Where to start when designing your kitchen?
I always start by collecting images from Houzz and Pinterest - such amazing resources! but lets see what IKEA's kitchen designer does!
IKEA Kitchen designer and stylist Janine Love
answers your kitchen design questions...
Where do you start first?
All images courtesy of Ikea
Collect a folder of images and pretty soon you start to see
a pattern or consistency in your choices. Put notes on the images to remind you what
you liked about it. ie. the backsplash tile, the cabinet colour/style etc.
It’s also important to think about the overall aesthetics of the kitchen space and how
that vision will work within your home. Today, many homes have open concept layouts.
All of the adjacent spaces should relate to each other from a style, colour and material
perspective. Think about what style and colours you relate to, and use this as a guide.
Which is a cupboard style that is timeless?
Great question, because typically a kitchen renovation is one most people save up for
and don’t undertake very often. Choosing a timeless door style will allow you to update
it occasionally with new accessories, lighting and accent colours. While it’s important to
keep your kitchen current, it doesn't need to follow every trend that comes along.
I like to use a Shaker style door, such as ÄDEL – it’s transitional and can be used in
many different styles of homes. It also has a chameleon-like quality that allows it to
take on both a modern or traditional look depending on what it is paired with.
Organization – How to prevent counter clutter?
My number 1 mantra for preventing counter clutter is “A place for everything and
everything in its place!” I know this is easier to say than to do, but if everything has
a designated home, then it is more likely to be put away. Here are a few examples to
help with clutter management:
1. Take advantage of ceiling heights
and utilize upper cabinets that meet
the ceiling. Store seldom used items
on top shelves.
2. Store all cooking utensils in a jar/
vessel on the counter. The jar will
contain frequently used items, and
doesn't take up much counter space.
A well selected vessel will also add a
little personality to your kitchen.
3. Create a “garage” to corral all
small appliances, utilizing IKEA’s
roll front cabinets - ensure this meets building codes.
4. Edit and clean out your drawers at
least a couple of times a year. Do you
really need 4 ladles and 78 mugs?
5. Designate 1 miscellaneous drawer
for papers, supplies, erasers etc.
Everybody deserves to have a “messy
drawer” where one cannot be judged.
Make sure drawer organizers are
utilized to keep even messy items
6. Install under cabinet rail systems
to save space, hang up items within
easy reach and get things up off of
7. Allow a catch all tray or basket on
the counter, and be committed to
sorting the items and putting things
back into their designated home.
8. Look for opportunities to mount open shelving or hooks.
9. Mount a large cork or magnetic
board (preferably behind a door) to
house all notices important papers,
photographs, and children’s artwork.
10. Keep small appliances off the
counter and arrange in a Lazy Susan
lower cabinet solution.
11. Utilize wire pullout baskets for
deep cabinets, making stored items
Tips for inexpensive refresh?
1. Changing the knobs on your kitchen cabinetry can give an instant lift and provide the finishing touch.
2. Upgrade your lighting. Create a new focal point by replacing an existing pendant lamp with a dynamic, show stopping fixture. Or revisit bulb wattage to ensure optimal lighting levels.
3. Paint is your best friend. Refreshing a room with paint not only maintains a space, it offers an opportunity to inject an “of the moment” colour.
4. If some of your cabinet doors are looking a bit tired, selectively remove some of the uppers. Wallpaper or paint the back of the cabinet to create a whimsical unfitted kitchen look.
5. Line all of your drawers and shelves with RATIONELL drawer liners. The non-slip surface is easy to clean and helps keep items in their place.
6. Fresh cut flowers or potted herbs always brighten a kitchen space.
7. Add under counter work lighting to provide an even, glare-free light.
8. Splurge on a marble tile backsplash. A small area can be less expensive than you think.
How best to design galley style kitchens?
A galley style kitchen offers work and storage areas on both sides. Its efficient layoutmakes it ideal for apartments and small spaces. Regardless of the scale of a galley
kitchen, you’ll want to maximize the work surface as much as possible. Therefore
appliance placement is crucial so that each “work function” is not placed directly next
to or opposite each other. For example, if the sink and dishwasher are placed on one
wall, the opposite wall should include stove and fridge, with counter space allowance
on either side of each appliance. Remember that an oven and dishwasher should be
positioned so they can freely be opened, not opposite to each other.
Keep things looking light and spacious by considering the use of light coloured upper
cabinets, simple clean hardware and good task lighting.
Best layouts for appliances. How can I create the perfect “work triangle” in my
kitchen to keep it functional, yet stylish?
A well planned kitchen helps to make kitchen work easier and more enjoyable.
Kitchens can be divided into 3 primary work areas; the refrigerator, the stove and the
sink. The “Working triangle” consists of a logical ergonomic arrangement of these 3
areas to make kitchen work easier and more efficient. If the 3 work areas are too close
to each other, multiple people working in the space can get in each other’s way. Too
far away and your work becomes time-consuming. Each leg of the working triangle
should measure between 5 to 11 feet in length, with the total length of all 3 legs being
16 to 32 feet. Needless to say, it is very important to consider the placement of your
appliances during the planning process.
There is so much to consider when updating your kitchen. Give these tips a try or contact me for a custom kitchen that you'll be proud of for years to come!
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer at Jil Sonia Interior Designs.