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Modern Masonry Kitchen Design

Construction solutions, materials, and ideas for creating a modern, original, and functional masonry kitchen design

The project of a masonry kitchen is certainly suitable for environments with a rustic and traditional character. However, by using solutions and materials with a contemporary taste, it is possible to achieve original and functional results even for clients who prefer modern solutions with clean lines but not standardized.

To create a modern masonry kitchen design project, you can use a BIM architectural design software to create renders and realistic three-dimensional views to amaze your client and have full control over all project choices. Additionally, you automatically obtain highly detailed executive drawings with dimensions and annotations from the 3D model to simplify the construction phase. Let’s proceed step by step and see how to do it, what useful tips to follow, and many ideas to use for your project.

Masonry kitchen project

Masonry kitchen project

How to create a modern masonry kitchen design

Masonry kitchens are custom-made directly on-site, using building materials such as bricks, plaster, concrete, cellular concrete blocks, wood, tiles, etc. They are complemented by state-of-the-art appliances (oven, fridge, dishwasher, etc.), worktops in steel, marble, quartz, natural wood, shelves, central island, peninsula, breakfast nook, depending on the available space.

When designing a modern masonry kitchen, it is important to optimize space to maximize functionality. The arrangement of key elements such as the central island, the hob, the sink, worktops, and storage space must be well thought out to ensure efficient workflow and a harmonious look.

In this regard, it is good practice to respect the correct distance between the 3 main functions (fridge, sink, hob), as shown in the following scheme.

Ergonomic study of a kitchen

Ergonomic study of a kitchen

The most popular layouts for modern masonry kitchens include island design, L-shape, or U-shape.

Once you have chosen the layout that best suits the room’s shape and size and the client’s needs and tastes, you need to proceed by positioning the different functions (storage, work, cooking, preparation, washing, etc.) and dividing them into modules. Each module in a masonry kitchen is divided by vertical walls (made of blocks, bricks, or cellular concrete) that support the worktop and accommodate appliances, drawers, and shelves. When dividing into modules, it is necessary to consider the thickness of the walls, which varies depending on the chosen material (8/10 cm), and their height, bearing in mind that the finished worktop should be between 85 and 95 cm from the floor.

The design must be precise and controlled to the millimeter. Usually, the net space between one wall and another should be 60 cm, but it can also be less, for example, 40 cm, depending on the actual size of the appliances to be inserted. To avoid errors, it is always advisable to choose the appliances first and check the dimensions, consulting the manufacturer’s technical specifications. The appliances must be of the “built-in” or freestanding type, and it is advisable to add a couple of centimeters to each side of the width indicated in the technical data sheet to allow for comfortable installation or consider a larger technical space to prevent overheating of the appliance and connection to the plumbing and electrical system.

The spaces to be used as cabinets and pantry can have customizable dimensions according to needs and available space. This compositional freedom makes masonry kitchens very advantageous and more economical compared to modular ones.

Worktops

After creating the vertical supports, you need to proceed with the arrangement of the horizontal structures, which rest directly on them. Structurally, the horizontal shelves can be commonly made with various-sized and thick slabs, cellular concrete blocks, reinforced concrete, to be covered and finished later.

The other option involves directly using thick slabs of marble, granite, quartz, etc., for a finished result.

If you opt for the first choice, you also need to select the type of cladding, depending on the style requested by the client, and plan for holes to install the sink and hob.

Modern masonry kitchen project

Modern masonry kitchen project

Some ideas for countertops may include:

  • raw wood (preferably treated to make it more resistant and durable);
  • natural or artificial stone;
  • marble;
  • tiles;
  • resin;
  • cement.

To fit within the 85/95 cm finished height of the worktops, you need to evaluate the thickness of the worktop (structural and finishing part) beforehand. For example, slabs can vary between 6 and 8 cm, cellular concrete blocks between 5 and 20 cm. To optimize resources, it is advisable during the design phase to also check the length and width of the blocks to be purchased to avoid waste and cuts, optimizing materials as well as the construction time.

Materials and finishes

Once the structure is completed, you move on to choosing finishes to cover the walls, worktops, and opening closures of the compartments. The choice of materials plays a fundamental role in defining the style and atmosphere of the modern masonry kitchen. Materials such as polished concrete, brushed metal, and tempered glass add a touch of contemporaneity, while natural wood and stone create a welcoming and warm atmosphere.

