Are you a budding master chef? Then follow this essential advice to acheive the perfect cook's kitchen
Assess your needs
Before you begin, think about how you actually use your kitchen. Who do you cook for, what do you cook and how do you cook it? People work in very different ways. If you cater for big groups of people on a regular basis, you might want to invest in a large-capacity oven. If you prepare a lot of Asian food, you’ll need a gas hob to cook with a wok. A keen baker may want to choose an oven with functions to guarantee perfect results. There are so many innovative appliances and gadgets available, it helps to consider what is actually going to benefit you.
The classic ‘working triangle’ is considered the ideal kitchen layout, but if that’s not possible, plan your kitchen so that the distances between the three main functional elements – the cooker, the fridge and the sink – are as direct as possible.
This cuts down the distance that you have to walk between them. ‘Professional kitchens are divided into stations,’ says chef Bill Granger. “If space allows, then it can really help to have a dedicated prep area, a cooking area and then a washing-up area, so that different tasks can be tackled at the same time.’
Audit your equipment
It helps to have a good clear-out before you redesign. Think about the items you actually need, rather than factoring in space to store that rice cooker you haven’t used for years.
In doing so, you will streamline your space, which in turn will make it a more functional cook’s kitchen. When planning your storage, consider how often you shop. If you make big trips to the supermarket, or like to buy in bulk, you’ll need more storage space than if you prefer to stock up more frequently.
Think about your budget
It’s all too easy to get giddy when faced with a wealth of shiny appliances with countless programmes and functions, so take care to invest online in the things you will genuinely make good use of. The advantage of planning a cook’s kitchen is that user-friendly storage – such as easy-access open shelving or pan storage – is less expensive than closed cupboards. Plus, it’ll be easier to upgrade later, should your needs change. If you like that kind of look for your kitchen, it will certainly free up more funds to spend on appliances. If you still prefer to keep the look sleek, planning in plenty of low-level pull-out storage may mean you need to fit fewer wall units, which will also save you money.
Consult a kitchen designer
Input from a professional designer can prove invaluable if you want to make the most of your space and have a cook’s kitchen that performs well. Their experience and expertise means they will have ideas you might not have even considered. Most companies will offer a free service, provided you then buy their kitchen.