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The modern kitchen is all about having space to cook, eat, entertain, gather as a family and relax. Therefore, the average kitchen project has become so much more than simply upgrading old cabinetry and appliances. The big appeal is for the kitchen and cook to
be part of the action when entertaining and, on a day-to-day basis, for the whole family to be together.
Consider the following:
■ Use cabinetry to create a contained space for the cook, keeping children and guests firmly outside.
■ Position the kitchen to be away from through traffic and with a clear view of the dining area, living zone and garden.
■ Modern finishes are all about using the unusual to add depth, interest and texture, and are designed to blend into a living space.
■ Opt for quiet appliances and good extraction. Create a utility area for washing machines if possible.
■ Keep the sink and dishwasher away from the seating area no one wants to look at
dirty dishes or listen to a whirring appliance.
■ It makes sense to have cutlery, glassware, wine chillers and coffee makers all accessible from the dining zone.
■ An island can double as a serving area and is a cost-effective way of planning a kitchen.
■ Full-height slide away doors are a good option for making the kitchen disappear from view.
Ditch the preconceptions of kitchen planning. Usually the sink is under the window as we have a romantic idea of doing the washing up while looking out at a white picket fence, but if you do most of your cooking at night, what's the point of a window? If you like to cook while watching TV or chatting to friends, why not fit an island unit with a sink and bar stools for friends.
Speak to your kitchen designer about an island unit or invest in a butcher's block, Countrytrolleys.co.uk has a great selection.
You don't always want to relax next to your cooker and sometimes you want to move storage around to create more space, or a more chilled-out area. Shelves on castors are a great way to divide a room and reorganise your storage depending on what you're using the space for.
Find industrial-style shelves at IKEA
Serious, functional kitchens decked out in stainless steel and white used to be all the range, but these days the trend is for something more playful - and we love it! It's easy to forget that your kitchen can be a room that is used for more than just cooking, and this is especially important when you're planning an open-plan kitchen. Decorate the space with glizty lighting, art, plants and statement wallpaper.
Maximise your space with well-organised storage right up to the ceiling. Open shelving or shelving behind glass doors ensures the kitchen looks neat and tidy but everything is easily found. Speak to your kitchen designer about bespoke shelving.
Looking for more kitchen design ideas? Visit our kitchen channel, and be inspired by our video on how to make your kitchen work hard. Don't miss any of the latest features by following us on Twitter and Facebook.
The latest must-haves, Wi-fi controlled smart appliances for laundry, cooling, cooking and home entertainment are now available to buy on the high street. So get connected and make life in the kitchen a truly enjoyable and effortless experience.
As the line between cooking, living and dining areas are blurred, having a functional, comfortable place for seating is essential in today's kitchen. Integrated seating is more relaxed than a formal dining table and chairs, and offers a great space-saving solution for smaller schemes. An island flows seamlessly into a cosy seating area in this kitchen by Leicht, from £15,000.
Getting great-tasting coffee at the press of the button is now the norm, as our desire to recreate barista-style cappuccinos and espresso at home increases. There's a wide variety of coffee machines to choose from to suit all budgets from simple hand-operated devices to sleek built-in models. With 13 grind settings, three coffee options and 1.8-litre integrated water tank, the CDA VC800 is a good-value built-in coffee machine.