FORM VERSUS FUNCTION – HOW THEY WORK TOGETHER IN KITCHEN DESIGN
June 15, 2023
The best kitchens don’t just look seamless, they work seamlessly too, showing how form now goes hand in hand with function in a well designed kitchen.
Traditionally kitchens were focused entirely on function as they were dark rooms hidden at the back of houses. Fortunately that has changed completely and they are now the veritable beating heart of the home. Meals are enjoyed here, friendships cemented and stories told. So form must combine with function to get the best results.
As all designers and architectural students are taught, form and function are key elements of design training. The form refers to the aesthetics of the kitchen – appearance, style, colour, materials, textures and overall look while the function is the practical aspects of the design the ergonomics of the kitchen, where everything is stored, where food is prepared and how the working triangle is designed all make up the function of the kitchen.
If you are opting for an industrial look in the kitchen then function becomes more important than form. Here elements, such as worktops, extraction and storage, are designed to show what they do in a minimalist way, demonstrating the importance of functionality. If however, aesthetics and overall style have higher priority then form takes precedence. Pocket doors hiding away appliances, hidden larders and sink covers all show how form can be a higher priority.
But most people look for a solid combination of both form and function working in harmony. For example with extraction, there is now a myriad of designs from seamless ceiling mounted extractors to glass pop up downdrafts which all work perfectly to extract odours, but also have a sleek and stylish look.
Wine cabinets have a sliding scale of form and function. With the high tech Sub Zero cabinets, for example, they store wine in different zones at different temperatures and can look like real cellars giving a very opulent look. Even on the more budget level wine cabinets are functional with an added neatness. Most appliances today have been highly developed in recent years to combine form and function together, as shown in the Siemens IQ range of beautiful ovens.
Even worktops have their share of form and function. Dekton or Silestone are robust, heat resistant and practical but come in a superb range of designs, veining and colours making them more works of art.
So whatever stage of kitchen design you are at, remember that form must work seamlessly with function to produce the best design. The ultimate goal in any kitchen space should be to have a room that both looks beautiful and fulfils its purpose in every sense of the word.