Having moved into a new flat a couple of years ago, I considered myself lucky to have a kitchen in place (all-be-it a small one) that looked nice, was relatively new and not much used.
Well how user-experience can change a person’s mind!
Typical small kitchen design errors
My thoughts on my kitchen have changed considerably since moving in and actually using it; the biggest irk being the small kitchen design and layout proving awkward and inefficient. It highlights the importance of achieving an effective and functional kitchen layout, especially if your kitchen is small. Given we have lots of clients who also seek how best to enhance a small kitchen space, and often for kitchens smaller than mine, I have been contemplating my own kitchen and what I would do differently if starting from scratch. So here goes…
….Here is my existing small kitchen:
My expectation is that after looking at my kitchen images you will conclude (the same as me) that it looks ok but is definitely on the less generous of kitchen sizes!
So what is so wrong with my current small kitchen?
Here is a list of the kitchen design traits I find most annoying or awkward about my small kitchen layout as it currently exists:-
- There is space above my wall cabinets for storage but it’s fairly redundant as I can’t easily reach it without climbing up onto my worktops, which I also need to do to dust up here! This is uncomfortable, unhygienic and unsafe.
- I have a bin for general rubbish and a separate for recycling but both sit outside of the kitchen at the top of my stairs. There is no other suitable location but it is the first thing you see on entering my open plan kitchen/living room. I would prefer they were hidden from sight.
- My freestanding microwave takes up too much worktop space, something already lacking within a small kitchen design.
- My cupboards are filled with stacks of plates, pots and pans to the extent they are heavy and difficult to access.
- My worktop is difficult to keep clean and constantly shows water-marks.
- A wine fridge, whilst lovely to have, is a bit unnecessary for my Fiancé and I as we don’t drink too often at home, so I would prefer to make better use of this space.
- Similar with our freezer; we have a large freezer with barely anything in it.
- My washing machine is so noisy it sounds like it’s about to take off, which is extremely annoying when watching television in our adjoining room.
There is nowhere big enough to store a mop or brush, a common problem within small kitchen designs.
- My ‘pull-out’ kitchen corner unit doesn’t pull out smoothly and it is difficult to access the back of the cupboard.
- My cupboard doors don’t align properly which looks untidy and spoils the look of the kitchen.
So how can my small kitchen design errors be improved?
Armed with a rough sketch, my room dimensions and photos in hand, I approached one of LWK Kitchens in-house designers and asked if they would look at my existing small kitchen design. Whilst I write about kitchens a lot I have never actually undergone the process for myself so this task really seated me in the position of our clients, and I was excited to see the outcome…
…What follows is the plan and image renders for my new kitchen design, generated by one of LWK’s designers. These let me see just how different my kitchen could look – if it were redesigned to bepersonal to me and my personal needs.
A summary of the proposed small kitchen design solutions:-
- The light tone and gloss kitchen surface kitchen make the room appear brighter and larger.
- The light tone worktop looks better than the former and eliminates the problem of watermarks
- The induction hob looks better than my previous gas hob, it maintains the clean kitchen lines, and indeed would be easier to clean!
- The new layout appears more efficient with distinctive kitchen zones such as the ‘wash zone,’ inclusive of dishwasher and washing machine.
- The integrated microwave oven keeps my worktop clear, and the spacious integrated fridge/freezer takes up less space than the former separate freezer.
- The tall cupboard solves my previous mop and broom storage dilemma!
- There is now room for a bin within the kitchen!
- I didn’t request it but really like the inclusion of a boiling water tap over a kettle.
- The le mans corner unit makes excellent use of the corner space.
- Pan drawers instead of cupboards would make accessing my heavy plates and dishes much easier.
- A better quality of door, hinge and mechanisms means no more alignment problems.
- Wall cabinets that reach to the ceiling mean I would no longer have to clean at this awkward height!
The verdict on my small kitchen revamp:
Always choose Personalised kitchen design!
Whilst I understand it, advocate and write about it, this is the first time I have experienced personalised kitchen design for myself, and having done so, I am still certain it is the way forward! Following my experience I would share two pieces of advice for anyone looking for a kitchen:-
1) Anybody looking for a kitchen needs to establish and more importantly share with their designer all of their kitchen wants and needs, as well as information about habits, routines, lifestyle, the number of people in the household etc. Doing this will enable the most user-friendly kitchen layout and experience, especially for a small kitchen design.
2) Secondly, you must choose a reputable and experienced designer who fully understand but also transform your specification into a design that is stylish, fully functional, durable, and especially for a small kitchen, maximises on space as much as is possible.
It’s a shame I’m not in the position to make my small kitchen redesign a reality but if you would like to take advantage of LWK Kitchens’ complimentary kitchen design service please contact us.