Equipping your kitchen well means choosing ergonomic furniture that makes everyday life easier, while saving time in preparation. In addition to this functional aspect, kitchen furniture must be aesthetic, reflecting the soul of the inhabitants and giving character to the space. If the kitchens of decoration magazines, TV shows, pro renovations make you dream, but you do not know how to choose the furniture so that they suit your interior as well as your needs, do not don’t miss the tips to come. Professionals in interior design, in particular kitchens, will assist you in choosing your kitchen furniture.
Whether you are planning to redo an existing kitchen , or you are designing a new kitchen project from A to Z , the first thing to do is to identify your desires and lifestyle. The kitchen becomes in effect a multi-use room, where life is organized and where everyone spends a good part of their time. Once the needs and constraints related to space have been identified, it remains to choose the elements that will make up the future kitchen. Ergonomics, ease of use and maintenance, as well as optimization, are the keywords of a successful kitchen. The icing on the cake: take care of the aesthetics of the furniture to better personalize it.
Step n ° 1. To choose the right kitchen furniture: define your needs
A fundamental step in the kitchen project, defining the list of your needs makes it possible to orient the choice of furniture which thus corresponds to the desired function and aesthetics. Morgane Pluchon, product designer in charge of artistic direction at Lapeyre , takes stock: “Choosing the right kitchen furniture is above all knowing what you want to put in it”. To do this, “take the time to analyze what is practical and what is not in the current kitchen [will allow] to better adapt the nouvelle cuisine to everyday life”. Also ask yourself the question of the intensity of the use that will be made of the kitchen: are you a great cook, or rather amateur? Is the kitchen a real living room or a simple place of preparation?
The answers to these questions define the choice and quality of materials, but also interior design solutions . On this subject, Morgane Pluchon recalls that it is necessary “to think carefully about organizing the interior of the furniture”: for example, for storage, to privilege furniture with doors; for everyday crockery and utensils, use drawer units.
Finally, “it is important to take into account your personal tastes and ask yourself what is the desired spirit”. This reflection guides the style of your kitchen: rather contemporary , refined, natural, rustic , etc … To help you, do not hesitate to “look for inspirational photos or better yet, to go directly to the store to be able to touch and look at the different products “. The ideal is to be able to call on a professional, kitchen designer or interior designer, who will be able to advise you in the choice of suitable furniture.
Step n ° 2. Determine the layout of the kitchen before choosing your furniture
Before choosing your kitchen furniture, it is necessary to define its location in the space. In other words, study the configuration and the surface of the room in which it will be located. Indeed, “the size of the room, the openings, the water, and electricity supply, will influence the layout and organization [of the kitchen]”. The layout adapts to existing constraints, and the choice will therefore be rather on a linear kitchen, in U, in L, the installation of a central island, etc … As far as possible, the architect Sophie Texier from the Texier-Soulas agency prefers “linear kitchens with an island”., “the island creates a line while hiding another, in this case, the preparation space”, which makes the kitchen more aesthetic.
Step n ° 3. Choosing the right kitchen furniture means thinking about the activity triangle
The golden rule of an ergonomic and comfortable kitchen, the activity triangle “corresponds to the shortest or easiest route between three essential areas: cooking (cooking), washing (sink, dishwasher) and washing. conservation (fridge, storage) “. The idea is to facilitate movement between these three points by intelligently installing kitchen furniture. Morgane Pluchon specifies that “for kitchens of normal size, it is recommended to have 80 cm between the cooking zone and the washing point; 120 cm between two rows of furniture, and 90 cm between the furniture and a wall to access to appliances. Finally, the space between the kitchen furniture and the table should be 90 cm to facilitate the transition. “dishwasher will be placed near the sink and the refrigerator at the end of the worktop ”.
