How to plan your kitchen design

Kitchen is the most important space in the house so the design needs careful planning. If the whole family wants to enjoy the time in the kitchen either during working or living, you have to pay attention to every detail.  If you want to achiever the best kitchen design, follow these kitchen planning principles.

1- Provide the minimum circulation

2- Plan the optimum kitchen layout

3- Decide style and material of the kitchen joinery

4- Select the essential appliances

5- Choose the floor covering

6- Use appropriate lighting

Single galley kitchen with island and dining.
Single galley kitchen with island and dining.

1- Provide the minimum circulation

Working in kitchen involves a circulation in three main zones: the sink, the fridge and the cooker. You should keep the maximum total distance between them about 7 meters or 22 feet, if you do not want to get tired while working in the kitchen.

The kitchen work triangle diagram.
The kitchen work triangle diagram.

If you keep the worktop distance from sink to cooker and from sink to fridge between 1.2 and 2.1 meters (4-7′), and the distance from storage to cooker between 1.2 and 2.7 (4-9′) meters, you will achieve a distance under 7 meters (22 ft). As you see in the diagram, this outline has the terminology of work triangle.

The kitchen layout diagram.
The kitchen layout diagram.

2- Plan the optimum kitchen layout

If you look kitchen types of the suppliers, you can see many fancy kitchen names. It is my view that four  layout types  are the foundation for the other island alternatives. The single galley, galley, U-shaped and L-shaped are the basic layouts, and if you have enough space, you can design each type with an island.

In this perspective, you may have 8 types of layout instead of 6 that most of the kitchen suppliers name.

The single galley kitchen in open plan living room.
The single galley kitchen in open plan living room.

1-The single galley layout

This is the most basic layout for the small apartments and houses. It is also work well, if you like to go with an open plan living room and kitchen layout. One end of the wall will be single galley layout in these open plan floor plan.

The galley kitchen layout diagram.
The galley kitchen layout diagram.

2-The galley layout

The galley plan is the most suitable long narrow rectangular kitchens. According to DIY experts, the best size for this layout is 12×8 ft. (3650 x 2440 mm).  You can create the perfect work triangle with this layout. If you place the fridge and cooker on the one side, whereas  instal the sink on the other wall that has the window in general, you will have the minimum circulation in your kitchen.

The galley kitchen interior.
The galley kitchen interior.
The U-shaped kitchen layout diagram.
The U-shaped kitchen layout diagram.

3-The U-shaped layout

If you have a square kitchen, then you can choose this layout for the perfect use. The three walls with the essential appliances provide the work triangle without any hassle. If you have a large kitchen, you can place the dining table or kitchen island- which I will explain further- on the last side wall.

The U-shaped kitchen interior.
The U-shaped kitchen interior.
The L-shaped kitchen layout diagram.
The L-shaped kitchen layout diagram.

4-The L-shaped layout

As you guess, this layout has its name as the worktops sit on two adjoining walls like a L. You may need this layout, because you have doors and windows on the other walls. Sometimes the open plan sitting rooms or large square kitchens may have a L shape kitchen, since there is enough space for sitting, dining or island at the opposite corner.

The L-shaped kitchen interior.
The L-shaped kitchen interior.

5- Kitchen with island

If you have enough space, the positioning of a kitchen island is possible. Despite the new names such as peninsula or island kitchen, I simple describe  as: Single galley layout with island, galley layout with island and U- or L-shaped with island. Though it sounds longer, it is easier to understand.

The galley kitchen interior with island.
The galley kitchen interior with island.

Top tip for kitchen layouts

  • Make minor structural alterations, unless you have no chance to add a proper extension. For instance, you may be able to increase its width by a foot or so in order to improve the natural lighting and view of the garden.
  • Plan the height and position of kitchen equipment properly. Badly positioned storage unit, awkward working heights and too little worktop space can be functional and cause accidents.
The L-shaped kitchen interior with island.
The L-shaped kitchen interior with island.

3- Decide style and material of the kitchen joinery

The joinery works include the kitchen cupboards and the  worktop. Provide as much worktop space as possible with a minimum depth of 600 mm (24 in) Surfaces near doors to the kitchen are useful for the shopping bags.

If you are a skilled person in woodworking, you can find half- finished cabinets that you have to finish paint. In homeware stores, ready-made kitchen cupboard units are available in width from 300 to 1100 mm (12 to 42 inches) and in depth of 300, 400 or 500mm.

The high-level cabinets are to be match with the width of the bottom ones. If the clear distance between  beneath these upper units and the top of the worktop is less than 450mm (18 in.), use 250mm (10 in.) deep units, otherwise prefer 300 mm (12 in.) units.

Worktops are best 600mm (24 in.)  deep, though narrow applications are suitable in tight spaces. The bottom units need not to be the same depth as the worktop and shallower ones are to be in place in front of pipework.

