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How to create a kitchen as unique as you

We all want our home and kitchen to be a perfect reflection of who we are. What does this actually involve and how do we achieve it?

FORM Design Team

June 11, 2020

kitchen design

We all want our home and kitchen to be a perfect reflection of who we are. What does this actually involve and how do we achieve it?

Without a doubt, the way something looks affects how it is perceived: by you the everyday user of the space, and by other people who come into contact with it. Getting the look right tends to be top of the agenda for people renovating a kitchen, and for good reason.

Although the look is a big part of the story, it is not the entire story. Making your kitchen unique to you will also involve making it work well for you. This means creating a space that is well planned and comfortable to use, and has the right tools for the tasks performed in it (the most obvious being your kitchen appliances).

Finally, the accessories in your kitchen are the cherry on the cake. Find the right ones and it will all click into place. The result is a beautiful well-functioning kitchen with a touch of something so special to you.


The look

Do you know what you like? No, it’s not a rhetorical question: really, do you know what you like? It does take some legwork upfront to establish this, but doing so will make your kitchen design journey smoother and more productive.

Trends vs gut feel

You see, here’s the thing: many people think they like what they see in magazines or in social media right at this point in time. That’s called trends, and trends are easy to be swayed by. There’s no problem with following trends and designing your kitchen around what you’ve seen somewhere else. But first, make sure that it will also work for you!

Visual trends (colours or patterns, for instance) can be everywhere today, but gone tomorrow. Every paint manufacturer offers up their colour of the year, which may seem appealing and interesting. But remember, there will be another colour of the year next year, and the one after that, and the one after that. 

It’s best to go with your gut feel, even if it isn’t driving you to something that is obviously trendy or all over social media right now. A kitchen is a purchase for the long term, so you will want to ensure that there is some emotional durability to it.

Selling soon? No problem

We get that many of our clients are not planning to stay in their current home for the next 10 years. It can be difficult to find the right balance between personalization on the one hand and appeal to a potential house buyer on the other.

If you’re renovating with one eye on boosting the sale value of your property, then you won’t want to create anything potentially off-putting to others. Not only is this a safe approach, but it is frankly also the sensible way. Even if you stay, you won’t want to go through another kitchen renovation anytime soon!

Our experienced kitchen designers know the tricks of the trade, and can help you find the balance you are looking for. Some elements of the kitchen are easier to readapt over time than others, if you or a potential buyer wanted to do this. 

Work with a designer

Copy+paste is an effective approach when dealing with computers, but it’s less effective with a kitchen. On the one hand, designers ask their clients for inspirational images so as to understand their aspirations for the space. On the other hand, designers also face some challenges with this approach.

We’re letting you into our world here. A client might come to us asking to recreate a kitchen that they’ve found on Instagram. Just that the ceiling in the inspirational space is 2ft taller, the flooring is a few shades lighter, the windows are South-facing, and the floorplan is completely different.

Properties can vary dramatically. Putting together a collection of inspirational images is more productive than selecting one with a view to replicate it. Our designers will help you identify specifics in your vision for your kitchen, and expertly weave those together.

Our range allows for personalization and customization like no other. There isn’t much that we cannot offer you. But ultimately, we want to give you the things that are right for you and your space.

Make it work

Getting the look right is important, but is sometimes over-emphasized by home-owners at the expense of other equally important considerations. 

Space planning

Space planning is one of those important considerations. Again, don’t always be swayed by what you’ve seen, because every household has different needs. Whether we employ the traditional kitchen triangle approach when designing your kitchen or follow principles of zoning and flow, we will need to understand how you intend to use the space.

Which leg of the triangle will get the most use in your kitchen and how can we optimize its design? What are the circulation routes through the kitchen and what safety precautions need to be integrated into the design, with those in mind?

Creating a kitchen that is functional and practical is the science to the art that is getting the look and style right.

Ergonomics

Did you read our in-depth blog post on ergonomics in kitchen design? It’s ultra important! A lot of design work revolves around averages, but that just isn’t always the best approach.

