Transforming a kitchen from a functional space whose purpose is food preparation and storage into the hub of the home that serves the different needs of the family members, is one of the clear marks of change in our residential habits.
In the modern era in which the boundaries between leisure and work have blurred, the kitchen functions as a space for entertaining, eating, reading, working and more. A moment before you begin planning your next kitchen, we asked architect Adi Samet from Samet Architects to tell us what is important to know and what we shouldn’t miss out on when we start the task.
The kitchen is a machine that needs to work. Even though we want it to be beautiful, it needs to be practical; therefore I recommend to not give in to different fantasies or dreams that photograph well or look good, but are uncomfortable to work in. It is important that the workspace be located between the sink and the stove, and not spread apart, and that you make sure there is a lot of storage space.
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Image: Lots of storage space and a workspace strategically located between the sink and the stove. Photography: Hagar Doplet
Whether you prefer an island or a dining table at the center of the kitchen, it is important to ensure that there is ample seating space, enough to seat at least 8 people. This leaves enough space for entertaining and ensures a pleasant atmosphere in the kitchen.
If you don’t want to turn the kitchen into an integral part of the living room and prefer to play it down, it is important to ensure that the kitchen has a viewing point to the other parts of the home- the living room, garden, pool or TV corner- so that the person in the kitchen won’t feel isolated and can continue to entertain or be in eye-contact with other house residents and guests.
Image: A kitchen with a view of the other parts of the home. Photography: Itay Sikolski
Preparing a meal is a ceremony in itself, making the kitchen transform into an active entertainment area. Therefore, when planning work surfaces it is important to take into account that these days there are many more appliances that need to be accessible, and therefore require careful planning of space.
For example- a coffee machine, a bread baking machine, a wine refrigerator or an extra freezer. Some people want the garbage bin underneath the sink, while others prefer a larger garbage bin that is a separate unit; each person with his or her own preferences.
Image: a designated space for the different electrical appliances that constitute an integral part of the kitchen.
When choosing work surfaces it is important to select high quality surfaces that you can work on properly; i.e., that will be practical, easy to clean, and that won’t absorb liquids or stains. The surface also needs to be easily manipulated: today there is a tendency to choose very thin surfaces, but your selection should depend on the character you want to give the kitchen- it can go all the way down to the floor and cover the entire island, or go all the way up onto the walls.
The colour of the surfaces needs to match the character of the entire home, so before you choose the surface’s colour it is important to understand the colour pallet and materials used in throughout the home.
Image: The work surface corresponds with the dominant colour scheme of the entire home. Photography: Tal Niss
It is important to ensure that there is direct lighting above the work surface, without blinding light beams or shadows. However, over the dining table, it is highly recommended to create intimate lighting that defines the area and creates a pleasant space.
Image: The right lighting over the workstation prevents shadows when it is being used.
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