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Building a full-fledged kitchen for the home chef
The way to anyone’s heart (and soul) is food. Before asking yourself how the kitchen has grown to become the most important part of the home, think about all the tantilising dishes that has left the kitchen counter and went straight to your tummies. When building a homely kitchen from scratch, take heed of the golden triangle configuration, a concept that maximises the efficiency while carrying out kitchen duties. After the initial layout is nailed down, look out for our ten essentials for the kitchen to kit yourself out with the necessities to whip up the perfect meal for your family.
Holy trinity for the kitchen
The golden triangle configuration is an entry that comes up regularly when leafing through the dictionary of kitchen design. For those unfamiliar with the term, it is a principle that maximises efficiency when carrying out kitchen duties by governing the placement of each component in the kitchen and controlling the kitchen space between the most used work spaces like the stove, sink and fridge.
The rule of thumb is to provide unobstructed access between the three zones and it can be put to effect by placing each component on each end of the triangle. To maintain a standard working space, each side of the triangle is suggested to be between 1.2m and 2.7m. It is a good point to note that in an Asian household, Feng Shui reasons that the sink should not be placed directly opposite the stove for fear of snuffing out the flames of life.
After considering the placement of the three, bring in the other kitchen components like the oven, food preparation area and waste bin into the design. For example, the preparation area and the waste bin should be positioned on both sides of the sink to facilitate efficient movement.
It is a good point to note that recently apartments typically hold a rectangular layout that would make applying the golden triangle rule a challenge. If the current kitchen configuration does not accommodate the golden triangle, there is no need to start hacking at the walls. Instead, plan your appliances around the layout.
We recommend placing the sink furthest from the entranceway to prevent any disruption to traffic flow. This can be followed up with a food preparation area and the stove to take into account washing and cooking. Other electrical appliances like a microwave oven can be positioned between the refrigerator and stove. Even in a small kitchen, planning ahead will always a wise plan to start with.
10 Essentials for the Kitchen
Whether it is store our dairy products and frozen meats or to keep our fizzy drinks chilly, we are all dependent on our refrigerators. Before going out to make your purchase, measure up to ensure the length, breadth and depth of your refrigerator all square up in your kitchen’s dimensions. Ideally, buying larger is a wise choice as events like the holiday seasons or a dinner party would stock your cooler to the brim. Watch out for ENERGY STAR rated appliances as they are energy-efficient and shave off the dollars on your monthly electrical bill.
On the LG Smart InstaView refrigerator, a smart function allows hungry users a peek at the cooler’s contents by knocking twice on a glass – it keeps the ingredients within fresh and free of bacteria and retains the cool air on the inside. Long gone are the days when you have to reopen the refrigerator at hourly intervals in the hopes of food magically replenishing.
2. Kitchen Island Counter Tops
Cosentino’s reputation as the top player in the quartz industry is not without merit. Their latest product, the Eternal Calacatta Gold, borrows from the pure whites of Calacatta marble and adds in large grey and gold veins.
Kitchen counter tops can be made in different materials like granite, quartz, stainless steel, marble or solid surface. Each material has its individual qualities and price points and has to be decided based on the kitchen usage. For years, Quartz has been leading the pack for its non-porous quality and resilience while stainless steel has been a popular option in recent times from being a common characteristic of commercial kitchens.
Quartz is a logical option for kitchen counter tops for its non-porous slabs and low maintenance. As a natural material, quartz gets its sturdiness of being scratch-resistant, heat-resistant, stain-resistant and impact-resistant from its durable quality of being one of the hardest materials found on Earth. The Eternal Calacatta Gold from Silestone by Cosentino borrows the essence of Calacatta marble through its large grey and gold veins in the pure white surface.
Who says stainless steel ought not to exist in the home kitchen? As a common worktop used in professional kitchens, stainless steel is highly regarded for being easy to clean, its capacity to be bleached safely and its high stain resistance. It does have its downsides as scratches and fingerprints are more likely to show in the course of time.
3. Floor Tiles
Porcelain floor tiles like the ABK Downtown Ash available at Hafary incorporates warm colours into the soothing atmosphere of the kitchen.
Floor tiles in the kitchen are a delicate affair as the choice of material is a crucial part of that selection. Certain floor tiles are to be avoided like vinyl or wood due to their susceptibility to water especially during washing and mopping. Porcelain tiles are by far the best option for their durability and toughness.
The ABK Downtown Ash available at Hafary, incorporates the warm colours of stone, pebble and concrete into a unique material that would be part of an everlasting kitchen design. Produced by dry pressing high-quality spray-dried clays of various colours, each textured porcelain tile can be seamlessly installed in place. For those set on having a kitchen built around timbre, the Cotto D’este Cadore Alpe is fashioned to resemble the wood derived from the mountain ranges of the Dolomites.
