Sunday, 17 March 2013

Luxury Kitchen Design Ergonomics.

An incite into kitchen design from a Mascari point of view

This sentence is read only too often in the kitchen industry, but does it mean the same thing to every designer or more to the point do the same rules apply to each and every individual design. There is no doubt that a kitchen needs to flow, it is a space to prepare, cook and serve food as well as entertaining in the modern luxury kitchen.

Clearly money has a big part to play in creating the perfect ergonomics, as does available space and shape. But a designer can always do the best with what they have to work with. Another factor to throw in as well is the customers preferences on usability and looks. I for one believe you should always start off with getting the basic appearance agreed with the customer and the try and pull it in to get improved ergonomics.

Compromise to gain work space

A prime example of compromise in this situation is my own contemporary kitchen. I would never say to anybody put your sink right at the end of your worktop up against the wall. It is tight to use and you are moving here and there to get your dirty dishes arranged, washed and the draining. However in my situation we only had 2 runs of solid oak worktop in an L shape arrangement. I wanted space on the tops for baking, buffeting and also serving up plates. We like to entertain and my modern fitted kitchen needed to get this factor on the top of its design list. So I decided to put my granite sink at the very end of a worktop run. I can not tell you how well this has worked in terms of appearance, space and yes ergonomics. The sink is now kind of out the way, the oak top is not broken up by it so I have stacks of space to bake, prepare, serve and whatever else. When I do the dishes it is also not as much of a problem as you would anticipate, the dishes are maximum 90 cm away from the bowl so really no big deal. I would not call this compromise as now its in use it really is in my opinion the right way to have executed the design.

Think about your cooking appliances

I am a big fan of spreading out your cooking appliances, I think this is good practice in kitchen design. Hob with an oven below can get a bit hectic at times, such a lot of heat concentrated into that space and also pans above on the hob while checking the oven is not ideal. Yes this is how they build cookers but that's because you are buying one appliance. When it comes to separate built in appliances think about how you would like them spread out, safety advantages are to be gained here because an oven out of the reach of little hands is one less thing to worry about.

Fridges and freezers out the way

To many seem to have the opinion that your fridge and freezer needs to be at handy reach to be convenient whilst cooking. I have to strongly disagree with this. It needs to be in the same room but out the way is no bad thing. A family home even during cooking periods can have a kitchen full of teenagers grabbing this and that out of the cupboards and fridge. Move this big appliances and once again you have gained breathing space. You have also made enough room to reduce that cramped feeling of everyone on top of each other, which in turn means plenty of space to gain a little help from your loved ones.

True ergonomics are down to you

The real way to get your kitchen working just they way you want it is to take time deciding what goes in which cupboard and drawer. Sounds obvious but these are the most used areas and the spaces you will be constantly dipping in and out of. So to glue the whole contemporary kitchen design together take your time and really think about how you will store what where. The beauty is you can alter this over time to fine tune your kitchens flow. This is where you get to make your room work the right way for you and for me this is where the true ergonomics are created. We are all different and so like to do things completely different to each other so there can really be no rule of thumb to executing the perfect universal design. It is all about the right look, the right space and the right place to store the right things.

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