24 Jun The art of kitchen design…
Fine kitchen design is an incredibly rewarding, but intricate process which starts with a concept and then progresses through a number of practical considerations in order to achieve a space that brings the concept to life. A kitchen is an emotive and complex space in any home and one which has a number of different functions.
The designer’s challenge is to create a space that accommodates these functions effortlessly and exceeds the client’s expectations. A beautifully designed kitchen should be a joy to be in.
Here are my five top tips for fine kitchen design:
Don’t try and do everything all at once
This is the most fundamental piece of advice I could possibly give to anyone considering the design of a kitchen. There are so many things that need consideration in a good kitchen design that to try and do them all at once just makes for a messy, cluttered process and leads to bad decisions. The design process needs to be exactly that, a process, and should have a logical progression from start to finish.
Similar to point one, this is also crucial to good design – a rushed kitchen design is never going to be the best kitchen design. Every element of a good design should be there for a reason, and to get this right, time needs to be spent considering what is being done in a design and why. There should be no element of a kitchen that is superfluous.
Understand the concept for the space from the outset
It is incumbent on the designer to truly adopt the client’s concept for the space fully and to really ‘live’ it with them. The designer has to bring to life what the client can only imagine. In order to do this the first, crucial element of the design process is using all five senses to get into the mind-set of the client and understand what they are wanting to achieve.
The initial client meeting is an opportunity to take in the client’s surroundings, their way of life, the textures and colours of other rooms that they may have already completed, their interests etc. and to begin to share their enthusiasm for the vision that they have for the resulting space.
Be flexible and prepared to change
The design process is a safe, creative place, where lines exist on paper and can be easily changed. Now is the time to make all of the mistakes, try the wacky ideas, turn everything upside down and just have some fun. Sometimes the right design can be a bit elusive and only presents itself after a bit of playing about and Tom foolery. Nobody gets hurt during the design process so there should be no fear of it, if something doesn’t work then change it… as many times as necessary.
Get physical samples
Colour, pattern and texture are not things that should be considered in an abstract way – sometimes things are harmonious and sometimes they are not, even if you thought they would be. The only true way to discover if a palette works well is to get actual pieces of material, paints, timber and stone samples, fabrics etc… and put them next to each other. It is amazing how one small incorrect element can throw a whole scheme out of kilter, and likewise how an unexpected addition can really bring a scheme to life. Over the course of a kitchen design, a collection of physical samples of any elements that are being considered for the space should be built up – tile samples, wall papers, paint colours, handles…
These five tips cover the most essential elements of the design process, next time I will cover my top practical tips for kitchen design: the basic dos and don’ts of where to place things and why.