Expert-Approved Kitchen Guide© Unsplash

#HELLOGoodLiving: An Expert-Approved Guide To Building Your Dream Kitchen

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

Unless you’re Carrie Bradshaw, who has an affinity towards using her oven as an extension of her closet, your kitchen would be one of the most-utilised places in your home. This is why designing the perfect kitchen that is customised to suit your needs is absolutely essential and should not be overlooked.

“Kitchens are used by different people in different ways. If you’re a great chef, you will definitely have a certain way in which you like things done, or where you like things placed. If the kitchen is run by a hired chef or staff, it’s used and arranged extremely differently as well,” says Shonali Mahajan, founder and creative director of Mumbai-based design firm Studio Wodehouse, adding, “If you don’t spend time focusing on how to design the kitchen, once done, you will realise the mistakes made and how they can become an everyday hindrance and really get on your nerves.”

According to Mahajan, many people overlook essential details like the correct materials, space for ventilation, lighting, and adequate storage spaces while planning the kitchen space in their homes. So if you’re in the process of designing your dream house, or remodelling your existing one, here are some of the key things you should keep in mind before planning your kitchen…

5 Things To Keep In Mind While Designing The Perfect Kitchen

Placement is top priority

Before setting out to design your kitchen, you need to figure out what exactly you need from the space. As Mahajan mentioned earlier, different people have different needs in their kitchen depending on the amount of time they plan to spend there. This will also help you understand where you want different elements of your kitchen to be placed, determining the flow of the workspace. There are some basic guidelines that every homeowner should follow with their kitchens. “Your fridge, sink, and hob need to be placed in your layout in the form of a triangle so that circulation within the kitchen is easy,” says Mahajan. She also does not recommend adding a refrigerator right at the entrance of the kitchen as it could make movement difficult.

Be mindful of the materials

You don’t need to be an expert cook to know that kitchens can get messy, even if you’re the most meticulously neat and clean chef out there. So it goes without saying that the materials you pick out for the surfaces of the kitchen need to be able to withstand the mess and subsequent cleaning processes. “Your kitchen counter and backsplash should be of a material that is easy to clean, doesn’t stain, and the lesser the grooves and joints the better,” she says, “According to me glossy polished surfaces are easier to maintain than matte surfaces.”

Counter space is king

Even if you don’t have the luxury of a huge kitchen, you should make sure that there is good enough counter space for you to work within the kitchen. “A lot of people underestimate the counter space required on either side of a sink or a hob,” says Mahajan. A kitchen counter provides stability and room for you to work even if you’re putting together a simple meal. It’s also one of the top reasons why most people get their kitchens remodelled. “One should keep at least 18“ of space on either side of the sink or the hob,” suggests Mahajan.

Do not forget the ventilation

According to Mahajan, a lot of people do not understand the importance of having proper ventilation in the kitchen. This does not only mean having a working chimney or windows in the space, it also means arranging the appliances in a way that allows them the room to breathe. “If you don’t leave enough space, they will overheat and stop working,” she warns.

A well-lit space

Having the right amount and kind of light in your kitchen is extremely important as it’s a functional space that requires a lot of detailed actions (those knife skills cannot be honed in the dark) and good lighting can help you in many ways. Mahajan says it’s also one of the most overlooked aspects of the kitchen design process. “You need to have enough bright light in the right colour temperature (i.e natural daylight 4000K ) to see colours and textures,” she says. You can also go for task lighting features like cabinet lights that would make your life easier or accent lights that would highlight all the hard work you put in while designing your perfect kitchen.

Do you love reading about interiors and are on a constant lookout for expert advice? In our July issue, we are celebrating the top architects and interior designers of the industry to give you an insight into their world along with an inspirational guide to spruce up your homes. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!