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Unusual kitchen spaces: a peek at some tough kitchen design challenges

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Unusual shaped rooms are popping up in innovative new builds and that includes kitchen spaces. The continuing drive to open up living spaces and reshape rooms inside many established properties is also offering up fresh kitchen design challenges.

In most instances, conventional off-the-peg kitchen solutions aren’t fitting the bill. Flat, square and straight have become the normal parameters for anything kitchen related in regular boxy homes, but they are limited in their scope in unusual spaces.

But kitchen designers and adventurous home improvement fanatics are finding ingenious ways to overcome tough kitchen design challenges.

We’ve taken a look at some unusual kitchen spaces and the difficulties faced in creating layout solutions that work, peppered with a few tips on how to overcome some of the tough design challenges.

Unusual kitchen spaces: the challenges

The pie-slice shaped kitchen

Kitchens with a narrow angle at one end are a challenge to kit out. Islands in particular need to be carefully thought through. A regular rectangular island crowds the space at the narrower end, and can look spatially odd. The challenge for wedge-shaped kitchens is all about maximising space at the narrow end.

No one said kitchen islands have to be a regular shape. Keeping form but narrowing one end of the kitchen island allows it to sit more comfortably in a wedge shaped room, and makes the surrounding space appear more even. Removing some of the cabinetry at the narrower end of a kitchen island, and adding seating space and leg room on one side, makes the whole design easier on the eye.

As for the rest of the kitchen, pitch cabinetry opposite each other at the wider end of the room, rather than applying the linear solution of everything against one wall. Bespoke furnishings at the narrow end of your kitchen space will make everything look perfectly normal and fabulous at the same time. Don’t fight the unusual shape – go with the flow!

The round house

Round houses used to be the order of the day (think mud huts), but they’ve been driven out of fashion since it has become the norm to manufacture building materials geometrically straight. However, there’s been a penchant in recent years for unusual designs in housebuilding (think channel 4’s Grand Designs) and some interesting round houses are popping into the fray.

The round house creates an interesting dilemma for interior designers. Curved walls lend to curved fixtures, fittings and furnishings, and creating a seamless kitchen design with curves is no easy feat. Creating bespoke curved furnishings requires expert, precision engineering. Bespoke kitchen designers are definitely worth the investment when such accuracy and detail are integral to the success of your design.

The challenges in creating curved kitchen solutions include:

  • The tightness of the curve increases as placement moves nearer to the centre of the house
  • Appliances have flat doors – how do you fit curved furniture to the face of a flat metal door?
  • How do you seamlessly clamp items together at an angle?
  • Are the floor tiles being cut at the same radius as the edge of bespoke curved cabinets?
  • You’ll need a curved splashback
  • What materials do you use?

Curved kitchen furniture isn’t confined to round spaces. It is also becoming popular in contemporary, streamlined spaces to add contrast and a sense of flow. Proceed with caution. There’s an art to integrating curves into a space with straight walls.

Sloping roofs

Pitched roofs can be a challenge in kitchen design, especially when it comes to storage. Depending on the angle and how low down the slope integrates with the wall, you might be hard pushed to include wall-hung kitchen cabinets. Bespoke cabinetry could provide a solution, and floating shelving is another option to maximise storage space.

In many cases, pitched roofs add an interesting aspect to the kitchen space. With skylights they also bring the opportunity for light to flood into the kitchen space.

Final word

A badly planned kitchen will impede the workflow, and in unusual spaces it’s easy to forget that worktops need to be in the right places. If your kitchen space is difficult to work with, we’d seriously recommend you invest in a kitchen designer.

We hope our look at unusual kitchen spaces has inspired you to make the changes you’ve been dreaming about.