Smeg UK's product training and development manager Joan Fraser shares some top tips on how to achieve a hi-tech open-plan space...
Fitting appliances retrospectively will always create extra costs, so we'd always recommend that you consider kitchen technology during the initial planning stages of an open-plan kitchen project.
Creating a sleek finish and maximising space is usually key and choosing compact, built-in appliances can help you do this. As these are only 45cm wide and can be fitted horizontally or vertically, they will fit neatly into small spaces.
Other factors to consider include: how you will integrate the appliances into the design and style of the kitchen? Where the hob should be placed; whether it is integrated or on a separate island unit? As well as the type of extraction you will need – a downdraft or ceiling hood?
To help you plan, we recommend you envisage what you’re going to use the space for and work around your most important needs. While there are essential appliances for every kitchen, there are others that may enhance your lifestyle. For example, if you enjoy entertaining, you may want to include extra technology, such as warming drawers to keep plates hot or a built-in coffee machine so you can serve cappuccino or espresso to guests. Or if you like to eat healthily then a combination-steam oven would be perfect for your kitchen.
In an open-plan kitchen, the appliances you choose should add to the overall décor of the space. While you will need to ensure that you take factors such as low sound levels and efficient extraction into account, design is equally as important.
| Smeg's SFP140B 60cm Linea
Pyrolitic Multifunction Oven in
white glass. Priced at £799.
|Smeg’s SY92IPX8 90cm Symphony dual cavity
cooker. Priced at £1919.
For the cooking zone you may want to choose a bank of built-in appliances for a fluid look, or if you have a larger space you could opt for a range cooker, which will make a real focal point. For the wet zone, you might want to consider a sink with a coloured glass cover for a visual statement.
In the hob zone, think about the best type of extraction for you; whether you will want a downdraft or a ceiling hood extractor fan. Finally, you'll want the seating zone to be as comfortable as possible, so you could add in an electric or gas fire, such as Smeg's stunning L30FABE retro-style electric fire, to make an open space feel much cosier.
Keeping noise to a minimum is key in an open-plan living space. As conversation levels are usually around 59dB, choosing appliances with a lower noise level will make sure they don't spoil the room's ambiance.
In the cooking zone, think about whether you want a fluid look with an induction hob and downdraft extractor that fits flush. The combination of these two appliances on a central island unit is an increasingly popular look in open-plan spaces. Or you may want to go in the opposite direction and add more personality with bolder colours and appliance designs.
Don't forget to think about accessibility of appliances too. For example, the dishwasher needs to be located somewhere that's easy to reach with plenty of space around it.