How to get the Perfect Prep Area for your Kitchen

If you have the advantage of having your kitchen designed from scratch then there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get your food preparation area just right. It’s the part of the design many clients emphasise when they tell me what they’d like in their kitchen.

And it seems the more prep area there is the better. It’s all a far cry from when as a youngster I watched my own grandmother prepare a meal for seven of us in a tiny kitchen where she had a surface of around one metre square to prep on.

But things have moved on. We like plenty of space to mix, dice, strain and liquidise these days. And why not? Cooking and baking have grown hugely popular – with both sexes – as a past time. You only have to look at the popularity of shows such as Masterchef and Bake Off to see how much we love preparing, cooking and serving up food for our families and friends in the UK today.

How to design a kitchen prep area

What we’d advise here at London Kitchen Designer is that your prep area should be near the sink (ideally opposite the drainer) and have the fridge and hob within close range too as these are obviously going to be focus areas. In fact, you really don’t want to have to take more than a few steps to access either the fridge or the hob.

It’s also good planning to have pull-out bins nearby, preferably under the worktops near the prep area so that any peelings etc can be cleared away instantly.

When prepping food you tend to different kitchen utensils so keep these near at hand in the cabinets either above or below where you’re working. Seasoning too – such as your herb selection, spices, oils and various condiments should be within reasonable reach.

This isn’t the place for electrical sockets – otherwise you might be tempted to leave a food mixer, toaster etc here cluttering up the area. Not only would this cause clutter but also make the area more difficult to clean up after you’ve been preparing food.

Let there always be light – preferably under-cabinet

And finally, good lighting is essential to a prep area. Not only does this make cutting, chopping and slicing much easier – not to mention less dangerous – but focused, task lighting is also far more cheery to work in.

We would always recommend recessed under-cabinet LED strip lighting (either the warm ‘yellow’ or cool ‘blue’ white) and wired so that it can be accessed from the switches at the kitchen door entrance. Overhead lighting tends to cause shadows, making the prep area even darker. If your prep area happens to be a kitchen island then have a low hanging pendant lamp (or two/three) flood the surface with LED light.

Not only is under-cabinet lighting unobtrusive so that it won’t interfere with the slick look of your kitchen cabinets, but it can also be used for ambient lighting in the early evening when you have a few friends round for a few drinks and casual supper.

For more kitchen design ideas get in touch with us here at www.eastlondonkitchendesigner.co.uk or take a look through our website today.

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