DIY SOS star claims ‘out of date’ rule for designing kitchens should be ‘ignored’

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DIY SOS and 60 Minute Makeover interior designer, Julia Kendell, said an “out of date” rule for designing kitchens should be “ignored”. Julia is a Homebuilding & Renovating Show regular and kitchen specialist. The interior designer said some rules in kitchen designing should be broken.

One rule that has been followed in the past is what is known as the “triangle rule”.

According to Julia, this concept ensures “minimal movement between the cooker, sink and fridge”.

However, the interior expert said homeowners should “ignore” the rule and should instead think about the relationship between certain areas of the home and how they move around the room.

She said: “Ignore the kitchen work triangle ‘rule’.

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“This concept of ensuring minimal movement between the cooker, sink and fridge is a 100-year-old idea that is totally out of date now that we have a multitude of appliances, much larger kitchens and, thankfully, women are no longer required to spend 12 hours a day in the kitchen performing necessary and basic tasks.

“Think instead about the relationship between areas and the appliances you use for specific tasks.

“Work out how you move around your own kitchen and what tasks you would like to simplify.

“Enjoy making bread regularly? Then set up a dedicated bread-making area close to the sink and the oven with everything you need close to hand.

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“Want to encourage healthy eating habits? Have a kids’ juicing station near the fruit bowl and the fridge with powdered supplements, seeds and nuts at hand.

“Well-functioning areas dedicated to particular tasks will encourage those activities.”

One of Julia’s “top tips” for a larger kitchen is to have a separate tea and coffee-making area away from main cooking areas.

This zones the kitchen and keeps family members from getting under the chef’s feet.

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A tea or coffee-making space could include a separate boiling water tap and a small fridge for milk and cold drinks.

Julia said homeowners often don’t need as much kitchen storage as they think.

She continued: “Most people designing new kitchens ask for more storage, but if you look through your drawers and cabinets you will unlikely to be moving your yellowing plastic containers, chipped crockery and unused gadgets into your brand-new kitchen.

“Be very clear about what you really need and how you want to store it to make life easier.

“Keep small appliances plugged in ready to use, perhaps hidden in a worktop unit with bi-fold doors.

“Position your crockery and cutlery drawers next to the dishwasher and remember that the larder is back in fashion.

“Larders are the classic storage unit with shallow shelves which keep everything you need at the front and a door which closes to keep items out of view when you don’t need them.”

For those that love a kitchen island, Julia suggested putting in “more than one” if you have the space.

She said homeowners with lots of space could consider having two or three islands that are dedicated to different tasks.

One could be used to prepare food, another for serving and another for socialising.

However, the interior designer said homeowners should “think twice” before putting a sink into an island.

She explained: “No matter how clean and tidy you are, sinks, by their nature, can be grubby areas and it doesn’t make sense to make one the focus of the kitchen.

“If you have a small kitchen and are struggling to fit in an island and a table, having a bench seat incorporated into the back of the island gives seating along one side of the table.

“This reduces the space required by one thoroughfare’s width and can be the difference between having a successful layout and not.”

Julia Kendell is the owner and lead designer at Kendell+Co.

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