The personality of a room is determined by the individual elements. In kitchens, these elements also have to be functional because they are used more intensively than other household furniture, and come into daily contact with heat, steam, and water. Stainless steel fridges and worktops, for example, contribute an air of professionalism to the domestic kitchen as this highly durable material is frequently used in restaurant kitchens.
Wood cupboards, on the other hand, or cooking utensils hanging from racks, provide the vvarm atmosphere associated with country kitchens. lt is not only kitchen appliances that matter. Other details, such as your choice of vvorktops, lighting, cabinet finishes, Wallcoverings, and flooring, all present an opportunity to influence
the character of the room and contribute to a comfortable kitchen environment. When choosing these elements, bear in mind both aesthetic and practical considerations. Kitchen flooring, for example, needs to be hygienic, hardvvearing, and “soft” underfoot, as vvell as beautiful to look at, while a vvell thought-out mix of task lights and soft, ambient lighting can make all the difference to working and eating areas. For kitchen cabinets, the quality of
craftsmanship and choice of materials are vital if they are to withstand daily wear and tear. Also, by choosing from a range of gloss or matt, pale or dark, cabinet finishes, you can affect how the cabinets reflect natural light in the kitchen room.
For me, kitchen planning tends to fall into two categories, fitted and “unfitted”. Fitted kitchens, developed in the 1950s as the “dream” solution to kitchen design, rely upon units being placed against the walls, while unfitted types use a variety of freestanding elements to furnish the room.
The “unfitted” approach particularly interests me, and it is an area of kitchen planning that l pioneered throughout the 1980s. It has grown in popularity, as for many individuals the warm, comfortable appearance of unfitted kitchens is both easier to live with, and work in.
The family kitchen is an example of this planning. By grouping all the cooking and preparation facilities together, fewer elements have to be placed around the walls, leaving space for a table, a sofa, and doors opening out onto the garden. Above all, the purpose of this book is to explain how to arrive at an ergonomic kitchen design where the user feels comfortable. Whether your kitchen is large or small, it will help you to choose appliances and furniture according to your needs, and arrange them for ease of use, in a way that is not only practical but looks wonderful.