When you’re planning a new kitchen, you need it to be functional and practical and to make the best possible use of the space available. You’ll need to think carefully about your lifestyle and whether you need state-of-the-art innovation or heart-of-the-home cosiness. Do you want to create a space for entertaining or for the family to relax and kick back in? Will you have a utility room or do you need space for cleaning as well as cooking?
The Golden Triangle
The basis of all modern kitchen design is the ‘working triangle’. Starting from this concept will help you to position your sink, refrigeration and cooking areas for maximum efficiency. Keep the dishwasher next to the sink and the bin next to the food preparation area for ease of use. Whichever layout you choose, sticking to the working triangle will create the most effective layout.
Plan Your Space
There are four basic layouts that will optimise the space available in your kitchen.
The single or double galley layout is linear, with either one or two runs of cabinets depending on space. This is the layout that’s most suitable when space is limited. Pull-out larders and pan drawers are excellent space-saving storage solutions in a galley kitchen.
The peninsular kitchen is a variation on the galley kitchen that will give a more open feel when used in a smaller space or creates the effect of an island where there isn’t the space to create a free-standing unit.
The L-shaped kitchen has the advantage of leaving space for an island unit, which is often seen as a must-have in the modern kitchen. This style of layout allows for plenty of base, corner and wall storage cupboards.
Suitable for the largest kitchen space, the U-shaped layout puts everything within easy reach of the cook. A wall of tower units not only maximises space but makes a very contemporary feature.
The Dos And Don’ts of Kitchen Planning
Always aim to maximise the space available in your kitchen and be realistic about your choices. That combined hob and extractor might be top of your wish list, but could the money be better spent elsewhere? If you have a busy family and the kitchen is going to be the multi-purpose heart of the home, then invest in durable finishes that will stand up to the wear and tear of family life. Once you’ve decided on your layout and budget, build in a contingency to cover everything from nasty surprises to the elements you hadn’t really thought of.
Whatever you do, don’t skip over the research, planning and design phase of your new kitchen. This is where you’ll make all the fundamental decisions that can end up costing you money if you change them during the installation phase. And don’t price yourself out of the neighbourhood. Be realistic about the style of kitchen and the level of equipment appropriate for your property - otherwise you’ll spend thousands on a kitchen that you won’t recoup when you come to sell. Get these decisions right and you’ll have a kitchen you’ll love that adds value to your home.