[Image Credit: Cheddar Fast Forward] Hygienic design was believed to kill germs and help the sick recover
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COVID: When did you realize your kitchen needs a new design?
How COVID is changing kitchen designs of the future:
It’s about function and how the kitchen works. Home offices are likely to continue. We clear our counters to cook while electronics are away – until the task reverts. Quick transformation, between eating and working, involves cleanliness – and storage.
Construction design priority: hygiene and style.
The pandemic has breathed new life into a decades-old technique that can zap viruses and bacteria: ultraviolet light. Where there’s a window, the sanitizing effects of UV light can make it impossible for certain viruses to replicate. Fresh air dries out moisture to prevent mildew. At sinks, kitchen construction to add windows creates quick drying arrangements – turning open space into storage.
Microorganisms, mineral deposits, and mildew build up where water accumulates. Without proper drainage, dish racks get grimy and counters get damaged. Mold grows on flat, moist surfaces. According to Tali Simhoni, inventor of the DripDry kitchen cabinet installation kit, “dish racks and mats are to be avoided at all costs!”
Turning the kitchen back into the office with cabinetry to place wet items above the sink and dry items under the sink.
Wall mounted cabinets that include wet storage space allows you to prop washed fruits and vegetables above the sink to drip dry. Gravity draws water down so no towel or plate is needed. Dish racks take needed counter space. So the attentive kitchen designer literally changes how the kitchen space works between tasks and domestic routines such as rinsing fresh produce, washing heavy pots, and the time it takes to put items away – to turn the space back into an office.
Adding an abundance of electrical outlets under the sink to keep the counters clean.
Base cabinets need electrical outlets under the countertop with apertures for minimal cords. Electronics need docking storage organized in a shelved cabinet. Ideally, base cabinets under a sink should be wide enough to fit at least two items: an electric garbage disposal and a water filter system. The garbage disposal is a blessing to be most appreciated for fast clean up. A water filter system requires under sink storage with access to plumbing. All base cabinets, whether used for kitchen utensils or electrical devices, need to be wired.
Kitchen sinks can have even more bacteria than a garbage bin. The faucet handle can reintroduce bacteria to your hands after you’ve washed them too. Though hot, soapy water is amazingly effective at eliminating bacteria, for added insurance, smart design includes handy cabinets to keep cleaning products such as bleach (which kills microbes in the drain) in easy reach throughout kitchen work zones. If you’re able to go the extra mile, a sensor faucet can be installed to avoid touching the faucet; again, be sure to add electrical outlets inside base cabinets.
Surface materials will inhibit cross contamination.
Easy to clean, non-porous surfaces, such as large tiles on back splashes, walls and floors, with minimal grout between overlays, will be a trend that stays. When deciding on material, look for beauty, versatility, and durability, with specific attention to how surfaces are cleaned. It’s a big no-no to wipe counters with towels to then towel-dry washed dishes. Design for safety with wet storage easily in reach.
A smart layout does not require expensive custom cabinetry. Customize a kitchen design plan to include storage to eliminate excess clutter. Appliances are no longer limited to dishwashers, microwaves and refrigerators; nowadays, plan for a printer and other electronics.
Good kitchen construction design includes space for waste with easy-to-clean out of sight garbage corners. Hygiene as priority, include a vertical “L” shaped wall, against a corner wall, tiled with smooth granite or other impermeable surface, to be wiped clean of dirt. The garbage container lid can bypassed to avoid touching it, while the receptacle is hidden. Post-Covid construction designers incorporate smart placements of cabinets at windows, materials with surfaces easy to clean, walls to create storage, and an abundance of electrical outlets in hidden places. The productivity and health benefits from good design add quality to life – and may even extend it!