Designing a new kitchen is a big step, and one that most of us only undertake every 10 to 15 years or so. The kitchen is generally one of the most used rooms in the house, meaning that to lose it, even for a relatively short time, is really inconvenient. If you’re going to all the trouble of losing your cooking space and all your storage, then it’s important to make sure you’re going to end up with a result you’re happy with.
If you’re having your kitchen professionally fitted, then most companies will also provide a design service. If you’re just doing a minor refresh as opposed to a full refit, though, most of the design burden may fall directly on you. Most of us have busy lives and prefer the kitchen to be easy to clean. It’s a room we normally have to clean often, as it’s used frequently and cooking is quite a messy pastime! You can make your life easier by deliberately designing a kitchen that’s easy to clean. Here’s what to think about.
The number one thing that makes a kitchen difficult to clean is clutter so getting the storage right from the beginning makes a big difference. If you have to wipe around appliances or stacks of plates on counter tops, it’ll take you twice as long. The counter tops need to be kept as clear as possible if you’re not actually using them. In practice, this is easier said than done as kitchens are often used as dumping grounds for things like keys and post!
Start by walking round your kitchen and noting what makes it look cluttered. If the offending items are non-kitchen related, such as handbags or phone chargers, try to find more appropriate space in the rest of the house where those things can live.
Next, decide if you need more cupboard space for your actual kitchen appliances so that they don’t overflow onto work surfaces. This needs to be taken into account when you do your design. If you’re adding new cupboards, then doors without a handle are much easier to clean. Closed cupboards require less cleaning than open shelves, as well.
There are already a lot of things to think about when choosing new large appliances such as ovens or dishwashers, but here’s another! Obviously what you choose has to be suitable for what you want in terms of power and efficiency, but it is also easy to clean?
Try to avoid anything with fussy knobs or buttons which will be hard to clean around. Induction hobs. which fit snugly flush with the countertop, are a dream to clean compared to gas or electric. Many modern ovens have a self cleaning, high heat programme so you don’t have to clean inside.
Your choice of worktop will obviously depend on your budget and personal taste, but some are easier to clean than others! Anything porous such as wood or granite needs to be treated with care. Plastic surfaces are easier, but aren’t as long lasting. One of the best materials is Corian, a mixture of stone and resin. This can be fitted without gaps, making it hygienic, and it’s also long lasting and tough.
With a little thought, you can create a kitchen that suits your lifestyle and the time you have available – and that looks good, too.
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