How to design a practical and functional kitchen?
The kitchen alone symbolizes conviviality! We love to simmer good meals there and meet there with family or friends to share good times at the table. Whether small or spacious, closed or open, it is the favorite room in the house for many of us. To make the most of it and make it an easy place to live in on a daily basis, it is essential to adapt it to your needs. Here are all our tips for a functional and practical kitchen!
THE ACTIVITY TRIANGLE: A METHOD TO OPTIMIZE MOVEMENTS IN THE KITCHEN
The famous “activity triangle” is a key method for limiting your movements in the kitchen. It aims to optimize circulation between the 3 activity areas of the kitchen, namely the preparation and cooking station (oven, hob, worktop), washing station (sink and dishwasher) and the cold zone (refrigerator). The principle is simple, these three poles must form a triangle so that everything is within reach. This method will prevent you from multiplying unnecessary round trips. Thanks to the minutes saved, you can, for example, dedicate more time to monitoring the cooking and you will no longer have any excuses if your dish is not successful! The activity triangle can fit almost any kitchen layout.
THE DIFFERENT KITCHEN LAYOUTS:
THE I-SHAPED KITCHEN: FOR SMALL SPACES
The I-shaped kitchen is especially present in small spaces such as studios. In this design, the activity triangle is not feasible. However, this does not mean that it is not possible to optimize its layout. We recommend positioning the cooking space between the sink and the cold area. This space is, in fact, central in the daily use of the kitchen.
THE PARALLEL KITCHEN: IT FACILITATES STORAGE
The parallel kitchen undeniably offers more space than the I-shaped kitchen. It takes its name from the two linear units generally facing each other. In its layout, we prefer to dedicate a space to cooking and preparation while on the other side, one end will be dedicated to the cold area while the other end will be dedicated to the washing area.
THE L-SHAPED KITCHEN: AN EASY ROOM TO FIT OUT
The L-shaped kitchen offers a layout that naturally facilitates the establishment of the famous activity triangle. This shape frees up space on one side to install your table and your chairs or stools.
THE U-SHAPED KITCHEN: FOR LARGE SPACES
THE ISLAND KITCHEN: FOR SPACIOUS DINING AREAS
Like the U-shaped kitchen, the island one is preferable for spacious kitchens. The island provides additional storage and prep space. Count a clearance all around the island of at least 1 meter to 1.20 meters to facilitate traffic around. The island becomes the central element of the room where you can eat there. We do not hesitate to associate snack stools to settle there. Before choosing this type of kitchen, it should nevertheless be ensured that potential water, gas or electricity connections are possible at this location.
OPTIMIZE YOUR KITCHEN SPACE
A practical and functional kitchen must be designed according to the specificities of the room in which it will find its place. From its conception, it must be thought out to avoid wasted spaces, unsightly areas that leave the piping visible or even furniture that is too imposing and not suited to your room. Several solutions are available to you to adapt your furniture to the constraints of your room.
CHOOSE BUILT-IN APPLIANCES
To optimize the space in your room, choose built-in appliances. This visually lightens the facades of your kitchen by blending perfectly into the decor, sometimes even going so far as to take on its appearance. The oven is one of the essential models. Position it 80 or 90 cm from the ground to make it easier to use and protect children!
BET ON WELL-THOUGHT-OUT STORAGE
Corner units and made-to-measure storage that adapt to the volumes of your room are your best allies to avoid unused corners. They ensure a kitchen that is both practical and aesthetic. Many optimization tricks are possible. For example, do not hesitate to use tall furniture? Furniture with 92 cm hight generally saves you 30% more space compared to standard furniture. Higher can mean less accessible, so only store what you use the least on top and keep items you use every day in lower storage. Likewise, it goes without saying that each drawer has its own use and avoid mixing everything up for a tidy kitchen!
DECLUTTER YOUR COUNTERTOP
A work plan that is too cluttered complicates the preparation of meals and daily tasks and gives the impression of clutter! For an easy-going and practical kitchen, remove everything lying around and put them in the cupboards. Choose a space of at least 45 cm between your work surface and the wall units to add small shelves to your sideboard to store your spices, for example. This can also allow you to place your household appliances that could not be built in. Also remember to leave a space near your refrigerator to put your shopping there and plan at least 60 cm in direct proximity to the cooking area to put your dishes there!
