A rapid pace of life has often taken away our time from cooking and also decreased our level of motivation to cook when we reach home at the end of the day. More often than not, we will either eat out or order take-away to help us satisfy our need for food. However, there are some of us who still cook (be it occasionally or frequently) and we will want a dream kitchen to work in.
When talking about dream kitchens, we often envisage a large open space filled with natural lighting, but this is a rather impossible dream in a highly dense urban environment like Singapore. Regardless of that, we can always adapt features of our dream kitchen into our small apartments and flats. The following breaks down the kitchen into its parts and how we can build our dream kitchens.
The Cooking Area
The most important area in the kitchen would be the cooking area. This will be area where magic happens.
When looking at the cooking area, the choice of our hobs and exhaust hoods are important. They help us choose how we would like to cook through the choice of the hobs – ceramic, induction or gas hobs – and also the choice of hoods. Each has its own pros and cons but the choice of these highly depends on our cooking habits and also our preference for aesthetics.
On top of the kitchen appliances, we also need to ensure that we would have enough space near the cooking area to place and rest our pots and pans, to let it cool after cooking before we wash them.
The Washing Area
The next area that people often look and will be using most is the washing area. We will usually be using this area to wash our dishes, pots and pans thus, we would need a sink that will be able to accommodate this. More often than not, people will use metal sinks at home but there are some who choose to use ceramic sinks as well. It should be noted that kitchen sinks are very much different from bathroom sinks as they are usually bigger in dimensions.
At the same time, people will also be particular about their faucets in the kitchen. These are rather different from the ones we have in our bathrooms. This is due to the need to be able to comfortably wash the big pots and pans in the sink. As such, people often choose one with a longer spout or a spout that is higher. There are also those who choose to have pull out spouts or hand-sprays that can help with washing down our cooking areas.
We also keep in mind to have an area to dry the dishes, pots and pans that we have washed. A drying rack can be placed next to the sink so that we can let it drip dry (a little) while we continue washing the other dishes.
The Storage Area
In the kitchen, we do not just have a cooking and a washing area but also an area to store all our ingredients. This section will cover the possible storage ideas for our ingredients, cookware and even smaller kitchen appliances.
Fresh Food Storage
With Singapore’s hot climate, fresh food will spoil faster when left out in the open. Thus, we would need a refrigerator to help us store our fresh produce.
There are different kinds of refrigerators that we can choose from, from the basic models to increasingly sophisticated models. However, we would need to pick one that is based on how we would use our kitchen space and also one that will be able to fit into our kitchen.
While sophisticated models may provide additional features that can bring about convenience, we would need to carefully consider it is essential to us as these may come at additional costs (on the price tag and also electrical usage as well).
Saving an area for a dry pantry can help to store and hide away all dried foods – cereals, herbs, noodles and pastas – and canned foods. These can help to cover up our messes while keeping our kitchen areas organised. In addition, we can also help to keep drinks away in these storage areas.
Having cupboards under our cooking hobs can allow for easy access to pots and pans when we need them, this makes use of empty spaces too.
Cupboards under the sink can also be used to store cleaning agents – such as washing detergents and even insecticide. Do note that because it is the sink area, it is likely that there will be an open drainage pipe that is covered with a metal or plastic flap, we should always ensure that we have adequate pest control within those areas. No one likes cockroaches or other pests climbing out of these areas – well, some of us.
Furthermore, we would also need some space to store our cutleries and tableware. It would be easier to keep them in drawers for cutlery and cupboards for tableware. However, if you do have exquisite china, you can consider putting them up for display in a glass cabinet near the kitchen or dining area.
The Work Area
The next important area in the kitchen is our work areas. This is largely due to the need to prepare food before cooking such as cutting, peeling and rolling.
Some ways that we can look at having workspaces are to make use of any available countertop space in the kitchen for food preparations. Another way can be to make use of available space is to create a movable table, which will allow us to make use of any available floor space to use the table to do food preparations.
However, taking note that we are living in Singapore and since most of us reside in small flats or apartments, we may not have enough space to have a proper work top. Thus, we can consider when designing our kitchens to have a pull-out countertop or even a movable table that can be slid under the counter tops.
Hence, when we look at small spaces for our kitchen, we may have to sacrifice some spaces – usually storage areas – in order to have a functional kitchen. But we can always do it in different ways to make our kitchens functional while having aspects of our dream kitchen.