In our new column "5 Questions - 5 Answers", Houzy users ask our experts questions. We start with Lea from Spreitenbach. This is her story, which she wrote down for us:
Thank you for giving me the chance to ask an expert for free advice. I think "5 questions - 5 answers" is a wonderful idea. My partner and I own an older condominium. We like it very much and it is big enough for the two of us. Unfortunately, as is often the case in older flats, the kitchen is quite small and dark. That keeps bothering me more and more. Peter and I often cook together and like to invite friends over for dinner, corona-style of course. We always get in each other's way when we cook - and it gets pretty cramped at the small kitchen table when there are four or five of us. For a few weeks now, I've been thinking about how we could make better use of our kitchen and get the most out of it with little effort. Maybe an expert from your Houzy network has some good advice. I'm grateful for any inspiration.
Werner has been a passionate kitchen builder for almost three decades. He advises architects and builders, plans new kitchens or conversions and carries them out professionally with his team. Metzger Küchenbau AG is one of the leading kitchen specialists in the Baar region and a partner in the Houzy network.
For many people, the kitchen is the centre of their home. Because they like to cook or, if you have enough space, eat with family or friends in the kitchen. If the kitchen is small, as in your case, you can make more of it with these tips and tricks. I hope my answers will help you ...
1. My kitchen is too small. How can I create more space without much effort?
There are various possibilities. For example, making better use of dead corners that have not been used at all or only little. One solution would be a corner cabinet with special hardware solutions such as the Le Mans cabinet. Especially in older kitchens, there are small wall units and high ceiling panels. You could replace the high ceiling panels with less high ones and replace the small ones with large wall units. This way you gain more space.
2. Who can help me if I want to enlarge the kitchen and possibly knock down walls?
It's best to ask a kitchen expert. For such projects, professional kitchen builders work together with an architect or a structural engineer.
3. What can I do so that it doesn't smell like food all over the house when I cook in the open kitchen?
This is a question I am often asked. Cooking smells and stimulates our appetite. There are a few tricks that help. Ventilate well, of course, so that smells dissipate quickly and don't linger in the first place. Or set out a bowl of vinegar when you cook something that smells intense like a fondue, for example. Recently I tested these new plasma filters. They are highly effective and filter even stubborn odours out of the air, but unfortunately they are not cheap.
4. How can I isolate the open kitchen and protect the living area from noise?
Unfortunately, this is relatively costly. The simplest, but not the cheapest, solution would be a sliding door. The solution depends very much on the rooms. That's why it makes sense to have a kitchen builder take a look at the situation. Perhaps he will find a simple and inexpensive solution when he is on site.
5. It's quite dark in my kitchen. How could I illuminate it, preferably with daylight?
For natural daylight, you would have to break through a wall and install a window. You need a building permit for that. That is time-consuming and expensive. Modern LED lights would be simpler and cheaper. You can choose between different light colours. Among others, with daylight, i.e. without a yellow tinge and only a little blue tinge. The appropriate colour temperature ranges from 270 to 6800 Kelvin. For a kitchen, 3000 to 4000 Kelvin make sense.