Many companies offer a computerised kitchen planner to encourage you to buy their products. These can be very useful depending on how easy they are to master. However, they have been created in order to sell that particular company’s products and so can be limited in the kitchen designs you can achieve. Naturally they guide you towards solutions that fit the products so narrow your choices right down.
A better idea is to invest in a standalone product not tied to one company. A good example is RoomSketcher®, an online floor plan and home design tool that you can use create a unique kitchen design. You can create floor plans, experiment with different cabinet layouts, and find finishes and fixture options. With Room Sketcher, you can plan your kitchen right down to the colour palette and the accessories. This online kitchen planner is easy-to-use so you will be creating 2D & 3D kitchen floor plans and images of your kitchen design in no time.
Planning Your Kitchen
Unless you are building a new house or carrying out major renovations, there are some things you cannot change. The shape and the space available. Your aim is to make the best use of the available space for a kitchen that is easy to work in and meets the needs of your particular situation. Obviously a small space will not accommodate a large seating area or an island. A small breakfast bar or table table might just fit though. In a big space, the island and/or seating area could take a big part of the space. Decide which part of the kitchen area you want to commit to seating and work your kitchen around it. Don’t forget storage of course.
Before you start on your kitchen planner, consider how your lifestyle will affect how your kitchen will be used and who will use it.
Who will use your kitchen?
Your lifestyle will dictate the kitchen planning. Families with growing children have different needs to those whose children have flown the nest. Do you all sit down as a family in the evenings? Do you eat out most of the time?, Do you do a lot of entertaining. Do you store a lot of food and/or appliances. What size of oven and hob do you need? How many sinks?
The Family Kitchen
With growing children you might want a breakfast bar. This is an ideal way to supervise youngsters whilst they eat and you work in the kitchen at busy times of the day. If you have enough space, an island is the obvious place to put it, with easy access to the fridge so the kids can help themselves.
If you sit down together for your evening meal you will want to make sure that it is easy to serve food to the dining area. Placement of suitable bench space for plating and serving is an important consideration.
Safety considerations are important. Storage of dangerous items and liquids have to be taken into account. Trailing kettle and toaster leads are to be avoided. Water temperature at the tap, storage of knives, pots on the hob, etc.
The Entertainers Kitchen
If you entertain you will wish to consider the circulation and flow of your guests; a suitable place for filled platters; where you store drinks, maybe a bar fridge built in; storage of glasses so that guests can easily help themselves. If you have formal dinners at the dining dable, suitable plating and serving areas. Where will the dirty dishes be stacked prior to rinsing for the dishwasher.
The Compact Kitchen
The major issue in a compact kitchen is storage space. It is important to get the balance right between storage and work surfaces. It’s no good having fantastic storage space if you have nowhere to roll out your pastry. There is a great choice of compact appliances, which can free up work and storage space in the smaller kitchen. Careful thought and clever design can make the most of smaller spaces.
There are a lot of handy storage solutions to maximize your space in the section.
What kind of Furniture
The trend over the years has been for fitted kitchens. However, some people see the benefits of freestanding kitchen furniture. There are several advantages to this if you have enough space. You get a very individual look with attractive cupboards, freestanding work surfaces such as wheeled butchers blocks and bench space that can be tucked out of the way when not in use. You can consider a kitchen table instead of an island. When you move your lovely kitchen furniture moves with you.
Free standing furniture tends not to be so practical in a very small space though, where fitted cabinets can be designed to maximize use of awkward corners.
Different people have different lifestyles and since the kitchen is the heart of the home where food is prepared, children nurtured, comfort sought and guests entertained, lifestyle is the key to planning a kitchen that works for you.