PROPERTY NEWS - Dictated to by our appetites, our days often revolve around meal times. Considering this, it is no wonder that the kitchen is popularly referred to as the heart of the home. If you happen to get the design of this room wrong, you risk restricting the flow of your entire household.
"When designing a kitchen, whether on a new build or during a renovation, homeowners need to spend ample time making sure that the design will strike the right balance between functionality and aesthetic appeal if they want to safeguard the future resale value of their property," says Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
To help you get the balance correct, you need to know what to avoid. Based on suggestions from the RE/MAX of Southern Africa network, below are the five most common challenges homeowners face when designing a kitchen:
Creating paths of least resistance
When waking up for the midnight snack run, you do not want to be tripping over poorly positioned islands or stumbling from one end of the kitchen to the other in a drowsy attempt to piece together supplies.
"The age-old rule of thumb still applies: design your kitchen to form a triangle between your sink, refrigerator and stove to ensure the best flow of traffic through the space," Goslett suggests. Also, think carefully about where you position the pantry cupboard, cutlery drawers and other storage units. You don't want to have to walk too far to pack away your crockery from the drying rack each night, nor do you want your cutlery stored too far from where you prepare your meals.
Towers of Tupperware, pots, blenders - and let's not forget that unused coffee machine you bought last Christmas - are just some of the bulky items that you're going to need to store in your kitchen. Too many homeowners forget how much storage space they need to make the space functional. Forget any impractical minimalist designs with open walls sans overhead storage and make use of every inch of available space for creative storage solutions. Trust us - you're going to need it.
According to Goslett, preparation space is one of the most overlooked aspects of a kitchen design. He suggests homeowners ensure that there is enough space around the stove to put wooden spoons and other pre-chopped ingredients.
There also needs to be some space near your oven where you can put hot dishes. "The choice of countertop is also of importance. It might be worth splurging on quality here as some of the cheaper options are prone to warping, chipping and scratches," he adds.
A current concern
There are several electrical appliances in anyone's kitchen that need access to plug sockets. Consider where you are going to place things like your toaster and kettle and make sure that there is a plug socket within reach.
The last thing you want is extension leads dragging along your kitchen counters.
Underestimating the project
Homeowners also need to brace themselves for how long, how messy, and how costly these renovations can be. These builds often run overtime and over budget, so it would be wise to have room to work with in these areas.
The level of disruption a kitchen renovation can cause is another aspect homeowners need to factor in. You'll be forced to prepare meals in a temporary kitchen for the duration of the build, which can make life quite uncomfortable. "As difficult as it might be to live with, homeowners should do their best to remain patient and not cut corners just to help the build go faster," says Goslett.
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