DEFINE YOUR SPACES WITH EVERYTHING YOU NEED AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
In line with the activity triangle, each of your 3 kitchen spaces must be designed so that a maximum of elements inherent to the area are within reach. For example, within the washing area, the trash can, the sink and the dishwasher must be nearby. The crockery storage should ideally be located above the sink or the dishwasher for more practicality, etc. Also think about the details that can be very important for your comfort! We do not necessarily think about it, but if you are right-handed, it is better to position your dishwasher on the left of the tank and the reverse if you are left-handed.
CHOOSE GOOD LIGHTING
The lighting in the kitchen is very important, because it brings comfort and allows you to feel good there by creating an atmosphere adapted to your desires! To succeed, it is generally advisable to multiply the light sources. Here are all the types of lighting you can find in your dining area:
- Natural lighting: this is the natural light offered by your openings on the outside (bay window, window, etc.). Ideally having a naturally bright kitchen is ideal. Nevertheless, rest assured, if you are not lucky enough to have a kitchen with large openings, you can make up for it with the different solutions listed below.
- The main lighting: it aims to illuminate your entire room. It is recommended to adapt it according to the configuration of the kitchen. If your room is long and narrow, we recommend an alignment of spots. For a U-shaped kitchen, a ceiling light will be ideal in order to diffuse the light evenly throughout the room.
- Functional lighting:it brings brightness to a defined space. This lighting mainly concerns the work plan which requires a lot of light when you are developing and preparing your recipes! It therefore generally takes place under tall furniture. These are usually built-in spotlights or LED strips. Many possibilities are available to you! Be careful, however, not to abuse these light sources which could, if they are too strong, bother you when preparing your meals. It is for this reason that we advise you to opt for lighting with dimmers to modulate the brightness according to your needs. Apart from the work plan, other points of light are important. We can cite for example the hood or even the light integrated in the drawers.
- Decorative lighting: as its name suggests, it above all allows you to personalize your interior according to your desires. The functional aspect is not the priority. Nevertheless, he participates in a cuisine where one feels good. In this case, it is a purely aesthetic criterion. It can be, for example, illuminated windows that highlight your decorative objects.
CAREFULLY CHOOSE THE MATERIALS AND COLORS OF YOUR KITCHEN
DO NOT MULTIPLY COLORS AND MATERIALS
Designing a kitchen is good, but colors and materials should be chosen sparingly and harmoniously. Indeed, opting for a large choice of different colors and materials can quickly create visual confusion and significantly complicate the maintenance of the dining area. Indeed, all the colors do not associate with each other, which can give rise to decorations that are a little too atypical and give the impression of overloading the space. Similarly, each material requires specific maintenance, which does not facilitate cleaning. The rule to follow for colors and materials: opt for two or three variations maximum so as not to create a counterproductive hodgepodge!
USE MATERIALS THAT ARE EASY TO MAINTAIN
For easy maintenance of your kitchen, we recommend that you choose certain materials for the worktop which is often subject to stains! Here are our favorites that just require a soft cloth and a little soapy water to restore their full shine:
- Ceramic: this material has established itself as a benchmark for kitchen worktops. Its modern aesthetic allows it to adapt to all dining areas. On the maintenance side, you are not likely to spend too much time cleaning your worktop. To do this, you can clean your ceramic worktop with soapy water, then rinse with lukewarm water. If the stain is stubborn, just scrape with the green side of the sponge.
- Dekton: similar in appearance to ceramics, Dekton is finding its way into more and more kitchens. This new material promotes its very high resistance to stains thanks to its very low porosity. It is also very resistant to heat, scratches and UV! Its only weakness, just like ceramics, is the scratches caused by ceramic knives!
- Laminate: this chameleon material imitates wood as well as ceramic or other colors. Even if its resistance is lower than ceramic and Dekton, this material is very easy to clean. A sponge and a little soapy water will be the key!
