When it comes to installing the kitchen of your dreams, you need to consider much more than simply which cabinets you like and which tiles to use on the back splash. Creating a kitchen which is both beautiful and functional can take a lot of planning. You need to ensure you have plenty of storage space, room to move and a space which is easy to use and practical. Achieving all this might seem daunting, but being aware of a few simple rules can make all the difference.
How much space do you have?
Clearly the layout of your kitchen will be dictated to a large extent by the amount of space you have available. While you may be happy to move pipe work, electrical points and water pipes; you may also prefer to stick to roughly the same layout as before to minimise the work which needs to be done.
Whether you have a galley kitchen, a corridor, L-shaped or a larger square or rectangular room, the same principles apply when it comes to design.
You will need to consider if you want a kitchen where you will eat with the family or if a seating area might be appropriate. The larger the area you have to play with the more “zones” you can create. You might want a seating area, a small study area, a laundry area or a table and chairs or breakfast bar; as well as all the usual functions of a kitchen
Washing up zone
This will need to be where the sink is. It is common to position a sink close to a window, although it is becoming increasingly common for them to be placed on an island. You will need to avoid overhead cupboards as this will result in banged heads while washing up. You will need a nearby cupboard to accommodate the washing up equipment and the dishwasher should be directly underneath or off to one side.
Food preparation zone
This will also need to be near the sink so you can wash vegetables. It should also be close to the rubbish and recycling bins. Nearby cupboards should include the cutlery drawer and pots and pans.
The hob and cooker should be within a few steps of both the fridge and the sink as all three are often used in combination when cooking. You should have cooking ingredients close at hand in nearby cupboards. In particular herbs, spices, oils and other items which are used regularly in cooking should be close by. It is wise to have a heatproof surface next to the cooker to prevent damage to your worktop.
This should be next to the cooker and will require a clear area of worktop to place the plates. If you want, you can include under counter heat lamps to keep plates and food warm. The service area should be not too far from the kitchen exit or as close as practical to the table or breakfast bar.