Modern masonry kitchen project for outdoors

Modern masonry kitchen project for outdoors

For a more contemporary result, you can opt for a single finish used to cover the compartments, both inside and outside, and for the worktop. Washable enamel, resin (white or colored), concrete, or lime plaster ensure an effective, monochromatic result without grout, resistant to wear, and easy to clean. Moreover, it can be easily touched up and renewed over time by changing color or redoing the finish. Resin ensures a durable result over time and resistance to chemical and atmospheric agents, in case it is an outdoor kitchen, perhaps on a terrace, under a porch or canopy, by the sea, or in the countryside.

Outdoor masonry kitchen

Outdoor masonry kitchen

If you do not mind decorative and colorful features, you can opt for ceramics (handmade or reclaimed), stoneware, mosaics, majolica, or cement tiles, perhaps only for the worktops, treating the rest of the structure with resin, concrete, or rough plaster. If you choose tile cladding, it is advisable to size the shelves and thicknesses in the design phase to avoid cutting the tiles and interrupting the decorations. These small precautions contribute to the realization of a professional and quality work. Alternatively, you can opt for large-format stoneware slabs. Custom-cut slabs allow you to avoid joints and junctions, ensuring a monolithic effect and exploiting all the aesthetic and mechanical qualities of stoneware (resistance, hygiene, aesthetic yield, wide choice of finishes, etc.). In this case, however, it is necessary to study suitable solutions to treat the edges (junction between horizontal and vertical plane or between two vertical surfaces), such as edge protectors, special pieces, or 45° bevels of the slabs for a cleaner effect.

Finally, if solid bricks are used for the vertical structures, they can be left exposed or plastered and painted.

Modern masonry kitchen project

Modern masonry kitchen project

Doors and cabinets

To close the compartments, solutions can be:

  • sliding or roller fabric curtains;
  • smooth panels, or with frames, lattice, decorative patterns, etc., made of wood, steel (with various finishes, also cor-ten), or perforated sheet metal;
  • glass panels (frosted, colored, transparent, leaded, etc.).

The doors can be custom-made by a craftsman or purchased from kitchen manufacturers that provide the panel and other pull-out systems with standard measurements. In the latter case, it is advisable to design the modules of the vertical walls based on the type of panel to be purchased.

A more extreme solution may also involve leaving the compartments simply open, visible, or with baskets and organizers. This solution works only when you are sure you can always maintain a certain order in the kitchen. Otherwise, the result could be chaotic and sloppy.

Even wall units can be made of masonry to create a niche effect, but only if you have enough space available. Otherwise, you could opt for common wooden wall units (possibly treated with the same finishes used for other surfaces) or visible shelves.

3D Masonry Kitchen Design Project

The masonry kitchen project requires accuracy and precision. To facilitate this task, you can use a 3D design software. This way, you quickly recreate the kitchen space and insert walls and slabs to compose the masonry kitchen structure. Add appliances from the rich online catalog, include realistic details, lights, materials, and finishes. The effect is realistic, and you can generate renders, 3D views, graphic tables complete with measurements and annotations on materials and construction details.

Additionally, you can navigate the space in real-time or in VR, using the viewer, to have a complete view of the project and analyze all the choices in detail. This way, you avoid evaluation errors that would only manifest on-site, leading to changes during construction, increased budget, and extended project completion times. Finally, you show the project to the client, who will have a unique opportunity: to visualize their masonry kitchen before its actual realization.

How much does a masonry kitchen cost?

In general, a masonry kitchen can be more economical than a modular kitchen, with the same size and quality. Not to mention that a masonry kitchen can be more resistant, durable, customizable, and modifiable over time.

The building materials used to create the structure are relatively inexpensive: an indicative amount varies between €30/m³ and €70/m³, depending on the chosen material (perforated bricks, Poroton, solid bricks, etc.).

The major costs are absorbed by the worktops. Here, the expense varies greatly depending on the chosen material, cuts (single slab or multiple slabs), and the holes that need to be made.

The final finish varies between €5-10/jar for enamel to €30/m2 for tiles. Finally, a handmade panel for closing cabinets can be estimated at around €200 per module, but here too, the cost varies greatly depending on the material used (walnut, chestnut, fir, etc.) and the chosen processing complexity.

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