Form Follows Function

Stunning looks in the kitchen are all well and good, but the space also has to function efficiently.

AT THE READY
Having everyday items at your fingertips can make cooking at the end of a long day a whole lot more pleasurable. Clever design ideas, like deeper, wider drawers that save on space and allow easy access to hard-to-reach items, and silent, soft-close systems, can make kitchen time run smoother. “Pull-out baskets and shelves are a brilliant way to increase usable space and keep pantries organised,” says Susan Hasler of Freedom Kitchens. “They create dedicated storage areas for spices and help reduce clutter in the cupboards.” IKEA recommends thinking about ergonomics in the kitchen; for example, having the sink near the dishwasher and the dishwasher near where the plates are kept. It also says good task lighting, like spotlights to illuminate the benchspace and above the cabinet doors, can help improve things.

TRUE INNOVATION
Michael Kitchener, of Kitcheners Kitchens, who is fresh from the trend-setting Eurocucina trade show, says more innovative designs are coming through in the kitchen – especially in benchtops. “I’ve seen jaw-dropping designs and configurations,” he reveals, “particularly variable-height benchtops for different work zones.” He also observed the wide use of electronics, which facilitates options from adjustable benchtops to self-opening and closing drawers. Elsewhere, he noted a prevalence of handleless, self-opening doors, push-touch technology, and clear glass to divide work zones.

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