Spatial decisions — in plan, elevation and 3D — should be made with human dimensions in mind. If you are particularly tall, for instance, you may want to integrate some higher work surfaces into your kitchen, so as to spare your back. If you bake a lot but find it hard to bend down, maybe ovens positioned higher up are a better solution for you?

A kitchen is not just a space where we carry out tasks, but it’s also about optimized storage. In no other room of the home do we store quite as much stuff! It’s for this reason that ergonomics is also important when designing kitchen storage.

Things need to be safely accessible when and where you need them. We’ve got you covered here, with a range of smart storage solutions such as our award-winning drawers. They bring your things to you, instead of needing to fruitlessly search around at the back of the cupboards.

All-round customization opportunities are part of the deal with FORM, because we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to kitchen design. Customization does not only mean finding the right color or door style, but also refers to the use of ergonomic principles in the design.

Appliances

We couldn’t possibly write about designing a kitchen that works well without mentioning appliances. Which one is your workhorse? Do you run the dishwasher twice a day or fill your fridge to the brim?

The variety of appliances out there today is mind-blowing. Depending on how you use your kitchen, this can be an area where to splash or to splurge. If you’re an avid cook, then inevitably your hob and oven(s) will be the priority. If the dishwasher is your best friend, then you’ll want to spend more here and upgrade to a high-end model.

Although it may be tempting to go for appliances that you think look best, it is more important to find the ones that meet your practical needs. Decisions such as these are equally part of making your kitchen unique to you.

Accessories

Details and accessories can make or break a kitchen. The right kind of a handle or lamp can really enhance what you are trying to achieve (in aesthetic or functional terms). The wrong one can have the exact opposite effect!

Lighting

If you are upgrading a dated kitchen, then chances are that you will also need to update the lighting in the space. Ample lighting can enhance the best features of your new kitchen, as well as making it easier to work in.

Being a space where you’ll be using sharp knives and dealing with boiling water, among other potential hazards, effective task lighting is crucial in a kitchen. Under-cabinet LEDs will make it safer to work in the kitchen, while having the benefit of the light source being hidden from view.

Ambient lighting in the kitchen might include recessed downlights or another source that lights the space evenly and generously. Even if your ceiling does not allow for recessing, you can create a similar effect by using surface-mounted tracks with LEDs pointing in different directions.

Not forgetting pendant lights in the kitchen! These are not only perfect accent lighting but are also effective at enhancing the style of the kitchen. There’s just something about the symmetry of multiple pendants above an island: it can make the space feel homely, crisp, or refined, but it rarely leaves people ambivalent.

Furniture

The odd kitchen is still a self-contained space, but increasingly these are part of a larger cooking-dining-living space that is the focal point of the home. Although there isn’t much free-standing furniture used in the former (often just a table and chairs), there is a lot more going on in the latter.

You will need to think about how your existing furniture will sit alongside the new kitchen. Unless you are making a strong statement, you will want the space to feel harmonious and flow naturally.

You will need to decide whether you are designing the kitchen to go with what you already have, or whether you are also planning to upgrade the furniture. On the one hand, existing items are a good anchor and starting point for a design direction. On the other hand, starting afresh allows you to make a bigger leap: this may even include a complete floor plan rejig. 

Small things

Sometimes, it’s the smallest things that can mean the most to you, and so accessories are instrumental in creating a unique kitchen.

Inspiration for interior design can come from many different sources: it doesn’t always have to start on Pinterest or Instagram. You might have a collection of prints that you’re keen to display. A rug, special serveware, or even the bike on the wall of your open plan home may give clues as to the direction of your kitchen design.

With our bespoke solutions, we can create space for your cookbook collection or somewhere smart to dock your devices. At FORM, we understand that each and every person has a lifestyle unique to them. So we design kitchens accordingly.


Unique in style, unique in function, and with a touch of what’s special to you. That’s our approach to designing kitchens around people’s lifestyles. Getting to know you comes first, designing comes second. Let’s talk!

"We believe that good design improves people's lives. We focus on personalization, performance, and peace of mind."

Co-founders Danny and Tom

Danny Soos & Tom Sherman

FORM Co-Founders

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