In a previous article, we discussed the way the lounge fits into house plans in Kenya and its significance in interior design. We also discussed how the lounge can be decorated to become the centerpiece of an owner’s tastes within the home, the focal point of the entire house’s interior décor. In this article, we will delve into the design of one of the favorite spaces for many ladies, i.e. the Kitchen.
House plans in Kenya; The place of the kitchen
There are other spaces that are normally planned in close proximity to the living room, and have a high degree of interdependence with each other in each residential home. Their role cannot be overemphasized in the creation of house plans. The lounge may provide the main living space and is the most public room in a home. However it directly relates with the other functions of dining and secondary relaxation, which are activities that take place in the context of the semi-private to public realm within a home.
Guests who visit a home will often relax and eat, and maybe enjoy a bit of exterior air in the vicinity of the home, right in the proximity of the public area of normal house plans. You will seldom take guests to the more private chambers within the house where bedrooms are, unless the guest is a sleep in guest who will either use a guest wing or one of the existing bedrooms to sleep. Therefore the guests will respect the privacy gradient of the home and will tend to remain in the public areas of the home.
One therefore needs to consider the activities that take place in the context of each other every time there is something happening in one part of the home vis a vis the other. When people are using the living area, they will tend to sit comfortably and interact, watch TV, entertain themselves or guests to the home, rest in semi-enclosed areas such as the patio or balcony, as well as simply eat. Therefore activities that are ancillary to the main living area must accessorize the space, to make it all inclusive and sustainable. These must be appropriately located right at the creation of the house plans.
It is with this in mind that the architect or interior designer must come up with the most suitable spatial arrangement that allows all these functions to flow into each other and hence ensure the strongest relativity between the spaces. The main spaces on regular house plans that serve these purposes are
- the kitchen,
- the dining space,
- the cloakroom and any
- exterior space adjacent, such as balconies and terraces.
The kitchen is the place for food processing on house plans in Kenya
The study of the kitchen as part of a house plan is in itself a broad subject, and numerous documents have been written on the same. The kitchen is the place where we prepare, store and process food in the context of the home. This process requires adequate provisions to be made to store the raw food and drink supplies, deal with waste, provide water, and generate the energy that is required to turn food into something that is edible and usable by the occupants of a home.
Various kitchen layouts are possible to achieve in house plans. In today’s world, specialist manufacturers create integrated all inclusive kitchen units that are simple to install in almost any space, providing that they have simple provisions for reticulating water, supplying energy and dealing with waste. These units come with articulate provisions for food processing, including integrated cooker units, power supply, ventilation hoods, dishwashing machines, ovens et al.
The kitchen comprises of three basic elements that are interlinked to form the normal kitchen workflow. These represent the three tenets of kitchen work, namely food preparation, storage and cleaning. It is only in the kitchen that these processes are undertaken as regards food, lest if they were to be discharged in other parts of house plans, they would pose significant challenge.
Food Preparation Area
The food preparation area is generally the place where food is hygienically processed, cooked and prepared for serving to people. This typically consists of counters and shelving where raw food is peeled, sliced up and mixed, prior to being put in cookers or ovens.
The cooker is the place where food is actually cooked in readiness for eating. This can also be done in an integrated built in cooking unit, or a stand alone appliance. The cooker’s typical power source may be natural gas or electricity. A cooking island may be incorporated as an area where food is prepared in the center of the kitchen.
Once food is cooked it may be moved to another preparation counter for garnishing and serving to people. In some instances, and dining counter may be provided within, such as a breakfast table where people can actually eat within the kitchen area.
The food storage area
Ordinarily the kitchen requires to be adjacent or interconnected with a larder or galley, where food which is in its raw form can be stored. A cold storage medium such as a refrigerator or freezer is also essential in the kitchen for purposes of storing extremely perishable goods. Commercial kitchens have taken this further by providing a cold room or commercial refrigeration room that allows one to store huge quantities of perishable goods.
Fresh produce such as vegetables and fruits may require a simple well-ventilated dry surface for their storage.
The Washing & Cleaning Area.
This is the water point within the kitchen where typically all washing and cleaning of utensils and foodstuff is undertaken. The kitchen sink is mostly constructed from stainless steel, though some aluminum variants may be found in the market. This often comes with variants of the type of sink and drying areas. Some of the common types incorporate a single or double bowl, as well as a single or double drain areas.
More mechanization in the kitchen is possible through the use of dishwashing machines. Once the washing of utensils is complete they are moved to a storage area from where they are retrieved for serving food.
The processes within the kitchen can be interlinked to form a triangular or linear workflow cycle, with each process leading to the next and onward.
Dealing with kitchen waste matter.
It is the process of cleaning utensils and food preparation that creates waste in the kitchen. Most kitchen waste is organic, but is either in solid or liquid form. Separation of solid and liquid kitchen waste is essential to ensure sustainable waste disposal takes place. The liquid wastewater may be recycled and reused as grey water within the building. Solid organic matter can be taken to a compost area, where it can be processed into biomass or find other use as fertilizer. This is a major contributor to green architecture.
The Kitchen Yard as a utility space in house plans in Kenya
Inevitably, Kitchens require space where some food preparation activities that are difficult to contain indoors may be undertaken. For example, if one requires to cook something that shall generate smoke or bad smell momentarily, it would be better to undertake it within an open environment that enjoys natural airflow. Thus the kitchen yard is a semi-enclosed area that makes provision for this kind of activity.
The kitchen yard provides much utility to residents by being the place where users are able to store or work with food provisions that may be unwanted within the enclosed space. In storied units, kitchen yards may be achieved through using balconies adjacent to the kitchen.
The kitchen is an integral part of house plans created by architects. Properly organizing them shall ensure that they are functional and able to work in tandem with other spaces within house plans in Kenya.