Kitchen Ideas

Ideas and tips for your dream kitchen

 
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glass breakfast countertop benchtop

A "floating" glass breakfast bar is handy for serving meals and gives you extra work space when needed without taking up much visual space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUICK TIP

Country style rustic painted kitchen

Hand painted cupboards, timber benchtop and ceramic tiles are perfect ingredients for a country-style kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUICK TIP

modern red island kitchen barstool / bar stool

Bar stools come in different heights so choose the one suitable for the height of your countertop / breakfast bar. (Image by: Suat Eman @www.freedigitalphotos.net)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Buy from a large range Cafe Machines from brands like Sunbeam. Whether you are skilled Barista or just want a smooth cup of coffee you can find a machine for you.  

 

 

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Design & Layouts

white minimalist kitchen

A contemporary kitchen. (Image by "forepj" @ flickr.com)

 

Consider the overall impression of your house when designing your kitchen. Do you want your kitchen to form an integral part of your home or do you want your kitchen to stand out as a special feature from the other aspects of your home?

.kitchen and dining room with the same theme

Colour scheme of this kitchen continues into the dining area with matching cabinets. (Image by: B. Wolska)

 

An open-plan kitchen is the hearth of a home, seen as a place of comfort and where family and friends gather around to share food and love. On the other hand, a separate enclosed kitchen is mainly designed to be used by the cooks and keeps food preparation (and mess) away from view.

open plan kitchen

An open-plan kitchen is where your family and friends gather around (Image by: "splatgirl" @ moderninmn.blogspot.com).

 

Think about the kind of atmosphere you want to create in your kitchen. Bold modern colours make a strong statement and can reflect your bright personality, whilst timber and earthy tones create a cosy and homely atmosphere. Stainless steel surfaces and open shelves combined with freestanding units and trolleys re-create the feel of a commercial kitchen.

If you are thinking of selling your property in the near future, "safe" colours and finishes such as neutral colours and tones attrack and appeal to broader range of buyers.

modern red kitchen

A modern kitchen with a stainless steel breakfast bar and a red cabinet feature.

 

stainless steel kitchen

A commercially-inspired stainless steel kitchen

 

Take into account any other activities you and your family perform in the kitchen. Do you organize your house keeping affairs in the kitchen? If so, you may want to incorporate a home office in the kitchen. Do the children do their homework in the kitchen while you cook? Then a breakfast bar at a lower height may be ideal for meals as well as children doing their homework.

home office kitchen

A cleverly-designed space saver featuring a breakfast bar / home office in a kitchen: The wall-mounted computer monitor maximizes bench space and the roller cabinet keeps the CPU and keyboard out of sight when not needed (Image by: Lass aka "las" @ ikeafans.com).

 

eat in kitchen

Lower-height counters are perfect for meals and children doing their homework.

 

breakfast bar kitchen

A breakfast bar on legs creates a spacious feeling and provides extra work space.

 

Mixing and matching different colours and materials of doors and benchtops in your kitchen can create an interesting result. For example, glass doors and stainless steel doors can be used sparingly to accentuate a rather plain white kitchen. Or try combining coloured doors with timber doors to create a unique design.

bright bold multi color red lime green kitchen with orange splashback backsplash ikea

Make your kitchen a design feature of your home by using bold & bright colours.

 

timber veneer glass kitchen

White glass fronted drawers with timber veneered doors.

 

state-of-art kitchen

Different colours and materials blended to create this state-of-the-art kitchen.

 

ikea red abstrakt kitchen

Frosted glass doors add interest in this high gloss red kitchen (Image by: "lipstickface" @ flickr.com).

 


Layouts

An efficient kitchen layout relies on the "working triangle", which is based on 3 main elements: sink, stove and fridge (food storage). To make a kitchen work efficiently, these 3 elements should be within comfortable distance (total distance should not be more than 8 metres) whilst still allowing enough work space between them. If the three main elements are too close to each other, you will be struggling for comfortable work space. If they are too far apart, you will find yourself walking around the kitchen most of the time.

The following are the most common types of kitchen layouts:

 

Single-Line Kitchens

single line kitchen layout

Ideal for small and narrow spaces and can be used efficiently when the single line is not too long. Try to maximise the space between the stove and the sink as it will be the most used space in the kitchen during food preparation. However if the shape of the kitchen is too long, the distance between the working triangle becomes too long and less efficient. An island with a long single-line kitchen can solve this problem by establishing a more effective working triangle.

single line yellow kitchen

 

sinle line kitchen

Single-line kitchens.

