The kitchen is the heart of the modern home and, whatever its size, there are several practical and aesthetic considerations that need to addressed in any kitchen design. A kitchen is, of course, primarily a functional space used for the storage and preparation of food but, above and beyond that, it should also be a warm, comfortable space that you can enjoy for its own sake.
Cabinets and worktops are integral components of any fitted kitchen, and from the point of view of hygiene, durability and aesthetics, you can choose from a range of materials such as wood, laminate, granite or stainless steel to suit your own taste and practical requirements.
All kitchens also obviously have walls and floors and the characteristics of wall and floor coverings should reflect the practical use of the kitchen. Tiles are easy to clean in the event of spills or splashes but wallpaper or paint can be a cost effective alternative and humidity resistant, easy to clean versions are available specifically for use in kitchens. Vinyl flooring similarly is water resistant and easy to clean and can provide the look of ceramic tiles at a fraction of the cost.
A large proportion of the activity in a kitchen takes place during daylight hours so bright, bold colours are often appropriate. For food preparation after dark, however – or for creating the right atmosphere for a “candlelight” soiree, if your kitchen is large enough – task and ambient lighting is important. Ambient lighting, which provides general illumination for a kitchen space, can be provided by a central ceiling fixture or multiple recessed fixtures for example. Task lighting on the other hand which allows you to see what you are doing can be included beneath kitchen cabinets, for example, for the illumination of the work surface(s) below.