PRODUCTS | Open plan or broken plan?

A partial wall separates the kitchen from the living area in this broken plan kitchen by The Myers Touch

bugbear – “highlighting the importance of optimising space with functional features,” says Häfele category manager Elizabeth Briggs. Sinead Trainor, kitchen category manager at LochAnna Kitchens, agrees: “Consider whether you would like concealed features. With open- plan, it’s important to consider whether you want to ‘hide away’ the clutter and only display showpieces, such as a food processor. Clever kitchen storage solutions are a must-have.”

A new storage solution is offered by Rotpunkt’s Phillips: “There is another option, set to add a new edge – canopy storage solutions. These are predicted as the go-to architectural statement for 2021 – optimising space by making use of fl oors, walls and ceiling with hanging storage suspended from the ceiling.” And what if clients have an older property with original features they want to keep? Klink at Harvey Jones advises: inspiration

“Take from existing

elements. Traditional design features can cohabit with a modern space.” Mixing and matching vintage features with the modern feel of open or broken-plan is also becoming very popular, says Häfele’s Briggs. “Sliding doors can create a statement while

A one-size-fi ts-all kitchen is now a thing of the past. Get a feel for the client’s lifestyle – how they use their current space

Julia Steadman, head of operations, Brandt Design

being sympathetic to original features.” Roundhouse designer Alice Hood

adds: “Clients’ priorities are important. There may be a beautiful cornice, fl oor or fi replace that needs to be integrated. Sometimes there is a more streamlined solution by removing these. So walk them through this option, too.” In an open-plan or broken-plan kitchen, dealing with cooking odours and appliance noise is also important. Graham Robinson at Alno by Halcyon Interiors advises: “Consider this at the early stages – not only the appliance, but how it can be ducted out. The perfect hood with incorrect provision will not work at its best.” Bora founder Willi Bruckbauer adds: “In an open-plan kitchen it is important that cooking smells aren’t left to linger.

The Ceralsio worktop from CRL Stone helps introduce another ‘zone’ in this design

A downdraft hob removes steam and odours as they arise, drawing them downwards before they can permeate the air. It is signifi cantly quieter than a head-height model.”

Also advocating a downdraft solution is Whirlpool’s head of brand and digital, Tim Buszka, who says that its 900mm Whirlpool W Collection will blend in seamlessly with the worktop. He also proposes its Supreme Care 10kg washer, which has a ‘super- quiet’ spin cycle of only 68dB(A). Positioning will determine the type of hood chosen, says Hoover’s product

Build it by the book

Simon Taylor, MD of Simon Taylor Furniture, has some tips on the relevant building regulations that may affect both open- and broken-plan kitchen designs

• Before removing a structural wall or undertaking any electrical works, plumbing works, ventilation works or mechanical and engineering works, you will need to engage a structural engineer and inform Building Control at your local council. A Building Regulation Application must be fi led a few weeks ahead or you can apply 48 hours ahead for a Building Notice. The completed work must be inspected by Building Control.

• In a listed property, any structural works to be carried 38

out will need a Listed Building Consent to be applied for. • In an extension or new-build, planning permission and a Building Regulation Application will need to be applied for the building work, electrical works, plumbing works, ventilation

works together engineering works (M&E).

• The removal and replacement of an existing kitchen does not require Building Regulation or Planning Approval providing the house isn’t listed.

with mechanical and

manager for built-in cooking Chris Grundy, who adds that if ducting is not possible, then recirculating models “still do a very good job”. Its Hoover ONE ceiling extractor offers both options and a noise level of 63dB. Hotpoint’s brand manager Kimberley Garner says extractor design has come a long way: “The cooker hood was once renowned for excessive noise, but this has changed and performance is much improved and noise notably reduced.” Hotpoint’s 900mm box chimney hood is said to extract 98.9% of odours in the air in just six minutes. Franke communications manager Jeanette Ward says power is


“Hoods that offer powerful extraction and a low noise are important in open- plan. A hob with built-in extractor, such as our Mythos 2gether, which sits fl ush with the worktop, extracts odours before they can circulate.”

So the popularity of open-plan looks set to continue, but broken-plan is gaining ground, offering a more zoned design that separates the various tasks now performed in their kitchen. Rotpunkt’s Phillips sums it up: “This is fast becoming a grey area as so many eclectic design elements are appearing and consumers are becoming more adventurous.”

· March 2021

Photo: Martin Gardner

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