Our mistakes and what we’ve learned from them

Lisa Raynes

by Lisa Raynes

08/06/2021, in Main Blog

At Pride Road, we are always learning from our mistakes and from the trials and triumphs of our clients. Here are some nuggets of wisdom from architects Magda and Laura; they are centred around optimising your space, which we focus on heavily during Concept Design Workshops

Location, location, location… for log burners

Laura designed her own extension about 14 years ago, and made some mistakes. Trying to show off as an architect, she had a double height space in her living room, with a mezzanine level above, which was a guest bedroom. Because of building regulations, she was forced to put her log burner in the corner of the room, in the double height space. This meant that the heat from it went up into the guest bedroom so it’s very warm there but cold in the living room, even a metre away from the log burner. Laura knows how amazing a log burner can be: it can heat up a whole bungalow if put in the right place, so she learned the importance of the location. 

If, like Laura, you are forced to put your log burner in a less ideal location, consider installing vents to spread the heat, or fans to push the heat forwards.

Consider the working triangle in your kitchen

Laura designed a large open plan kitchen and island, but she didn’t think through the working triangle very well. The working triangle, which we advise all clients to consider, requires the perimeter of the triangle between the stove, sink and fridge to be no more than 6 or 7 metres. When the triangle is violated, like in Laura’s case, you have to walk quite far just to make a cup of tea. A few extra metres doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re walking that many times a day and have your children’s toy cars to contend with, it adds up.

Group items together in your kitchen

Magda originally had, for example, her chopping board far away from her knives, but this was hugely inefficient so she reorganised her kitchen 3 times to rectify this. It’s vital to store items together that are used together. The mugs, kettle, sink, fridge and tea bags need to be together, as do the dishwasher, plates and crockery. Experiment with what’s most intuitive and efficient for everyone. Remember that the messiest people in your house will have to use your kitchen too; if the dishwasher is too far away, they may leave dirty dishes on the side. 

Part of ensuring that your kitchen is optimal for everyone involves considering putting plates and mugs in lower drawers so they can be reached easier by your children. Magda does this so her children can help put away the dishes. 

Consider having two dishwashers

Magda and Laura both struggle with dirty dishes, and Laura’s island, the focal point of her kitchen, can become cluttered. One of Laura’s clients has two dishwashers, one on either side of the large island, so they can always be reached. There is always space in one one of them for dirty dishes, so they function almost like cupboards. 

Consider the depth of your kitchen island

Magda had downsized a kitchen island from 1.2m to 1m depth because the original was too deep for her clients to reach across it. If your island is long, you should ensure it isn’t too deep, otherwise you’ll need to walk all the way around it to clean up.

There’s a lot to think about, but we will be with you every step of the way. Book a free initial consultation to start your journey with us today.