Small kitchen – don’t clutter it; Big kitchen – leave some empty space

Craig Matson, managing director of Roundhouse, offers some advice on how to make the most of any size of kitchen space

Regardless of size, for Roundhouse being involved at the earliest stage possible is probably most important, as the process of designing a bespoke kitchen is all about consultation and collaboration.

We work closely with the client and his or her architect or interior designer to ensure the overall plan, and every specification and detail is spot-on.

With the trend for opening out and extending comes the need to blur the lines between family living and the spaces in which we cook and dine.

It’s a more effective way of using the space and it’s more sociable, as everyone uses the same area. Clients want these spaces to be personal, so in an open-plan room it’s vital that the kitchen cabinetry looks as good as possible and provides strong visual links between one area and another.

Whatever the size of the space, there is a natural, ergonomic way of designing a kitchen, a rational, intelligent approach to the processes that take place there – simple things like making sure the fridge and food storage are close together or that pans are next to the cooking area. It is also important to understand how your client likes to cook and live, if they have particular accessories to store or special collections they wish to display.

Keeping kitchens clutter-free is key in a smaller space and incorporating clever storage means that a compact kitchen will appear larger – tailored storage is essential where space is at a premium.

In a larger kitchen, well-designed storage is no less essential, but it’s important not to be afraid to leave some of the area empty, to create an airy, generous sense of space.

With bespoke furniture, it can be built to exact requirements – deep, wide drawers that open to reveal all the contents at once, sink covers that provide worktop space and flush hobs that can be used as extra worksurfaces, pocket doors, spice or bottle racks, pan drawers with separate space for lids, built-in vegetable racks and bread crocks, to name but a few.

Another thing to consider is that we shop differently now. We tend to shop locally and more often and so food storage and the size of the appliances we cook and chill in is changing.

There is a tendency to go for more effective appliances that keep things fresher for longer – fruit kept in the bio-fresh space will last much longer – and are specifically designed for optimum efficiency. It’s all about quality rather than quantity.

For any size of space, our key design principle is that it’s all about designing something that is beautifully engineered and fulfils functional requirements, paying great attention to detail. If it’s designed and built to the highest standard, it will remain looking good for years.

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