needing this when shopping around for quotes,” Elaine from PM Hobby advises. “Determining the amount of space you’ve got will help you select the best layout for the area.” The most common layouts are the L-shaped; U-shaped, including a breakfast bar; galley kitchens, which are appropriate for small homes and consist of a narrow set-up with counters running along the same axis; or parallel shaped, which emphasises the passageway in a kitchen. If you have a lot of space to play with, you could even opt for a floating island. Now, doesn’t that sound exotic!
2. The Appliances
Most of the cost which goes into purchasing a kitchen goes into the appliances. You want them to last long and they must be placed within easy reach, wherever you are in the space. “Well-placed appliances will not only balance the kitchen design but will also help you operate more efficiently while working in the kitchen,” Elaine says. “The goal is to reduce unnecessary steps between appliances. When possible, follow the kitchen triangle rule. This places the refrigerator, sink and cooking surface in a triangle formation.”
3. Work zones
But what if you have multiple appliances? Where do you put your bread-maker and smoothie machine without your kitchen looking like it’s right out of Kitchens Nightmares? “Although the kitchen triangle is a classic rule, it only assumes three appliances, while most of today’s kitchens include multiple appliances such as a microwave, oven and dishwasher. Therefore, we need to create zones for separate tasks,” Elaine explains. “The most important zone would be the preparation zone, where ingredients are washed, organised and chopped. This zone should include ample worktop space and storage close by. The fridge should also be located close to this zone. Furthermore, the cooking zone incorporates the cooking surface, microwave and oven, and these should be close to the preparation area. Finally, the cleaning space, which includes the sink and dishwasher, should be organised so you can finish the cleaning up quickly and get back to relaxing!”
3. Dressing up the kitchen
With most of today’s kitchens being open plan, the practical needs to be accompanied by the attractive – and this should fit in with your lifestyle and personal tastes. Some thought needs to go into the colour scheme, the material of the cabinets and whether you’re opting for solid wood or laminate, according to Elaine. “The possibilities are endless! Solid wooden doors tend to be more traditional, since the grain can be stained in various colours and tones, and you can even opt for panelling. But laminate doors are the most versatile, both in terms of style and practicality. They can come in replicas of wood, with a textured feel, solid colours, and in gloss or soft matt; they are also easier to clean and more resistant to unexpected impacts,” she says.
4. Kitchen worktops
Whether you love cooking or not, there is no doubt that the kitchen will have to be used to carry out a task: preparing food to feed yourselves. Plenty of surface space is always a boon (after all, you don’t want to run out of countertop, and have to make do with the floor!). Elaine at PM Hobby considers the kitchen worktop “the most important surface” which “needs to be resistant to all the impacts in the kitchen while also looking good.” She recommends a Postform brand, with a 10-year warranty, such as that offered by German brand Getalit. “Postform worktops are safe to use, as well as being steam, chemical and heat resistant. A good Postform top will resist up to 230◦C! They are also impervious to impact and abrasion,” she explains. Of course, these come in a smorgasbord of textures, finishes and colours – just keep it consistent!
5. Kitchen storage
A cluttered kitchen is a demoralising sight to come home to at the end of a long working day. But, if you choose your gadgets well enough, and find a place to keep each item – even if on open shelves - you will maximise the qualities of the room, Elaine says. “Make use of kitchen equipment which helps you work more efficiently and maximise your cabinet storage. For example, instead of squeezing into difficult-to-reach corners, you can use pull-outs so that your items come out to you. Pull-out baskets and drawers are also a good option for inconvenient spots like that space under the micro/oven unit,” she explains. And, don’t forget to stock up on jars and accessories which will get add some pizzazz to your kitchen look.
6. Finishing touches
Keep an eye on the detail to ensure your space looks finished to the highest of standards. “Final touches include choosing splashbacks; worktop finishes; floor plinths, and even the tableware. Of these latter, the most popular are those produced in a neutral chrome colour which match the appliances, handles, or even the doors.” Another design decision, according to Elaine, is whether to go for handle-less cupboards or not. “Handle finishes and design possibilities are endless and these match the wide range of kitchen styles,” she says. So, with all these choices ahead of you, time to get cracking.
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