Inspiration: 100 Bright Ideas for Kitchens
Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. A well-designed, stylish kitchen should make you feel happy and relaxed whether you are grabbing a cup of coffee or cooking a three-course dinner. So, lets plan your kitchen in the simplest way possible...
The first step to design the layout which suits you best - time spent at this stage is never wasted.
1) Draw measurements of your kitchen to scale onto graph paper. Mark on the positions of doors and windows. In many cases, it is possible to move even these to get a better layout, but it is a great deal easier and less expensive to work around what is there, if you can.
2) Make a wish list of everything you would like in your kitchen, from a cooker and microwave, to a dishwasher, larder, broom cupboard, space for food processor, kitchen table and so on. Rewrite the lists putting the items in order of importance to you. The chances are you won't be able to fit in everything. next to each item, write you preferred size or specification - range cooker or built-in, double sink and drainer, under-unit or tall fridge? With some you may have to compromise, while others may be essential to you.
3) Draw each element to scale on a separate sheet of graph paper, cut them out and label. Take the most important elements - usually the cooker, fridge and sink - and position these first.
4) Work out how much cupboard space you need. This is the most adaptable part of your plan. Corner cupboards with carousel units make the most of space, pull-out units mean your larder can be tall and slim, while pan drawers hold far more than ordinary base cupboards. Narrow shelves can be used in spaces where a wall won't fit and hanging rails mean you need fewer drawers.
Find the right look! When you have your kitchen plan, you can think about the looks you love. Just changing the handles and repainting the walls is often all it takes to give your kitchen a stylish new look.
Find your style! Your kitchen should relect your tastes and be as personal to you as any other room. Any style can be broken down into ingredients - a 'recipe' to create that look. When you are trying to recreate a certain effect, get used to looking at a room and analysing the elements which make it up. Look at the materials, styles and colours, whether they blend with each other or contrast for effect. In a kitchen the main elements will be the units - style, material, colour, the walls and the floor. However, it's the finishing touches which give a kitchen its ownsignature. Handles, window treatments, motifs on tiles and fabrics all make a difference. Equally as important though, are the non-decorative elements - the appliances and the sink, the pans, jars, mugs and utensils you keep on display.
Bring in colour! There are no colour rules for kitchens. Just think about the mood you want to create: calm and cool or warm and welcoming. Light, bright colour can make a room feel larger, but think beyond pure white. Sky blue and apple green can be just as effective and are more uplifting. Even in a small kitchen, deep dramatic colour like burnt orance or cobalt blue can look wonderful.
View some examples below. For more kitchen decor ideas visit http://www.decordirect.co.za