Creating The Perfect Cooking Station In 8 Simple Steps

Whether you are a budding Jamie Oliver, a domesticated goddess like Nigella Lawson or a complete and utter novice in the kitchen it is important that you create a suitable cooking station in which you can work. Follow these 8 simple steps to achieving the cooking station that will perfectly nurture your culinary talents and ambitions.

1. De-Clutter and Simplify

When it comes to kitchen planning the simplest rule is to de-clutter and simplify. It may seem like the perfect cooking station should have an appliance for everything but the result would be chaotic. Instead you should restrict the appliances you have to those you actually use on a daily basis. Yes having an ice-cream maker is a fun idea but in reality that ice-cream maker could probably be tucked away in a cupboard and taken out on the rare occasion it is used.

Keep the really important appliances like a food processor readily accessible as this will save you time on a daily basis. It is also a good idea to keep the most important utensils such as knives in a convenient location as well as those ingredients you use daily such as herbs and spices. Check out kitchenware stores for attractive ways to store these items on show.

2. The Work Triangle

Kitchen planning is the foundation of creating a cooking station. When planning the layout of your kitchen it is always important to consider the ‘work triangle’. This is comprised of three important areas which must be close together and without any obstructions between them.

They are:
– The cooker
– The sink
– The refrigerator

Unless you have established a clear work triangle you will always struggle to create a workable cooking station within your kitchen.

3. Storage

Storage is often a problem in smaller kitchens and how you approach this problem can make or break your cooking station. Be creative about your storage problems. If countertop space is premium then take advantage of the many different ways of hanging utensils on the walls. That way they are close to hand but you still have plenty of preparation space. If cupboard space is limited then only keep what you really need in the kitchen. That beautiful wedding present china set could be displayed in another room rather than hidden away in a kitchen cupboard. Also think outside of the box and investigate the range of kitchen trolleys that you can buy. These could offer a movable storage option which may prove more convenient for you. Remember it is your kitchen and how you store things is a personal choice.

Know tips on how to arrange or design your cooking station.

flickr by New Inspiration Home Design

4. Kitchen Islands

One solution for storage problems is a kitchen island. This will give you another preparation area and also can act as a divider between the cooking area and dining area for kitchens that incorporate both. You can choose between permanent fixed kitchen islands or moveable islands. Both have advantages and disadvantages. With a more permanent fixture it can be fitted with electricity and therefore become an extra cooking area. However it is then fixed and may take up a large area of floor space. Moveable kitchen islands on the other hand can be moved out to open up the kitchen floor space for socializing or dining space for a growing family.

5. Worktops

Worktops are an important consideration in any kitchen. If you have the choice of which kind of worktop you will install it is important to carefully consider the options within your budget. Granite has a beautiful finish and is both heat resistant and durable. However it comes with a larger price tag than other options such as quartz. Stainless steel is a popular choice among professionals however scratches easily. If you have young children that like to help with cooking such a surface could very quickly become scratched. Also consider how many people will be involved in food preparation and therefore how much counter space will be dedicated to preparation.

When considering worktops and preparation areas it is also important to fully understand what you want from a kitchen. Will it be used as a focus area for socializing? If so perhaps preparation areas such as kitchen islands are more suitable as they allow the chef to engage with others whilst preparing, rather than standing with their back to people.

6. Maximize Your Space

Small kitchens can cause stress for a number of reasons including storage and preparation area. They can also look more cluttered and disorganised. Trick your mind into thinking your kitchen is bigger by painting it in light tones and using more layers of lighting to open up the space. You may not actually have any more space to work in but at the end of a long day at work it will definitely look more inviting to cook in than a dark cluttered kitchen which will have you reaching for the pizza delivery number.

7. Make a Budget

Depending on what kind of cook you are different aspects of your kitchen will take priority. It is important therefore to make a budget at the outset. You may want to spend money on a traditional Aga stove and therefore opt for cheaper options on worktops and other appliances. Alternatively you may choose to spend money on a free standing food processor which will both take up a large portion of the budget and of the available space within your kitchen. The main thing is to understand yourself and what you and your family want from the kitchen. Then prioritise and budget accordingly to get the kitchen of your dreams. There is no point buying granite worktops and never being able to afford any of the appliances you dreamed you would be using to make your soufflés.

8. Light Up Your Kitchen

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any room design and the kitchen is no different. Use spotlights and under cabinet lighting to aid in the functional needs of your kitchen such as food preparation and cooking. Invest in a dimmer switch for overhead lighting to add to the ambience of your dining experience. By layering your lighting you will be able to make your cooking station both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Using these 8 simple steps you too can have the perfect cooking station for your needs. However be honest with yourself from the outset. Create the kitchen you will use not the one you dream you will use. There is nothing worse than spending lots of money and ending up with a kitchen that the mere thought of entering is overwhelming.