Once upon a time, houses were built with definite boundaries between rooms, keeping areas warmer, but they also felt cramped and dark. These days, the perfect family area is the kitchen-diner, where the separation between kitchen and dining room is opened so cooking, eating, relaxing and entertaining all take place in one communal area. You never know, you might find the teens abandoning their bedroom domain to do their homework at the table, while you’re chopping and sautéing the evening meal. Another bonus is, if you have a garden-facing kitchen with glass doors, it brings in extra natural light and the ‘outside in’.
If this is something you are seriously considering, here’s something to think about when planning your kitchen-diner:
- Do you want to extend or knock down pre-existing walls? Extending, of course, will bring about more overall space, but there other options to determine regarding building controls, planning laws and overall budget.
- Think about layout. This, of course, is where our designers can help initially – either before you knock down a wall, or once you have planning permission for your extension and a set of architectural, drawn-to-scale plans. Do you want an island or breakfast bar to separate the space between the kitchen and dining area? Which appliances? And which worktops do you prefer? Laminate, quartz, granite or Corian? Again, this will be based on design preferences as well as affordability.
- Think about electrics and plumbing. Where do you want electrical sockets to go? Where is the best aspect for the sink? What about your dishwasher? Does your fridge need to be plumbed in for an ice-maker? What about your washing-machine? Do you have a utility room or will it remain in the kitchen?
Other design considerations:
- Which kitchen look are you going for? Though there are many different styles on the market, kitchen types can be divided into modern and contemporary. When you think about your kitchen, are you more attracted to a more cosy look, or something more sleek?
- Lighting – this adds ambience and atmosphere to your kitchen. Spotlights offer brighter light for cooking and working. Plinth, under-cabinet, and internal lighting add mood, especially when a touch of colour is added. Pendant lights over a table or island are not only functional but add a touch of style.
- Flooring – if your kitchen is going to open up onto the garden, you might want your kitchen flooring to complement the terrace outside, you might choose something that complements the tone of your home instead.