Materials for the worktop:

Decide to use a sink depending on which material of it is made up. Here is the list of materials for the worktops

  • Solid Wood worktops
  • Laminate worktops
  • Corian worktops
  • Stainless steel worktops
  • Granite (Marble) worktops
  • Quartz worktops
  • Ceramic worktops
  • Glass worktops
  • Concrete worktops

Tips for the joinery:

  • Provide as much worktop space as possible. Surfaces near doors to the kitchen are useful when unloading shopping and vegetables.
  • Work surfaces are easy to clean and resistant to heat and scratches.
  • Worktop should be easy to clean and resistant to heat and scratches.
The single galley kitchen interior with island.
The single galley kitchen interior with island.

4- Select the essential appliances

The essential appliances in a kitchen are sink, fridge and cooker. The washing machine and dish washer are appliances that are in the kitchen or in the utility.

A- Sink

Select your sink according to what you propose to position beside or beneath it, unless you design a country style kitchen with a country style sink.

The standard sink sizes are 450, 462, 525 mm 18, 18 ½, 21 in) wide and vary from 1050 to 2100 mm (42 to 84 in.) in length. A 1050 mm long sink accommodates two cupboards underneath, and a 2100 mm four cupboards.

A single sink with double draining-boards has space for a washing machine and dish washer on each side. Whereas, a double bowl sink is useful for vegetable preparation, and you can build a waste disposal in one bowl.

Place sink in front of a window, to gain the best lighting and view. If a sink is not beneath a window, fit a long open plate-rack at high level. Both drying and storing your china plates and cups is a good way of a cool exhibition.

Top Tip- Place enough storages

  • Place one general storage near your sink, either directly beneath it or to one side.
  • Fit a removable chopping board to the bowl with the waste disposer, for extra work space.
  •  Pay attention to whether you are either right or left- handed person. Depending on the draining-board to the left for a right-handed person makes it easier to use when washing up.

B- Fridge

Buy appropriate fridge/refrigerator in technique.

When buying a fridge to be built into a set of units, select a model with hinges that permit the door to open fully within its own width.

C- Cooker

Buy an easy clean cooker

Buy a cooker which is easy to clean with removable oven surfaces and curved hob edges.

Self-clean ovens are also available. These rinse to a temperature that burns off the dirt inside, leaving a light ash that can easily be brushed out.

A stay-clean liner is a coating applied to the removable parts of the oven only. Dirt burns off the coating during cooking.

Top tip- Place cooker carefully

Provide enough worktop space at both sides of the cooker. Cookers should never be placed immediately beside doorways, where children or other people are more exposed to the dangers of overhanging saucepan handles.

Keep the gaps between the cooker and adjacent units to maintain a minimum to exclude dirt and moisture. Alternatively, allow 100mm (4 in) on each side to simplify cleaning.

Buy a fan decent size fan

A mechanical extractor fan in the wall or near a cooker reduces the spread of cooking smells an fumes, Fans with 150, 175 or 190 mm (6, 7 or 7 ½ in.) blades are suitable for most domestic kitchens and can have wall or cord-switch controls.

Some of more expensive models incorporate grease filters, variable speeds of intake and extraction, and shutters to seal them off when not in use.

Place a fan at appropriate place

Place the extractor fan so that it draws fresh air across the head of the cooker to replace the fumes and at the same time increase cross-ventilation.

The ideal solution is to insert the fun as high as possible in the wall or window opposite the kitchen door. Badly positioned, an extractor fan will aggravate the problem of smells and condensation.

Position your dish washer:

Position your dish washer somewhere close to the sink and waste disposal, because all plates have to be scraped clean of food before being loaded into the machine.

Place your washing machine:

Since washing machines create steam, place your washing machine in a separate laundry or utility room on the condition that you have enough space.

5- Choose the floor covering

You can use porcelain tiles, vinyl, laminate, bamboo and (engineered) wood coverings for the floor. Select slippery porcelain tile. Prefer the easy cleaning types of floor cover.

The U-shaped kitchen interior with island.
The U-shaped kitchen interior with island.

6- Use appropriate lighting

Maintain good lighting:

Aim for an overall spread for illumination with brighter sources of light over work areas, sink and cooker. And remember dark finishes and colours require more lighting.

Led or Fluorescent lighting is cheaper than to run more efficient than tungsten. Allow 10 watts per square meter (1 watt for every sq. ft) of kitchen area.

Top tip- Lighting:

Use less glossy surfaces. Use matt and eggshell paint and avoid too many glossy surfaces.


Related Questions:

Can I move the cooker a few feet while re-modelling the kitchen?

If you plan to improve your existing kitchen with less construction work and you need to move the cooker, it is possible to change the place of cooker a few feet by extending the pipes and cable connection.

How can I move the existing sink?

You can move the existing sink, however it is more difficult in flats than in houses. The location of the drainage in the apartments is a restriction of a free move. If you step in the floor cladding and joist, then you have more flexibility to move the sink.

Diagrams ©Haticexinterior, Images ©Unsplash.com and Pexels.com.

 

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