Cooking up a treat in kitchen designby James Boley on May 8, 2009
Well-designed kitchens can make a massive difference to the value and appeal of any development. CID talks to the experts to formulate a recipe for successful kitchen design
As one of the key social spaces in a project, a kitchen can make a vital difference to a prospective client, potentially acting as a deal breaker. As a result, designing a kitchen that truly meets a client’s needs is becoming increasingly important.
However, with the changing nature of the modern kitchen, creating a truly attractive cooking space now requires considerably more planning than simply selecting beautiful units.
“In the past, the kitchen served a utilitarian role where people gathered for the basic purpose of cooking and eating. The kitchen will continue to be a central gathering place in the future, but on a more social level. For example, it has become the room of choice to entertain guests, featuring all the equipment you need,” said Anamika Priyadarshi, retail manager for Better Life, which distributes SieMatic kitchens.
As a result, it is becoming increasingly important for developers to ensure that a kitchen is designed as a ‘feature’, a selling point in itself. Experts recommend the use of well-known brands as a way of increasing the appeal of a kitchen design, since brands can act as a guarantee of quality, something which may have been lacking previously.
“The market has evolved and people are more educated with regards to quality, both in the material and the design. Putting bad or inappropriate products in a project that titles itself as ‘luxurious’ is in many cases no longer accepted by clients,” said Kathryn Pratley, project manager of Kitchens and Beyond.
“Both the bathroom fixtures and the kitchen are the main elements of apartments and houses – if the developer uses brands, the client immediately connects a certain level of quality to the overall product,” she suggested.
“Budgets are constantly going up, mostly in the high-end sector, as it’s no longer possible to sell luxury estate with ‘no name’ interior components, as was previously the case in the Gulf,” agreed Daniel Gianni, brand manager for Bulthaup distributor Al Tayer.
Some kitchen designs can spend several years in development, such as the PWS Metris kitchen, which was distributed in the UAE by Permaglaze after two years of research and development.
Other manufacturers have created crossovers with established brands to create unique designs. Poggenpohl supplies the P’7340, designed by world-renowned automobile company Porsche, which in addition to providing a certain level of novelty also means a designer can be confident of the quality of the product.
Tie-ups with companies such as Porsche are indicative of the ever-increasing research that now goes into kitchen design, which in turn provides designers with many more options to create bespoke culinary spaces.
“Kitchens have reached a level of comfort and functionality which was unthinkable a few years back. Soft-closing drawers, pull-outs and doors are now being considered standard in kitchens,” Thomas Klee, area sales manager of Poggenpohl, pointed out.
With the kitchen becoming a larger feature of a development, there is also a marked trend for non-cooking related innovations to be included in the space.
“Kitchens have become the social nucleus; the kitchen is the centre of the family, not just a working room, but a room for communication, for the meeting of family and friends. The kitchen is equipped with multimedia functions, and is connected to the web and other house functions,” said Klee.
As a result, clients are increasingly demanding facilities that allow the kitchen to be used as a ‘control centre’ for the rest of the building.
“The kitchen will also gain greater control of the rest of the household with touch screen computers allowing consumers to control a variety of aspects of the home, including lighting, heating and cooling, entertainment systems, security and more,” said Priyadarshi.
The kitchen as a social hub also means there will be an overall increase in clients asking for open-plan kitchens, which encourage interaction.
“There has been a move from a more classical style to increasingly modern kitchen over the past few years. The kitchen is more integrated into the living space nowadays; not only pure functions dominate the ‘kitchen room’, but are combined with elements such as counters and attached tables. In general, the overall layout of the kitchen can do a lot to determine how ‘sociable’ a kitchen is. The functions are kept discreetly in the background,” said Pratley.
Open kitchens also increase the flexibility of the space. “Another trend can be seen in the expansion of the classic work triangle to provide additional room to welcome the help of a second person when it comes to preparing a meal,” Priyadarshi explained.
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