There is a particular process to apply to your own kitchen design, so where do you start?
The kitchen is traditionally the second smallest room in the house. They were typically very functional spaces, today they’re serve a very different function and are generally the hub of the house. It has to look fantastic as well as function well.
It’s not just about the kitchen design it’s about the space to put it in, then the design and layout of the kitchen is a response to that space.
Draw up a wish list
Is it going to be a dining, Entertaining and a living space?
How do you cook, are you a keen chef or do you make a lot of mess and want to be isolated? Do you want to be on show or semi on display? Do you rush to wash up or do you want to clean later? Why not have two dishwashers, ditch the idea of a sink by a window, honestly life is too short to wash up. Is space a premium? then perhaps a full height storage wall and pantry is for you. Would you like an island for socialising and keeping an eye on the kids doing their homework? These are all very personal requirements to consider.
- Storage, an appliance wall with eye level ovens.
- Hob on the island, this way you can face your guests whilst stirring but think about the extractor, how about a feature hood or down draft extractor?
Make sure you plan the design in advance so that the infrastructure is there to accommodate it. Items such as range cookers, Aga’s, island sinks and American fridge freezer require ducting, plumbing and structural support.
Dining – formal or informal?
Soft seating – people will naturally congregate in the kitchen, so make it comfortable for them.
Utility space – it can never be big enough! Now that you have an open plan space, get rid of the noisy washing machine and tumble dryer and put them in the utility room or even better upstairs in a laundry room so you don’t have to carry your washing up and down the stairs.
Where should your kitchen be positioned?
Just because it’s in a certain position now doesn’t mean it’s where it needs to stay. You can move drainage and services, anything is possible.
Think about daylight and views, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, where do you want to spend your time throughout the day? Locate your ‘back of house’ spaces such as the utility and W.C. out of the way, preferably in the darker North facing areas. The kitchen should be at the heart of the house, off a hall way and in the high quality naturally lit areas with view. The dining area should be near the kitchen to reduce the distance you transport food.
It maybe hard to swallow but maybe consider demolishing the conservatory or garage to extend and give you a better space.
Zoning open plan spaces
You may end up with different floor levels, use this to zone spaces such as a lowered living area. Lowering the floor will give you additional ceiling height.
Dining living and kitchen need to function individually, separate controls to create difference moods.
Maximise light with bi-fold doors and light from above with roof lights.
When you create open plan spaces you lose valuable wall storage, locate a storage bank along the darker internal walls to maximise windows on the other walls.
The kitchen triangle
The kitchen work triangle is a concept used to determine efficient kitchen layouts. The primary tasks in a home kitchen are carried out between the cook top, the sink and the refrigerator. These three points and the imaginary lines between them, make up what kitchen experts call the work triangle. The idea is that when these three elements are in close (but not too close) proximity to one other, the kitchen will be easy and efficient to use, cutting down on wasted steps.
There are exceptions to this rule: in single wall kitchens, it’s geometrically impossible to achieve a true triangle—but efficiency can still be achieved through the configuration of the three items, and how far apart they are.
Top tips for open plan design
- Invest in design work up front.
- Get the space right first.
- Prioritise best space.
- Ensure access.
- Circulation and flow
- Make your design special and unique to you.
- Factor in key relationships between spaces.
- Zone spaces.
- Get a full set of drawings
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