Planning your kitchen electrical: 3 things you need to know

Amy Griffiths, PDL by Schneider Electric home solutions consultant, shares her kitchen electrical tips
Story by: Amy Griffiths
Need help with the electrical side of your home appliance, interior design, kitchen, gray
Need help with the electrical side of your kitchen planning?

If you’re an avid fan of home renovation shows, you will know the importance of placing power points and electrical switches in an easy-to-access location, with judges often giving contestants flak for their poor choice of positioning. Unfortunately, much like these contestants, electrical planning is often an afterthought for many new builds and renovators, with other decisions like kitchen cabinetry, tiling and paint colours taking precedence. The truth is, home electrical can make or break a home. If you’re planning a new build or remodel, electrical outlets should always be considered early in the process to ensure functionality. With that in mind, there are a number of things you can do to ensure you have the right electrical layout that will complement the overall look and feel of your home.

1. Carefully consider the electrical layout

Kitchens are an electrical hub with various needs for different tasks and nothing is more frustrating than being limited by the number of power points you have access to. From major to small appliances, it’s important to consider and plan your kitchen’s electrical layout with thought and purpose. It may sound obvious, but it’s important to install outlets where you know you’ll be using them. For example, if you do most of your food preparation on your kitchen island, why not invest in a pop-up outlet which is a great way to tie in functionality and provide a discreet and tidy appearance.

Poor placement of outlets can result in messy extension cords and constant plugging and unplugging of appliances, so you need to determine what your priorities are. Perhaps you require a place to charge and store your phone, therefore you may wish to consider including a USB charger with a smart shelf for an easy charging solution. Another thing to consider is where you plan on plugging in simple every day appliances like your toaster and kettle so they can be easily accessed and used. Perhaps you need multiple outlets in one location, so why not consider a quad outlet for heavy use areas. Whatever your needs, there are a number of options to suit your requirements. With a little planning, you don’t have to compromise on style for practicality.

2. Select the right fixtures

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Need help with the electrical side of your home appliance, interior design, kitchen, gray
Need help with the electrical side of your kitchen planning?

It’s the little things that make a big difference and if something small seems out of place, it can distract from the overall design. As you build or renovate your home, make sure the design is consistent from head to toe. This means paying attention to the colour of your fixtures as playing a part in your chosen colour scheme – should they be white, black or have a pop of colour? It’s the finer details that set the best homes apart and unfortunately many people don’t give a second thought to their electrical installation. They assume that power points and light switches can be no more stylish than the standard white plastic switch, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Choose outlets and switch plate covers to coordinate with your material selections and you’ll turn your plugs from an unsightly fixture into a coordinated design element. For example, design award winning Saturn Zen™ from PDL by Schneider Electric can complement any modern or architectural interior by creating a beautiful balance throughout your home. With Saturn Zen LED Indicators, you’ll always know which switch is in operation. Alternatively, you can add a touch of elegance to your kitchen with the glass-look Saturn™ range. The hardwearing finish makes Saturn ideal for kitchens.

3. Lighting choices are imperative to the look and feel of your kitchen

A question I generally ask my customers is ‘what’s the point in having a beautiful kitchen if you can’t see it?’ Lighting choices have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of a kitchen - not enough light and the space will feel dark and depressing, too much, and it can come across as stark and sterile. It’s all about getting the right balance and using a careful combination of task, accent and ambient lighting to help accentuate your kitchen.

The first step in designing a lighting plan for your kitchen is to think about your workspaces. Where will you be doing most of your food preparation? Adjacent to the stove? If so, be sure to install task lighting options in this space, like under-cabinet lighting or downlights. If you’re going to have a butler’s pantry, consider using sensor lighting which switches on as you enter and turns off as you exit.

Need help with the electrical side of your home appliance, interior design, kitchen, gray
Need help with the electrical side of your kitchen planning?

We tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen so always focus on the function first, and style second. This will ensure your newly renovated kitchen is both stylish and practical.

If you take a moment to stop and consider all the design possibilities, you’ll be amazed at the results.

For more information on PDL by Schneider Electric solutions visit the website here

Sep 11, 2017

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