RULES FOR A FUNCTIONAL KITCHEN
The kitchen’s is becoming increasingly important in our homes, for which we will outline some simple rules that allow us to achieve a functional kitchen.
We will start from the design and distribution of the kitchen, for which the concept of the “working triangle” will be fundamental. This triangle is formed by the sink, the kitchen plate and the refrigerator, forming the area of greater activity of the kitchen. We must avoid obstructing the circulation within this triangle, as well as distancing its elements too much.
Good lighting is essential, both natural and artificial. Do not forget that the kitchen is a work space in which we use dangerous elements such as stoves or knives, so we must avoid shadows inside this space and reinforce with a specific lighting, especially in the area of food preparation.
Taking into account the consideration of the kitchen as a work space, the use of extractor hoods should always be supported by a natural ventilation so that the kitchen atmosphere is cleaner, more pleasant, and suitable for use.
In the kitchen there will be a large number of items to be stored (from kitchen utensils and food to everything related to cleaning the home), so it will be important to provide the necessary storage space and its correct distribution. For this the participation of the client will be key, so that the kitchen can adapt to their needs as much as possible.
Once the elements of work support (distribution, lighting, ventilation and storage) have been obtained, we must pay attention to the work space itself. The activities that are performed in the kitchen require the presence of a countertop, for which we can opt for developments of cooking, in line, L, or U, as well as using islands or peninsulas. It is advisable to have a large surface, and preferably to be placed near the sink and kitchen hob.
At this point we would already have the design of our kitchen: functional, adapted to our needs, and with perfectly controlled work support elements. Now we will have to think about the protection of this workspace. This protection will be achieved through the choice of materials: we must choose materials of great resistance and easy cleaning, since the surfaces of a kitchen will be exposed to the daily work done on them. Thus, it is advisable to avoid vertical surfaces that have high porosity, especially in specific work areas, to avoid the absorption of vapors and grease, so that the tiling is a recommended option against painting.
Following these basic rules, it is important to emphasize being cautious about trends when designing a kitchen, and not letting ourselves be influenced by preconceived ideas or trying to introduce them with shoehorn. Currently kitchens are booming with island, but depending on the space with which we count will not always be an appropriate choice. The choice of appliances is also important, always thinking about the utility we are going to give them.
Having professionals will always be a guarantee of quality in the final result. In Spain, the presence of the architect is often considered as an expense and not as a saving. However, having a professional architect will guarantee not only a correct design of the kitchen, but also provide us with a specific knowledge of materials, their qualities and their costs, which will lead to a correct choice of these and significant savings during the work and during its future use.