Not all kitchens are user friendly, especially those older ones that were designed before new innovations had been thought of. Today there are many ways that are very cost effective to ensure your kitchen is easy to use. If you are designing a home or plan to renovate the kitchen, it is easier still to add components that make working in the kitchen much more pleasant.
Counter space is an important part of kitchen design. If you don’t have enough space to prepare dishes you will always find the kitchen difficult to use. With a kitchen that is already built, additional counter space can be added in several ways.
- Install an island or butcher’s block in the centre or side
- Purchase a special tray designed to go over the sink
- Add a fold out table at one end of the counters that are there
- Find a spot to have a small table
- Clear stuff off the space you already have to make the most of it
Appliances are often simply left on the counter top, taking up valuable space that could otherwise be used for food preparation. Storing them in cupboards or adding a shelf above the counter for them will free up space on your counter.
Storage space is also important to make your kitchen user friendly. Don’t let your cupboard space get inundated with outdated things you never use. If you simply cannot throw them away, pack them into a box and store them in the garage. To be really user friendly, storage space should be accessible. Deep drawers that slide out are far more accessible than cupboards with shelves. Such drawers need to be on runners to make them easy to pull out. And magnet closures will allow them to slide back in with just a touch.
Many people like open shelving, but in fact this does not make the kitchen user friendly because they get dusty quickly, so you have to clean them more often. Glass shelving especially should be banned from the kitchen.
Power points are a necessary element of any kitchen. If you have to have all your appliances in one small spot because there are no other power outlets it will not be convenient. Add an outlet to your kitchen island, to the other end of the counter space and even inside a cupboard for ease of use.
Lighting is another component that is not difficult to change or add to. Many kitchens just have one central light. This means that you are working in your own shadow much of the time. Adding down-lights under overhead cupboards or wherever they will shine directly on your work area gives a much more pleasant work space. You might also be able to enlarge the kitchen windows so that natural light will pour into your work space.
Light can also be increased by repainting the kitchen in a very light colour. The ceiling can be a satin finish instead of matt as this will reflect light. Cupboards doors can also be changed to a lighter colour.
Once your kitchen has some of these user friendly solutions you will find that you don’t hate food preparation or cooking nearly as much as you once did.