To be of any value, design must put the human experience at the core of the design process. That should be obvious to all. However, all too often people get carried away with the idea of creating a ‘look’ and the reality of the real use of the space receives very little attention.
To incorporate everyday life into design, ‘The architectural organisation of space and design must be led by human qualities and priorities.’
‘A Frame for Life’ by Ilse Crawford. Publishers: Rizzoli, New York 2014.
The kitchen is such a space which presents a challenge to the design intent on providing an aesthetically pleasing space for the cook, family, and guests to use. Using a kitchen is a highly sensory experience and it is therefore necessary in designing this space to make use all of our senses. Keeping these guidelines in mind, how does one execute a design project of a kitchen?
Regardless of whether the kitchen is brand new, or a remake of an existing one, we need to work within certain parameters:
•the client’s participation, aiming for the ‘wow experience’ (magic of design)
•translating the client’s use of the kitchen into a functional space
•in which the client can relate to it in a soulful way
Every client would love to have a ‘dream’ kitchen. The practicality of the size of the budget will determine to what extent this can be achieved. The ‘wow experience’ the designer wishes to deliver to the client will also only be possible if the rapport between the client and designer, which is a continuous process from beginning to end, is maintained. Poor communication often leads to budget overruns and disappointment of the client.
Experience tells us that, per square metre, tackling a remake, whether partial or whole, or starting with a clean slate, design in this space can be very expensive. We therefore need a realistic budget, the designer will act as an experienced consultant to the desired aims. To assist the client in coming up with a sensible budget, the designer will act as an experienced consultant to the client. Here, the designer’s knowledge of vast choice of finishes and accessories will be a vital aid to the client’s final decision.
One of the most critical parts of the consultative phase when determining the extent of the design brief should lead to the translation of all information gathered from the client’s dream into a functional kitchen.
My favourite brands to work with at the moment:
• PARQUET DE VERSAILLES IN OAK FROM OGGIE FLOORS
• LIGHTS BY LOUIS POULSEN
• MODERN ART CANVASES FROM LEMON
• CERAMICS BY JADE PATON AND VORSTER & BRAYE
• FURNITURE BY CARL HANSEN & SØN
Finally, we want the client to relate to their new space in a soulful way. In the sense that the client should feel both proud and comfortable in the kitchen created for them, their family and guests.
Anette de Jager