How to plan a kitchen with Joel LaRosa
By Joel LaRosa
Kitchen designer Joel LaRosa talks us through his top 5 tips for making your new kitchen work for you.
We do everything in our kitchens nowadays. From cooking to cleaning and discussions to dinner parties, we always end up in the kitchen. Here are my top 5 tips to help you get the most out of your new kitchen and make it work with the fluidity of family life.
Bar stools are a must
Naturally we all want to congregate in the kitchen. Whatever is going on, make the most of this by incorporating seating. This will help to stop people getting under each others feet and also offers you a space to relax with your morning coffee.
Make the space work
Never miss the connection between design and spacial awareness. In a lot of homes, yes, you can get a dining table or island in a kitchen but is it space savvy? A good method to follow is multiples of 300mm.
1 x 300mm = 300mm for depth of overhang - this allows a comfortable amount of space for your legs.
2 x 300mm = 600mm for width of seating - enough room for you to sit and enjoy your lunch together.
3 x 300mm = 900mm for the ideal island width - this means you can get a full unit and seating space underneath.
4 x 300mm = 1200mm for the perfect distance between work surfaces - some say 1000mm but I would say go with 1200mm. This allows enough for 2 people to pass comfortably without an issue.
Lighting, Lighting, Lighting
With any kitchen, lighting is always key. I always advise clients to think about how different types of lighting will work in their space. A good example is having a run with under cabinet lighting, an island with independent pendant lighting, a dining table with pendants and lounge space with spot lights. Alongside this, additional spots will be required to bring as much light into the room as possible. Having these on different switches means you can use lighting when required and enables you to create certain moods.
Stop the cold spots
There are many ways to work out the heating of a space but a bit like lighting, it’s worth zoning these spaces off. However, this time you’ll need to make sure that your heating zones overlap. Whether it’s a combination of underfloor heating and decorative radiators, getting the heating wrong can give you cold spots in the space or even over run your heating. Divide your space into the zones you would like heating and discuss with a heating engineer (or designer) the best way to warm then.
Direct the traffic
The best practice is to consider how the space works with day to day life. How and when your family uses the space are important factors to consider. For instance, the fridge. Someone will always want a drink when you’re cooking, so even though you need it nearby, will this mean they are under your feet? These are things to take into consideration and a good designer will understand this. Discuss how you want the space to work for you and navigate it through together.