How to design the perfect kitchen | Part 1 |

This idea has been reintroduced over the years, and today a kitchen should offer more than functionality: it should be the centre of family reunion, sometimes replacing the function of the dining or living room.

Anyone who has ever organised a party in their own home knows that no matter how comfortable and inviting the sofa and a fireplace may be, where everyone ends up meeting is in the kitchen. In fact I consider it is possible to determine the degree of friendliness of the people gathered in a home by the time they spend around the kitchen.


Where can I find an inspiration?

From modern to classic, from extravagant to minimalist: Just Google "Kitchens" “images” and innumerable ideas and inspiration on how to decorate a kitchen for all tastes will be seen. Although portals such as Instagram, Houzz, Inhabitat etc have better and more up to date styles.


Moreover in those portals if you see a kitchen that you like, with a single click you can add the photograph to your book of ideas. Books of ideas are used to collect inspiration. You can add or delete photos at any time, as well as change your order manually. In addition, text fields that are predefined in idea books allow you to include personal comments to your favourite projects. The idea books already created are stored automatically in your profile so you always have all your ideas in sight.


How do I start designing a kitchen?

There are different styles with which you can decorate a kitchen. Since space must primarily reflect our individuality, it is first essential to define your own personality or taste. Once this point is clear, you can start making decisions regarding colour, layout and style of cooking that we want to use. Do you want a kitchen with an island or, on  just a standard kitchen? Do we want to bet on shiny finishes or do we prefer soft ones? What kind of flooring combines best with the selected kitchen surfaces?


The biggest challenge in planning a kitchen is to know how to combine taste and functionality. I will unveil some of my tricks to combine everything and provide you with some inspiration.

I know that the term perfection when referring to kitchens is a subjective concept, accepting that each of us has a different idea of what would be an ideal kitchen, everyone agrees, however, that kitchens should be the heart of every home. 


Let’s decorate our kitchen in an easy way

Although to decorate a kitchen we will always put our personal preferences first, there are basic rules that can be followed when designing the kitchen in order to get the most space and achieve an acceptable aesthetic.


When designing a kitchen, or any other stay in the house, it is important to be faithful to the personal style of each house or internal space, as long as we take into account the conditions of our space, such as ceiling height shape of the kitchen, type of work space or the depth of the cabinets, for example will dictate the way to go forward as our kitchen should fit comfortably within those limitations. For example a narrow kitchen space will perhaps tell me to heighten the length of the counters but selecting a top quality work top.


And how can we decorate our kitchen without too many complications? A modular kitchen is the best and most economical option combining all the elements according to our wishes. It does not matter if we decide for an "L" or U-shaped kitchen, for a kitchen island or for an American kitchen, just break down the spaces into smaller part i.e. washing, cooking, dining areas etc and then deal with each one separately.


The importance of the surfaces

If we have already decided on the shape of the kitchen, and the amount of individual spaces the next step is the choice of materials. If we finally settle for glass, paint, steel, wood or plastic, it will be a matter of both price and taste. In addition to the durability of the material, you must consider other aspects, such as texture and colours before making a decision. Generally, what works best for kitchen walls are simple designs that do not become out of fashion over a short period of time and are also easier to maintain. However, when it comes to possible combinations, do not be afraid to mix materials! Thus, an aluminium refrigerator easily combines with lacquered cabinets, or smooth granite my combines with a wooden floor.


What colours do I choose for the walls?

As for colours of the kitchen walls, you can already experiment a little more. Since painting the kitchen walls is a much faster and a more economical process than replacing cabinet doors, it is much easier to introduce cheerful colours to the kitchen through your walls. In this way, the kitchens can be updated providing a different tone with a few brush strokes. On the other hand, dark colours walls make light kitchens furniture stand out even more. We can use this option when the kitchen furniture is expensive and we want to direct people attention to it. Bright colours add an extra to simpler furniture. So before replacing the entire kitchen, we can first try to give a new coat of paint to the walls and see what you think.


Black versus white

As for colours to be used in kitchens, a timeless design is generally advised. White kitchens whether in glossy tones or matte are the absolute classic. Opting for a kitchen in black is a little more daring, but if it is integrated with other light colours or forming part of a colour scheme, dark kitchens can have their charm.


However, the size and brightness of the room should not be underestimated, while the large and bright rooms tolerate a black kitchen a small, dark rooms on the other hand seem optically wider if you opt for a white kitchen. My advice; choose white if you are conservative or the kitchen itself has little light or it is small, go for of dark colour if you have a large space but must be part of a more sophisticated colour scheme. 


What kind of floor finish do I use for my kitchen?

When it comes to choosing a kitchen floor, hygiene should be the main factor. When cooking or baking something can always go wrong and part of the lovely pudding may land on the floor, a good idea is to opt for an easy to maintain floor, obviously. Here in Spain you can obtain good quality floor tile for very reasonable price, 8€ a square meter and if you know where to look for even less than that.

However if you are more creative you can also include wood, stones (preferably granites) or maybe concrete with a resin finish a, while the use of carpets is clearly out of place here. So in the end we should end up gravitating to a style of kitchen that apart from its functionality and hygiene, it must also combines with the rest of the house or apartment, especially if it is an open kitchen.


Other important recommendations 

In addition to form and materials, another aspect to plan our kitchen is its layout. So that dishes, pots and cups can be kept minimally ordered, we must have considered in advance certain aspects: From where can to store the tomatoes, where to place the refrigerator, to where to wash and cut those tomatoes? Equally important is to carry out a detailed inventory, which will clarify if we need more drawers, shelves or cabinets. If we consider all these points in advance, we can plan and equip a kitchen to best suit us.


What should I keep in mind when buying a kitchen?

Before buying a kitchen, you have to take into consideration the situation of the room. While a kitchen with island fits in open spaces, in small rooms is much better a standard kitchen. Nor are irrelevant the position and size of windows, ceiling and the design of walls or floors, since the kitchen has to fit well taking into account all of these factors. Another decision that must be taken in advance is the question of whether the dining room should be integrated into the kitchen and how we should do it. During the purchase it is advised to focus, along with the functionality and quality of the kitchen, on its durability, as we want it to last as long as possible. Another equally important reason is to follow a timeless design, or at least to design a kitchen that we are sure we will continue to enjoy in the long term.


How do I design an open kitchen?

To make an open kitchen, it is necessary of course to have sufficient space. This may seem a truism but often people start designing an island kitchen to arrive to the conclusion afterwards that their space is too small, however, even in a small apartments, it is always possible demolish internal partitions to integrate the kitchen space with the dining area or even with the living room. An open kitchen goes hand in hand with a kitchen with island, but for this you do need plenty of space. When designing a kitchen / dining room order is an important aspect. Although the island is used to integrate the kitchen dining and possibly living space into a fully habitable area, it should never be too messy. So kitchen cabinets must be well thought of to store pots, pans and other piece and pieces, it should not be too problematic to maintain a working kitchen into a well ordered space permanently. It is important that all utensils in the kitchen have their place and refrain from placing decorative items that may takes up useful space.


What if my kitchen is too small?

If we only have a small space for the kitchen, we have two options. One, opt for small modular kitchen, but being consistent with design; In other words, follow the same colour scheme as for the floor, walls and kitchen furniture. Two, we can choose a mini-kitchen. There are several “smart” kitchen models that integrate multiple functions. Turning, folding and sliding elements creates a hidden storage space, so that the kitchen looks kept tidy and does not give up any of its functionalities.


Good luck and be creative my friends!!

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