Kitchen design is always constrained by the space that is available. It’s not always possible to squeeze everything in that you might wish and usually, compromises have to be made. Unless you have an unlimited budget your choice will also be constrained by the costs of the various materials.
However, careful thought and inside knowledge can make good use of even a difficult space and turn it into a wonderful kitchen.. Consider the top-ten tips below for designing your dream kitchen.
Ten Top Kitchen Design Tips
1 Prioritise. Think about what you are trying to achieve and what you absolutely must have in terms of practical requirements. List your must haves in order of priority and refer to this list at every step of the planning. Share this list with everybody involved in the planning, design and installation.
2 Consider traffic. For a kid-friendly kitchen keep the cooktop out of a traffic area to avoid accidents. Make the refrigerator accessible to both passers-by, people cooking and clean-up areas.
3 Beware of corners. cabinet and appliance doors to be fully functional, plan space for the door’s clearance and swing direction in your kitchen design. Keep appliances away from corners, and make sure doors won’t bang into each other if open at the same time.
4 Consider microwave height. The correct height and location for a microwave oven may vary depending on the chef or the kid-friendly character of the kitchen. For most adults, 400mm above benchtop level is a good height. For kids, an under-benchtop position might be safer and more suitable.
5 Determine island function. If you are having an island you might choose to make it a cooking station, a sink station or just a workspace/servery. When it comes to kitchen islands, form follows function so if you wish to cook and eat on your island plan enough space for the cooktop to be safely separated from the dining area.
6 Plan landing spaces. Consider where hot pots and pans will be place as the come out of the oven or off the hob. Allow at least 400mm of space adjacent to hob oven and microwave. Don’t forget a landing space for your fridge also.
7 Consider benchtop space. Those who like to cook require more space, ideally between the cooktop and sink, than those who cook infrequently or only prepare simple meals.
8 Make recycling easy. Keep your bins next to the sink for ease of access for peelings if you compost or for general recycling otherwise. Pull-out bins come with up to three different bins, one for composting, one for dry recycling and one for waste.
9 Power up. You can never have too many power points in the kitchen. Make sure that you have one handy for every gadget you use (kettle, toaster, whisk, etc.) handy for where you use it. And a couple spare!
10 Focal Point. The hob and rangehood provide the focal point for most kitchens so apart from choosing a nice cooktop and rangehood, make sure the splashback adds a bit of colour or interest.
Finally, consider hiring a kitchen designer. A good kitchen designer will have the experience to debrief you effectively and get a good grasp on what you are trying to achieve. They have the experience and product knowledge then to know what options and finishes are available to meet your requirements. You can help the designer by identifying your needs in terms of your lifestyle, personal tastes and storage requirements. In particular, know what kitchen appliances are to be incorporated into the kitchen design as these need to be planned in early.
A good kitchen designer will include all the above points as a matter of course. But if they don’t, don’t pay them!