Most of us think hard before buying furniture for any room – after all, it has to perform a lot of functions. In the case of an armchair for example, it has to be comfortable, fit into the room, and it might even need to be a certain colour to suit the style of your home. Your kitchen furniture is no different, except here, the considerations are a little more practical.
“Economy of movement” is a key phrase to bear in mind when furnishing your kitchen. In short, it refers to the idea of efficiency in a room, and getting the most done with the space available. For example, when you take something out of the oven, you don’t want to have to cross the room to go and put down the tray, and then walk all the way back over to your kitchen worktop to continue chopping potatoes. With this in mind, the scale of your furniture is important, as well as thinking about how all the components will fit round each other. Be realistic about your space – sacrifices might have to be made. If you have room for a kitchen table for dining, fantastic, but if you don’t it’s best to admit that straight off rather than trying to shoehorn one in there.
The requirements of the room in a broader sense will also play a part. Do you have a big family? Are children or pets likely to be using it often (say, for example – if you have to go through your kitchen to get to the backdoor)? How can you make sure everyone’s safe? You should first decide upon the main purposes of the room, the furniture in it, and how it will all fit. Then you can start deciding where to put knife racks, and pots and pans. Are they out of the way of danger? Are they at risk of being knocked over? Sturdy furniture should take precedence, with smaller cabinets and other such items fitting around them.
A kitchen is, at its core, a functional room. The feel of it is obviously important, as is the way it fits into your home, but function should always take precedence over aesthetics. Your cooking style should be considered – what utensils do you use most, and where are you going to put them? How far are they from your kitchen worktops? If you’re going to be using them frequently, you don’t want to have to go to a lot of effort to be able to reach them – again, that principle of economy of movement comes into play. On the other hand, you might have things you would like to be vaguely difficult to reach. Prized crockery, for example, could be placed in secure cabinets or high shelves, in order to protect them from flurries of activity (or children, as the case may be).
Basically, think about where you’ll be spending the most time in your kitchen, what needs to be out of the way to get there, and what you’d like to be within arm’s reach. Is it possible for something to serve dual purposes? For example, you can lay a tea-towel onto a study, waist-high cabinet so that in a pinch it can provide a surface to lay plates or trays.
This is always going to be a key consideration once you’ve organised your space to your satisfaction. Often, budgets are about striking a careful balance; it pays to invest in sturdy kitchen furniture, as most likely over the course of its lifetime it’s going to be taking a few knocks. People are going to bump into cabinets, children may well stand on chairs, and tables need to be able to take the weight of what you plan to put on them. But for the same reasons, you don’t want to buy kitchen furniture that’s too expensive, because in many cases their wear and tear shows up far more distinctly.
Finally, you might want to think about style. Even if you don’t consider yourself a good cook, you’ll still be spending a lot of time in your kitchen, so making it a pleasant place to be is always a worthwhile use of time and money. Available spaces can be filled with decorations, or left bare if you prefer a more spacious look. You could sync up the colour and style of the cabinets, tables and chairs to comfortably fit your home aesthetic. The choice is yours.
At Savoy Timber, we have a range of kitchen worktops to suit your style. Whether you’d like a sparkle worktop to add a bit of flair, or a real wood variant to suit a more traditional style, call us on 0345 0268 799, and we’ll be only too happy to discuss your options with you.