CHOOSE FUNCTIONAL KITCHEN FURNITURE IN LINE WITH YOUR LIFESTYLE
For a practical and functional kitchen, it is then necessary to choose your furniture carefully! Check models at Homary. From the table to the seats, these must be in line with your lifestyle to meet all your needs and all your desires. Here is a brief overview of the possibilities available to you!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT HEIGHT FOR YOUR KITCHEN TABLE
- The classic table: its height of 75 cm is the most common in our interiors. Ideal for long meals, it can be round, square, oval or rectangular! It can be combined with chairs, armchairs or low stools 45 cm high.
- The snack table: its height of 90 cm allows you to sit around it easily, requiring less effort than for a classic table. This height is very trendy! To sit there, we invite around snack stools 65 cm high or height-adjustable stools.
- The bar table: also called a high bar table, it is about 110 cm high. This table is not necessarily recommended for long meals but will prove very useful if you prefer meals on the go! You can combine it with bar stools with a height of 75 cm or height-adjustable stools.
OPT FOR A KITCHEN TABLE WITH AN EASY-TO-CLEAN TOP
Just like the worktop, the kitchen table is also subject to daily stains. It is therefore advisable to favor materials that are easy to clean in order to prevent stains from becoming embedded and damaging your beautiful table. To choose the material for the top of your kitchen table, we advise you to choose the same materials as those listed for the worktop. Certain materials that are not represented in the worktops can nevertheless be chosen to dress a kitchen table. This is particularly the case for glass, metal, marble and melamine! If you prefer wood, think about protecting it! Here is a small summary listing of the materials that we recommend:
- Dekton: this innovative material is one of the most famous! As we have seen with the work plan, it combines the advantages! Resistant to stains, scratches, UV and large temperature differences, it is recommended in all kitchens.
- Ceramic: like Dekton, this material is widely recognized for its properties! This material is similar in many ways to Dekton thanks to its good resistance to stains, scratches, UV and heat. However, it does not match the champion in this field, the Dekton.
- Laminate: this chameleon material is appreciated by those who want to furnish their kitchen on a tighter budget. Easy to clean, this material has the advantage of imitating the look of wood or ceramic depending on the pattern chosen.
- Melamine: just like laminate, this material can mimic the look of other materials and is more affordable than them.
- Glass: this material advocates extreme elegance. Transparent or lacquered, it will enhance any kitchen. On the maintenance side, even if it leaves more fingerprints, it has the advantage of not allowing stains to set in. It should nevertheless be maintained regularly and avoid scratches by using suitable cleaning products such as a soft cloth.
- Metal: for a kitchen with an industrial look that is easy to clean, go for metal without hesitation. Steel, aluminum, iron, the choice is yours!
ADAPT THE FURNITURE TO YOUR SPACE, ESPECIALLY FOR SMALL KITCHENS
CHOOSE A SMALL SPACE TABLE ADAPTED TO YOUR KITCHEN:
- The wall-mounted table: this space-saving piece of furniture is essential in studios. Attached to a wall, it has the advantage of not taking up too much space. It can generally accommodate between 1 and 2 people. Some of them are even foldable in order to fall back on the wall and optimize the space in your kitchen.
- The extendable table: this is ideal for optimizing the space in your room without skimping on its capacity. And yes, many tables, in all sizes, have extensions. From the small kitchen to the largest, everyone can claim this table.
- The foldable table: easy to fold and unfold for any occasion, it is the ally of small modular kitchens! Just like the extendable table, there are models for all sizes. These tables are generally made of light materials to be easily manipulated.
CHOOSING SEATS SUITABLE FOR SMALL KITCHENS:
- The stackable seat: as its name suggests, these models stack on top of each other to free up space in your interior. There are both kitchen chairs, armchairs and stackable stools.
- The foldable seat: just like the table, these seats fold and unfold easily depending on your use. These are great booster seats. These models also exist in the form of chairs, armchairs or stools.
- The backless stool: this model will delight more than one, because it can easily be stored under a table as soon as you no longer need it!