Blum has been watching how people use kitchens all over the world for years. Their research findings are directly incorporated into product development and give inspiration as to how to make kitchens more practical and operate more efficiently. A well thought-out and pre-planned kitchen can save a lot of heartache and, once installed and in use, will save the kitchen user both time and stress. The lifespan of a kitchen is generally 15 to 20 years, so why not invest a little extra time at the beginning to ensure cabinets are well planned, functional, ergonomically friendly, well organised and able to withstand the test of time?
Ensure there is sufficient space planned for the main working area — a 900 millimetre minimum. Ideally, this workspace should be located between the sink and the hob, as research and observations have shown this is the area we naturally gravitate towards when preparing food.
On average we have 11 full shopping trolleys’ worth of items stored within our kitchens. Before speaking with your designer, think about your personal storage requirements, note down anything that needs a specific place in the kitchen, anything that you have a large quantity of, and anything that you use most regularly.
Auckland-based Robyn Labb has been a leading kitchen designer for more than 25 years and been recognised with numerous industry awards for her work. She tackled this Auckland home’s unusual layout by connecting the two separate spaces into a functional kitchen and a simple white scullery in the background. “The scullery is a full working kitchen with butler’s sink, ovens, cook top and pantry storage,” she says. “The large island is a social hub and prep area for entertaining.” The existing casual dining area was too small so the kitchen table was merged into the large island for casual dining and socialising. “This design works well with the client’s busy life and they in fact now spend most of their time in the kitchen,” Labb says. The island reflects the classical house with antiqued oak cabinetry fronts and looks more like furniture with this detailing. Blum’s Legrabox drawer system adds a high level of organisation to a kitchen’s interior.
Joanne Godding, a designer at Bespoke on Khyber, used Blum kitchen fittings to create a streamlined, pared-back kitchen in Ponsonby, Auckland.
Godding says the owners wanted to create a space ideal for entertaining, “so we had to make sure there was enough space to allow for this”, but keeping a clean and uncluttered space was also a priority. “We got rid of an external door and extended the scullery so we have a large multipurpose space where the coffee machine, blender and so on are housed, all plugged in and ready to go,” she says. “We recessed the fridge so it wasn’t so dominating and we clearly refined and planned the kitchen space.” An example of this is the way food is all stored on one side of the kitchen — underneath one of the ovens using Blum internal drawers — with the crockery and glassware on the other “so there are two very distinctive areas”. The resulting kitchen is “very streamlined and pared-back,” Godding says, with a marble benchtop and wall piece able to take centre stage.
Austrian hardware manufacturer Blum is renowned for quality and innovation. It currently holds more than 1000 patents and is a leading patent applicant. To find out more, speak with your designer or manufacturer, or visit one of Blum’s showrooms: 621 Rosebank Road, Avondale, Auckland and 27 Dalziel Place, Woolston, Christchurch; blum.com/ideas.