How to best utilise a large kitchen space

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How to best use your large kitchen space may not be a worry for many of us, however the trend for open plan living is ever more prominent and the kitchen has lately become the true heart of the home.

Kitchens Past

Before 1950 we would never have dreamed of even eating in our kitchens, that would have been delegated to the dining room, some houses were built with a kitchen hatch where meals were passed through to the dining area, or even wheeled through on trolleys designed to keep your meal warm. These days we embrace our kitchens more than ever before. Not only for cooking, but eating, socialising and family time. Statistics show that the right kitchen can dramatically improve the chances of selling your home so how do we design our kitchen in a larger space?

Kitchens Present

New homes are now often built with one central family space incorporating cooking, eating and living. A simple design of an L Shape helps zone areas for cooking, dining and living. The use of one single flooring throughout connects the space as one while the layout of kitchen, table, sofas, rugs and lighting help to zone the areas for purpose.

In an older house, you may wish to extend out to create a big kitchen living space. The modern trend is to do this with large amounts of glass bringing light into areas which may need it. The use of large glass doors and particularly bi-fold doors  do this with the wow factor and can be used to extend into the garden, taking inspiration from larger homes in Australia and Miami. Best used onto a patio or decked area where the flooring blurs boundaries and creating an illusion of an even bigger space. Once the doors are open we feel truly connected to the outside space. Velux skylight windows can be used in an extended side return. Used in pairs or sets of three, this space can be as bright as the rest of the original house and feel as though it has always been there once the flooring is connected.

Large Fitted Kitchen Design

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Large fitted kitchens are one of the most coveted trends for modern living. Designing your large kitchen need not be a problem. We just need to focus on layout and zoning. If you have room, design a separate utility space, if possible with a door to outside and at the very least, a window. The classic kitchen design places the sink, the cooker and the fridge at a V shape, with easy movement between one and the other. Think about where you want to be while standing at the sink or at the hob – do you want to be facing the room while cooking? Do you like to have your sink by a window? Also important is enough worktop and prep space.

Think about where the appliances will go and include things like kettle and toaster when planning your design, and other appliances you might always keep out. A modern hot water tap might eradicate the need for a kettle. You might want to incorporate a built-in microwave, coffee machine or wine fridge. Modern taps and sinks can add a wow factor.

If your space is large enough think about an island, this can house your sink or hob if you prefer. It might take up central floor space but can add additional storage and a real social space if a breakfast bar is incorporated. A raised bar at the end of your island defines its purpose and allows you space behind the raise to edge your workspace. Large drawers are a contemporary alternative to kitchen cupboard doors.

Fitted Kitchen Colour Choices

The colour you go for is an important decision while remodelling your kitchen. Dark cupboards can anchor a room and provide a powerful contrast to lighter worktops, splashbacks or tiles. We are now seeing a resurgence in blending kitchen units. You don’t need to use the same fitted kitchen or work surface throughout. Do you want to tile up to the ceiling? Colourblocking areas can define a space. The use of paint on a wall or splashback. The current trend for open shelving is perfect for displaying your most treasured ceramics.

Fitted Kitchen Lighting

Lighting should not be an afterthought. While designing your large kitchen think about where you would like your lights. If you have an island it’s best to light it, two or three pendant lights make a bold statement. You might want to light up your workspace. Most cooker hoods come with build in lighting already, but remember to help zone your other areas with clever lighting. Lately we have seen a trend in under cabinet floor lighting which can give the illusion of floating cupboards. Think carefully if you would like to incorporate this into your design. Do you really want to highlight your floor? You don’t want the space looking like an airport runway for no reason.

A decadent chandelier over a table can add elegance and make a statement in stark contrast to contemporary units. Lighting is important as it can be used to change the overall feel of a space, so is especially important in a larger space. Soft lighting under a breakfast bar can be inviting. You want to be able to zone areas - some areas you’ll want to light up brightly while others benefit from mood lighting or a dimmer switch for example over a dining table. Lamps in a living area to highlight dark corners and zone areas for reading, chatting or watching TV. Rugs and softer furnishings add a relaxed sociability to a living space.

Not only can we bring light in with large glass doors and clever use of lighting but we can create the illusion of more light and space by using reflective glossy materials on cupboards and units and splashbacks. Keeping them light can help to bounce light back into the room.

Kitchen Worktops and Units

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Don’t be overwhelmed with so many options on kitchen units and worktops. You want to design a kitchen that works with your home and is unique to you. Consider kitchen worktops wisely as this can dramatically change the overall look of your kitchen. You’ll need to remember that some worktops need more care than others for example wooden worktops need to be fed a regular amount of oil and might need an occasional light sand but granite, quartz and other stone simply need a wipe. A chef’s kitchen might incorporate metal worktops which are very easy to keep clean and hygienic but can be easily scratched.

Your Fitted Kitchen

In the end the design of your larger kitchen is entirely your own, just remember the rules about zoning and lighting in your initial plans and you will be the envy of all your friends. Just tell them to bring wine.

At Fixed Price Trade our kitchen fitting service includes Survey, Project Management and Building Regulations advice as standard all with our Fixed Price Promise. If you require a fitted Kitchen in Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland, Darlington, Stockton, Gateshead, Hartlepool and all over the North East get in touch today for your FREE no obligation survey.

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