This kitchen design by Metamorph Design is characterised by glossy paneling and glass. The glass backsplash can double up as a whiteboard for recipes or as a to-do list.
Kitchen backsplash are rarely fawned over but make up an integral portion to the cleaning and maintenance of a kitchen. For an easy wipe and clean after fixing up a meal, glass, stainless steel and tiles are functional and smooth materials that can be used as a backsplash over appliances like the induction stove or the sink.
A glass backsplash is favoured as it can be used as a reusable whiteboard to pen down recipes with a marker or as a reminder for whatever that is roasting in the oven. Stainless steel has always been a go-to in establishing industrial styles, while subway and Peranakan tiles beautify the kitchen with their geometric patterns.
5. Kitchen Cabinets
Custom-built kitchen cabinets are perfect in incorporating appliances like the oven into the design. This kitchen design by CAD Associates pairs the cool touch of the reflective surfaces with a warm mood from the wood-like laminate cabinets.
To keep your kitchen balanced and in order, storage cabinets are the first step to an organised kitchen. Ready-made options like kitchen racks can be fitted before an open wall. Otherwise seek the help of an interior design for a custom-made option that matches your interiors. There are tons of variations from the type of handle to the colour to the door orientation of each cabinet. The golden rule when choosing paneling is ‘less is more’, flat-panel cabinets offer a sleek look while raised-panel cabinets are more classic and cottage-like in design, a glass-slipper fit for themed homes.
6. Induction Cookers
The debate when it comes to cookers is one that is split in the middle between induction cooking tops and the conventional cooking hobs. In an Asian context, conventional cooking hobs are much preferred for their affinity with wok-cooking. The high-burning heat that is necessary for wok-cooking and that much-desired ‘wok-hei’ flavour can never be replicated by the electrical low-energy benefits of induction cooktops.
However, if your household deals with light cooking, the conversion to an electrical worktop would be easier. For starters, the flat surface of the induction worktop would mean that pots and pans with a rounded base would have to go due to the irregular heat distribution. Induction cooktops like the Gaggenau CL series flex induction cooktops have minimalistic designs and smart frying sensors that ensure an equal distribution of heat with no risk of burnt fat.
7. Kitchen Hoods
Despite its bulky design in the kitchen, range hoods have always been an indispensible addition in the kitchen. Range hoods keep the air clean and smoke-free by venting away cooking odours and filtering out the grease, heat, smoke, and moisture following a massive cookout.
Like the rest of the appliances, kitchen range hoods have seen them evolved from an eyesore in the kitchen to an object of aesthetic beauty or camouflaged into the kitchen design. The concealable Bosch downdraft stainless steel hood is a thing of beauty for homeowners who lusts after an uncluttered cooking studio. A compact hood can be retracted at will from behind the cooktop instead of hanging overhead, while maintaining impressive extraction rates with four speed settings.
8. Kitchen Lighting
Lighting could perhaps be the difference between a well-done or second-rate meal. As most kitchens in Singapore lack a source of sunlight, we rely mostly on man-made lighting to set the room alight. For maximum functionality, mix directional and accent lighting to get the right luminance and a shadow-free cooking experience. In addition to standard ceiling lights, introduce slim lighting panels under cabinets and add recessed spotlights in key locations like the sink or stove.
9. Tap Faucets
Your worries of smearing the tap faucet with your dirty hands are matters of the past. The hansgrohe Metris Select can be operated with a nudge of the elbow or wrist.
On the hansgrohe Talis Select Workflow, fill up a tall jug or rinse dirty dishes with an extra 50 centimeters of freedom from a pull-out spout
It can be argued that the kitchen basin is where the kitchen duties revolve around: rising, chopping, tossing and seasoning, it all happens at the sink. In order to stay on top of your kitchen chores, pick a proper basin mixer that has a solid water flow and a taller spout when it comes to filling up a jug or rinsing vegetables.
On the hansgrohe Metris, select an unprecedented freedom of movement is introduced with the Select button on the spout that allows the water to be toggled on and off with a nudge from an elbow or wrist.
Another hansgrohe Talis Select Workflow, with pull out sprout accessory, adds another 50cm to the operating radius, while a MagFit magnetic bracelet holds the hand spray in place.
10. Moveable Power Sockets
Power outlets are now free from the limitations of a conventional system with a unique plug and play system on a track that is safe to the touch.
Utilising the unique GSS electrical power outlet system, the Eubiq E-track power outlets can be added or removed with a simple twist. The unique “plug and play” module is perfect for the kitchen, freeing homeowners from the limitations of a conventional system.