Step n ° 4. Choose your kitchen furniture to optimize space and make it functional
The dimensions of kitchen furniture count for a lot in the comfort of use of its inhabitants. If the standards exist, – worktop height at 90 cm, depth at 65 cm for example – Isabelle Contreras, director of Bulthaup France, recalls that “these dimensions must adapt to the people who occupy and work in this space” to make it ergonomic. At Bulthaup for example, “the cabinet heights can be changed, the feet of various heights, and the depth of the worktops [is free to vary]”. Sophie Texier underlines the importance of this tailor-made work which also adapts to so-called standard elements, of the trade, – for example, working on facadestailor-made. She specifies, however, that this is valid “in the case of simple arrangements; if it is too complicated, it is better to do everything to measure”.
Among the possible solutions, Isabelle Contreras evokes “the possibility of having a deeper work surface, 75 cm against 65, allowing to gain in work surface, but also in storage, the low cabinets then being deeper”. In unexploited spaces, favoring shallow kitchen furniture allows, again, to optimize all the space. The architect Sophie Texier specifies that on these shallow pieces of furniture, around 40 cm, “beware of drawers; instead, favor doors and shelves”. “If there is little surface but a lot of height, use it by adding what is called over-furniture over the columns”, adds the director Bulthaup France.
“Multiplying storage is essential, emphasizes Morgane Pluchon, at Lapeyre. It is, therefore, preferable to opt for ergonomic furniture that opens effortlessly. Provided with cupboards or drawers with telescopic or sliding storage, they allow you to quickly find the utensils required. ” It is also necessary to pay attention to the “direction of opening of the fronts or drawers in order to leave the room to evolve/move in the kitchen or not to create dangerous situations for the little ones”.
Isabelle Contreras recalls that in terms of functionality, “all the furniture fitted with sliding systems are very comfortable”. This system offers a global and rapid view of the content, eliminating the need to search for the required utensil. Access is also simplified, avoiding bending down or crouching.
High furniture, on the other hand, is practical for “storing products out of reach of children, or utensils more rarely used”, but Sophie Texier emphasizes that from an aesthetic point of view “the tall units are very” cooking “”. As far as possible, she recommends having enough low storage, and opting for large modules, in order to “avoid high storage, which makes the kitchen more refined and lets in light”. The tall units are installed in priority in surfaces where there is a lot of length. The alternative may be to replace these elements with lighter shelves .
Step n ° 5. Take care of the finishes of your kitchen furniture
Taking care of the finishes of your kitchen furniture is a must for your kitchen. Starting with the facades which are the main elements reflecting the style of its kitchen. If color is important, – the architect of the Texier-Soulas agency emphasizes that it is also possible to match it to that of the walls, thanks to the custom-made-, the choice of materials has just as much. Material recognized for its resistance, especially on the facade, laminate is a good choice. “Lacquer is also strong but more expensive, as is veneer, the latter being more fragile than laminate.” If the fronts of kitchen furniture are lacquered, give preference to matt lacquers, easy to maintain, rather than “glossy lacquers which easily take traces”. Note that even on wood, it is possible to obtain beautiful finishes thanks to mat varnish.
Besides the facades, the handles are not to be neglected either. The condition on the one hand ease of use, on the other hand, they participate in the design of the kitchen. You can choose between classic protruding handles and recessed handles. If the space to move around in the kitchen is relatively small, “the protruding handles can be awkward”, warns Sophie Texier, and in this case, the worktop must overflow slightly so as not to bump into. On the contrary, “the recessed handles save space because the worktop is flush “, the kitchen is, therefore, more ergonomic. However, these handles are not recommended for integrated refrigerators because they do not provide the necessary grip to pull the door. Opt instead for protruding handles in this case.
The plinths are also to think in terms of aesthetics. “At least 10 cm high to slide the feet under the kitchen furniture”, the plinth is all the more necessary as it is often found integrated on refrigerators. Unless you don’t have a refrigerator, it’s difficult to sacrifice it. Matched to the fronts of the furniture or standing out, on the contrary, the plinth can be “in mirror-polished aluminum, giving the impression that the floor runs under the furniture because it is reflected in it”. A tip is given by the architect of the Texier-Soulas agency, to give depth to a small kitchen in particular.