What elements you need to get right when designing a timeless kitchen.
As a designer I’m aways looking how am I delivering & designing a timeless kitchen for my clients. firstly it’s all about super functional kitchen that will suit the home. Secondly selection timeless finishes and materials, that the current clients of the home will love. Plus I’m also thinking for when the homeowners decide to sell and move on. I think it’s every designer’s responsibility to think of these points, so instead of a home renovation lasting 5 years they last potentially 20+ years.
The kitchen is the hub of the home, it’s the most important room to get right and it’s the hardest to detail and get right. It takes a lot of planning and more planning, Macro view then a micro view to get right.
When I’m explaining a timeless kitchen I’m not really talking about a particular style, like classic provincial or Hamptons. The requirement for a timeless kitchen is a balance for choosing the right colour selections and materials and layout/ functionality.
Free Video Workshop: Timeless Kitchen design trends for 2023
Dreaming of your new kitchen design? Make sure you watch this free workshop where I delve into how you can create a timeless kitchen design. As an interior designer (with 20+ yrs exp) I hate the word ‘trend’ it sounds so disposable. What I want to focus on is timeless trends I foresee sticking around in Australian Kitchen Design market.
7 elements to get right, when designing a timeless kitchen:
1. The island bench becomes the hub of the home.
The kitchen island becomes a hub of the home, discussions, platters, entertaining, kids homework. Casual chats, quick breakfast bites. I will always try and persuade a client to create an island/with sitting/stools area, even if the dining table is opposite. Because it leaves the dining table for more formal meals area.
Designer: Frankly Interior Design via Est Living
2. Practical design: creating zones
Creating zones, such as cooking zone, washing zone, storage zone, breakfast/ coffee zones.. room to open your dishwasher and load it in a manner that’s easy to unload and place items nearby in drawers/ cupboards. As kitchens become larger and larger this ca become more difficult to achieve.
3. Efficient Design
Talking about the kitchen triangle distance from the hob/stove top/oven to the fridge and sink… I would also add the pantry. Sculleries or walk in pantries are becoming popular too, but you have to work out is it necessary.
Create plenty of walk-through space. The Flow. between the island and the back benchtop. –stool area. Also think about the proximity of dining, lounge room and ideally Alfresco living and their relation back to the kitchen.
5. Achievable heights
Kitchens are also becoming taller! Cabinetry to the ceilings is a trend forming and ceilings can be quite high over 3m. remember the avg reaching height is 1700mm high with a 600mm wide benchtop. So more thought needs to be put into making the accessible cupboards the right height, for practical and aesthetically what will look best. The space above for higher cupboards needs to be thought of as long-term storage.
You also need to assess if you need a bulkhead above the kitchen upper cabinets or leave the space open. This depends on the space available and if there are any exposed beams you need to work with. As a rule, I like to design with a bulkhead just running along where the overhead cabinets meet the ceiling, and create as much height as possible, for pendants over the island.
Designer: GSiD via Est Living
6. The lighting scheme
It’s imperative to get right, please don’t just do downlights. Yuk & boring! Do pendants (dimmable) add some personality, or wall lights, think about LED strip lighting, if you’re going for a more modern design style kitchen. The lighting there, is a significant lack of understanding of how to do this right. For a kitchen, you need task lighting, mid-range ambience lighting and soft lighting – so the lights bounce around the room and so you can ideally turn off ceiling lights to create a moody atmosphere.
7. Selecting timeless finishes
Finishes are imperative to get right. The flooring needs to be in harmony with the benchtops, the cabinetry and overhead cupboards, down to handles, tapware and even window frame finishes. If you’re renovating, and you are keeping your floor you need to use the floor as your foundation, find the correct base tone and start selecting other colours from the floor, up.
Also, another issue I see, is clients picking a wall colour first as a bright white because ‘that’s in’. This really restricts you from getting the benchtop and cabinets to pop. If you’re going for white cabinets, these need to look brighter than the wall colour. Paint comes in 1000’s available tones, cabinets come in a few hundred choices. Always choose paint colours at the end of the selection process.
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For more interior design inspiration, have a look at these posts:
KITCHENS: Defining a Timeless kitchen >>
KITCHENS: Which Kitchen benchtop to go with? >
RENOVATING: Choosing a renovation contractor or Builder? >>
STUDIO PROJECT: Before & After of a warm contemporary Kitchen design
RENOVATING: Our 9 staged Interior Design Process>>