kitchen cabinetry design
The finer points of kitchen cabinetry design
Of all of the decisions that you could possibly make during a new kitchen build or a kitchen renovation, it is the design and style of the cabinets that are perhaps the most vital to make.
Cabinetry is an essential component to any kitchen, perhaps even more so than even the main appliances that will ultimately also call your kitchen home. Can you imagine spending large amounts of money on a state-of-the-art oven or fridge, whilst at the same time allowing all of your plates and glasses to lie on the benchtop in full view?
So it is indeed true to say that cabinetry can make or break the overall kitchen design, both in terms of aesthetics and practicality. So what goes into the thought process behind designing the perfect cabinetry?
Well, for starters, lots of things. Cabinetry design is reliant upon several factors and key areas of planning and implementation. Some of these are obvious, and there are some that might be foreign to anyone that is not an industry professional.
We’re going to break it all down in this article for you, however, so that you can have the cabinetry to compliment the kitchen of your dreams.
We’ll start off by covering what is the underpinning aspect of kitchen design, explaining how this will affect which type of kitchen cabinetry is on offer for you, then we’ll go through each and every facet of modern cabinetry design so that you, hopefully, are not only better informed on the ins and outs, but also that you are capable of getting the right cabinetry for you and your kitchen’s needs.
But first, let’s cover the fundamental aspect behind kitchen design, and how it will impact the type of cabinetry that is right for you.
The kitchen work triangle
The kitchen work triangle, also commonly referred to as just ‘the triangle’, is the principle behind kitchen design, specifically in relation to accessibility and ergonomics.
Of course, not one kitchen shape is alike, nor are all kitchens the same size. Where the triangle principle comes into play is that it can be moulded to make sure that, no matter the size or shape of your kitchen, it can be used safely and efficiently at all times.
The triangle is the idea that the three key areas of a kitchen are:
The kitchen sink
And the cooking area
Ideally, these should be easily accessible when one turns to reach the other. Say you are cooking a meal, and require something from the refrigerator. When maneuvering to reach the fridge, it should be placed in such a way that there is no hindrance in movement, effectively allowing you to reach it in a straight line.
A kitchen designed using the triangle idea may look like this:
Whilst one that does not employ this method will look like this from the top down:
As you can see, the top example provides seamless movement from sink, to fridge, to cooking area, and in any possible direction. The bottom example poses obstacles, which will not only make using the kitchen a chore, but could also potentially increase the risk of injury.
So how do my cabinets come into this?
The idea is that your cabinets, in terms of both their functionality and accessibility, ideally should be positioned and built around this idea of the triangle. For instance, a well designed cabinetry layout will compliment its nearest appliance, say the cutlery drawer next to the sink, pots and pans next to the cooking area, and so on and so forth.
To achieve this, a lot of thought must go into not just the cabinet material that you want to end up with, but also the functionality and storage capacity of the cabinetry itself.
There are five key components behind choosing the right type of cabinetry for you and your kitchen. We’ll hit off with the main one, storage, and progress into the other main factors so that you will have a better idea of what will and what won’t work.
Storage is perhaps the main consideration when it comes to not just cabinetry, but the entire planning of the kitchen’s design.
Storage will ultimately decide what you and your kitchen will be capable of holding. Straight off the bat, it is important to judge on merit exactly how much storage you will need.
Light cookers, or those who prepare smaller meals, probably won’t have much desire for huge amounts of storage. Whilst larger families and culinary gurus will probably wish to have as much as possible.
This is important to think about first and foremost because cabinetry can come in all shapes and sizes. You should probably put some consideration into thinking about how much kitchen work you’re likely to put in, as well as how much equipment you have, and go from there.
As we mentioned before, placement is everything when it comes to cabinetry. By now, you should have some idea of the amount of storage that you will require, and in turn, this will lend you a rough idea of what you will be placing in each of those cabinets.
Ideally, you should be planning where your individual cabinets for individual utensils will be going, under the premise of what will be easier for you to use as a working station. This could mean that cabinets that are intended to house plates and glasses may be better positioned nearer your sink or the part of your benchtop where you will be preparing most meals.
It could also mean that the pantry area, or any cabinetry that will hold pots and pans, may be nearer the cooking area, just to make your life a little easier going forward.
Think about what you would prefer, and how you work best, and go from there. Whilst the triangle principle is the golden rule in kitchen design planning, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice what works best for you when it comes to cabinery storage, and where they are positioned in the final design.
Materials inevitably comes down to the budget, and depending on what your budget is, the options may or may not be rather limited.
However, for those on a smaller budget, you should not be dismayed. The cabinetry market has blossomed in recent years, with better manufacturing standards and technologies meaning that there is now a high quality range that is on offer at a relatively affordable price.
Laminate cabinetry finishes, for instance, will offer you with a great range of fine visuals and will prove to provide just as good of a level as more pricey options when it comes to durability.
The great thing about modern day cabinetry is that the options for its visual finish are nearly infinite in scope. For those who had their heart set on a wood finish, but perhaps knocked it back because timber was too expensive, laminex timber alternatives will do just the trick.
Accessibility is one of the major issues that some of us do tend to gloss over when it comes to kitchen cabinetry design, only realising how important it is once the job is done.
Accessibility goes hand in hand with placement, and should be considered along with the design as vital to the success of your overall kitchen design or kitchen renovation.
Everything you do in the kitchen revolves around how accessible it is to you and those living in your home. Not only can a kitchen with inaccessible cabinets ruin the workflow of your kitchen, but it can also pose safety hazards from overreaching.
Accessibility covers things from how the drawers open, the height to which they are positioned, and the general layout of how the cabinets themselves are arranged. When considering this important issue for your grand cabinetry design, think about what you prefer and what will make your life easier.
This will help in ultimately choosing what will be right for you. Cabinetry comes with a whole host of accessible features, such as slide out drawers for tricky corner cabinets, slow-close drawers and cabinets themselves, as well as even one touch opening mechanisms.
Try not to get any particular feature just for the sake of it, as this could ironically hamper how accessible your cabinetry will be for you. Only focus on what you need, and go from there.
Undoubtedly the most fun part of choosing your new cabinetry are the ridiculously large amount of features that now come as standard on the modern market.
We’ve already mentioned a handful of them so far in this article; one-touch doors, auto-slide drawers, and self-closing drawers.
Whilst accessories may turn even the most conservative of adults into a literal kid in a candy shop, you must bear in mind that with the added features comes the added price. Whilst it may be tempting to go the whole hog and deck your new cabinets out in all of the newest and coolest gadgets imaginable, it can quickly add up if you aren’t careful.
A good way to get the gadgets you want without breaking the bank is to consider accessories as a hand-in-hand component of accessibility. This will ultimately help you to only get what you really need, whilst also allowing you to show off to friends and family at how funky your new kitchen is.
By now, we hope that you are better informed with the more hidden practices behind choosing the right cabinetry for either your new kitchen or your bespoke kitchen renovation.
Choosing cabinetry, overall, should be fun, as it is ultimately a larger statement into both your kitchens look and feel, as well as your own personal taste.
So remember that, do have fun when choosing your kitchen cabinets, but also consider the finer points, as they will ultimately make sure that, not only will your cabinets look great, but they will serve you well.