Kitchen Design 101


We chat to Sharon Terblanche, designer at The Kitchen Collective, who schools us on how to create a functional, fetching kitchen.

So, you’ve decided to install a new kitchen. What next? Mission statements and moodboards, according to Sharon Terblanche. 
“The starting point is deciding what you need the new or renovated kitchen to deliver. This helps your designer know exactly what to include in the design. Think about what’s on your must-have list, such as increasing your bench space, and what items could be nice to include, like a spice/oil pull-out. Gather a few images of kitchens you love for inspiration, but don’t get overwhelmed by the choice in finishes. Once you have the right layout, the finishes can then be added.”

Go with the flow

Functional, free-flowing floor plans are a kitchen’s bread and butter. Get this wrong and your experience will be compromised, your output will diminish and your overall satisfaction will nose-dive.
“Getting the workflow right is very important. If you are cooking, you want to keep everything you need in the cooking zone, so having a pot drawer and utensils drawer next to the cooktop is ideal. Decent prep space next to the cooktop is also a good idea. Next is the cleaning zone and if two people are working in the same kitchen with one cooking and the other cleaning, you want enough space between them so they are not interrupting each other. A minimum clearance of 1200mm is ideal if working back-to-back. Keep your cooking and cleaning working zones free from each other so two or more people can use the space at the same time. If you have an island, there are multiple entry points for everyone to access the part of the kitchen they need. Dedicate a separate cabinet for a bin drawer as this stops the dance of trying to throw something away if someone else is washing up and your bin is under the sink. I aim to keep the fridge on the outskirts of the kitchen so someone getting a drink can do that without interrupting the cook.” 

Space-saving storage solutions

Storage is king. We all know it. Yet somehow, so many of us get this vital aspect wrong.
“Drawers are the premium storage components in a kitchen. You can store more in a three-drawer stack compared to a cabinet the same width. They are easier to access as you don’t need to bend down as far as you would with a traditional cabinet and you can easily see all items. For corners, I would suggest investing in corner accessories such as Kessebohmer Le Mans blind corner solutions or rotating Lazy Susans. Appliance pantries are very popular as you can add an extra benchtop in the cabinet and set back the shelves to allow optimal visibility of pantry items and comfortable use of appliances.”

Family feasts

A kitchen serving the many and multiple needs of a family is rarely clean. Sharon suggests The Kitchen Collection’s PerfectSense anti-fingerprint melamine board, which repels fingerprints and is especially useful in kitchens with dark colour schemes.