The kitchen is a large part of our home lives, where we cook, eat and even socialise with family and friends. A practical yet elegant kitchen design should thus avoid these no-nos.

Disrupting the kitchen triangle
The kitchen triangle refers to the three areas of greatest activity in any kitchen – the sink, stove and refrigerator. Most kitchens are designed such that these three areas are placed in a triangular layout to facilitate easy access and movement between them.

Of this three, the sink is likely the most commonly used area. However, they are often installed near the plumbing. Instead of allowing the location of the plumbing to dictate where the sink is, consider relocating the plumbing to accommodate the best placement for the sink.

The sum of the distance between the areas in a work triangle should not be less than three metres and more than eight metres. If the distance is too small, people will get in the way of each other.

Ignoring counter-top work space
Even if you live in a small apartment, always set aside enough work space to prepare food on. Consider all the activities that will require a counter-top space, as well as appliances that may be permanently located there such as blenders and toasters.

Consider installing cooking hob which has a spacious burner layout that provides an alternative workspace when you need to keep an eye on the cooking.

Poor lighting
You can’t afford to have poor lighting in the kitchen. This goes beyond a matter of comfort and design, but one of safety, since you’ll be handling sharp knives as well as hot food and equipment often.

Rooms generally need three kinds of lighting – general lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. Evaluate the work spaces in your kitchen and think about how each spot can get the light it needs, such as lighting directly over the main areas.    

Forgetting ventilation
A kitchen that looks great but smells of last night’s dinner will still be a turn-off. Invest in good cooking hoods to help improve the quality of the air in your kitchen. Look for a hood which is not just quiet, but has a high air extraction power rating that ensures effective cleaning of the air after cooking.

Effective ventilation will not just keep the air smelling good, but the kitchen clean, as it also extracts grease particles. This can help extend the life of your kitchen appliances and provide a cleaner and more comfortable home environment for everyone.

Elizabeth has worked with global household brands with key focus on major home appliances in Vietnam. She can be reached on