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Kitchen Design Guide: Getting Your Priorities Right

May 17, 2008
There are some universal topics that come up in the initial stages of designing a kitchen. They concern your personality and circumstances, the architecture of your house and your needs when preparing food. You need to ask yourself many questions so you can determine your priorities and anticipate future need.

The Space

* Is your kitchen properly sited in relation to other rooms in the house, and spacious enough for activities, appliances and storage required; or does it need extending or combining with other rooms?

* What is the size of your budget?

* Would you feel happier handing the entire project either partly or fully over to the professionals?

* How long will you live in your current home? Is a full - scale remodeling feasible for the value added to the property?

* Can you design a new kitchen without undermining the character of your home ? Have you considered the architectural features in the room?

The Activities

* Which activities will you do in your kitchen: food preparation and cooking; food storage; everyday eating; entertaining friends, family and business associates; catering professionally; laundry; homework from the office and school; watching television; childminding?

* Who uses the kitchen regularly ? Do you get in each other's way?

Your Needs

* What are your challenges, priorities or preferences: a view from your kitchen; a sunny exposure and more light; food preparation with maximum efficiency; a clear division between cooking and dining areas; use of the kitchen as a family room; safety for children; direct access to outside areas;

* What are the good and bad features of your current kitchen and or other kitchens you have visits?

The Equipment

* Which kitchen appliances do you want: free-standing cooker; wall oven; separate hobs; a griddle; a barbecue grill; built-in or free-standing microwave oven; refrigerator; freezer; waste-disposal unit; dishwasher; trash computer?

* How much storage space will you require for: portable cooking appliances; electric equipment; bulk foods; fresh food and groceries; wine; cutlery and china; cleaning products and equipment?

* Witch other activities would you ideally like to have better space for: sewing; laundry; homework; home office; phone; sports equipment; recycling; preserving foods; toys and games?

* Which kitchen appliances do you want: free-standing cooker; wall oven; separate hobs; a griddle; a barbecue grill; built-in or free-standing microwave oven; refrigerator; freezer; waste-disposal unit; dishwasher; trash computer?

Safety

* Install cookers and hobs away from windows -draughts may blow out gas flames and curtains might catch fire.

* Choose a non-slip floor material and always mop up spills straight away.

* Many kitchens in older house have painted walls or cabinets that cross the line from period charm to decrepitude. If paint was applied to a surfaces in your kitchen before 1980, there is a 50 percent chance that it contain lead.

* Fire is a kitchen's worst nightmare. Flank cooking areas with a non-combustible worktop material.

* Consider allocating space for a fire extinguisher or fire blanket.

* Never trail flexes across a sink or hob. Install electrical switches and power points well away from the water source.
About the Author
Jack Vallieres is the professional freelance writer. He's also the webmaster of Makedecor.com
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