 

Single line kitchen with island

Single line kitchen with island.

 


L-Shaped kitchens

l shape kitchen layout

L-shaped kitchen is easy to work in as the working triangle is well established, making food preparation easier even with two people working at the same time. It provides plenty of work space and storage space and can work well in either small or large kitchens. A large L-shaped kitchen can also be combined with an island or a dining table.

l shaped kitchen

A large L-shaped kitchen with plenty of work space (Image by: Joanne Wright aka "jwright" @ ikeafans.com).

 

white glass kitchen

A simple minimalist white L-shaped kitchen and charcoal wall colour create a strong contrast (Image by Lisa D aka "lilou_2006" @ flickr.com)

 

L-shape eat-in kitchen with dining table

An eat-in L-shaped kitchen with dining table.

 


U-Shaped Kitchens

u shape kitchen layout

A U-shaped kitchen provides the ideal kitchen layout with an efficient working triangle. Distances between the three elements are evenly distributed to maximise the use of space for cooking and storage. Plenty of work space also allows two people to work together without interfering with each other. A U-shaped kitchen works best in a large room, or at least make sure the opposite rows of cabinets/appliances can be opened without hitting each other. (Hint: corner spaces can sometimes be wasted and hard to reach, install lazy susans in corner base cabinets to maximise the use of corner spaces).

country u shape kitchen

A U-shaped country-style kitchen (Image by: www.freedigitalphotos.net).

 

ikea applad white u shape kitchen

A contemporary U-shaped kitchen (Image by: David aka "loach1" @ ikeafans.com).

 

u shaped handlesless kitchen high gloss white abstrakt ikea black glass door

Black and white themed U-shaped kitchen with handless doors.

 


Galley Kitchens

galley kitchen layout

Found in many commercial kitchens, a galley kitchen is similar to a U-shaped kitchen but without the "link" between the opposite rows. A galley kitchen requires less room than a U-shaped kitchen so it is perfect for narrow spaces. Like a U-shaped kitchen, a galley kitchen requires enough space between the opposite rows to work efficiently. If possible, a galley kitchen should not be used in a major corridor within the house as it can get quite busy during food preparation.

galley kitchen

A large galley kitchen (Image by Ginny Figlar aka "ginnyfiglar"@ flickr.com).

 

black high gloss galley kitchen ikea abstrakt with breakfast bar

A galley kitchen with breakfast bar eating area.

 


Island Kitchens

island kitchen layout

L-shaped kitchen with island.

 

island kitchen layout

Single-line kitchen with island.

An island in a kitchen provides extra workspace that is versatile enough to serve meals. Make sure the room is large enough to house an island so people can move around comfortably and cabinet doors can be opened easily. You can also use the island to house either the stove or sink to create a more effective working triangle.

If space is limited, a freestanding or mobile kitchen island is another option. You can move the island when needed. Also a "see-thru" island makes a kitchen feel more spacious visually.

freestanding kitchen island

A freestanding kitchen island with open shelves gives a spacious feeling (Image by: "supershoppertoo" @ ikeafans.com).

 

mobile kitchen island

A mobile island provides extra work space wherever you want. (Image by: Rod Randle aka "pixelfan" @ flickr.com).

 

large kitchen island

A spacious kitchen island. (Image by: Kathryn D aka "tropo" @ flickr.com)

 

multi-function kitchen island

A multi-function kitchen island consists of a sink, open shelves and an eating area.

 

kitchen island bar

An island breakfast bar in an L-shaped kitchen.

 

island kitchen with glass dining table

This kitchen island flows into a glass dining table creating an airy environment. (Image by: Robin Utracik)

 


Freestanding Kitchens

freestanding free standing kitchen unit stainless steel ikea udden

Freestanding kitchen units are easy to install and can be taken away with you when you move.

 

Unlike fitted kitchen cabinets, freestanding kitchen units give the look of everyday furniture and can be rearranged easily. You can also combine freestanding units with a fitted kitchen to create a more casual look in a fitted kitchen. For example, you can create a kitchen island easily with a freestanding kitchen unit.

freestanding ikea bravad kitchen

Freestanding kitchen units gives a more casual look than a fitted kitchen. (image by Stine Weirsøe).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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