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03 March, 2008

Planning a Kitchen

Like all things that are built, if you get the foundation correct then the finishing items usually go into the main system fairly smoothly. So it follows that if you plan your kitchen correctly and methodically then the process should be relatively straight forward, however if you start with the finished idea then that may not be at all practical.

To plan a kitchen we need to start with establishing the parameters within which we have to work. This includes the actual space, the uses of that space and the budget.

There are four stages to planning a kitchen:
  1. Defining the space, which includes either measuring up, and noting the position of the existing services, windows and doors of planning from the start with the architect on how you want the space laid out.
  2. Designing the room's layout to get the appliances, work tops and cupboards where you want them.
  3. Confirming that layout and the services that are needed.(This includes lighting).
  4. Confirming the finishes that you require for the bench tops, the exterior of the cabinetry and the interior of the cabinetry, the flooring, the walls, ceiling and window treatments.

The following is intended to help you with the actual planning, but they are only suggestions and will not be practical in all situations, you will often have to compromise. The golden rule is - keep it simple - and remember that the kitchen is one of the main selling points for a house.


For years now kitchen designers have used a simplistic method of a triangle to connect the three main work spaces within a kitchen.

The main working zones in the kitchen are generally recognized as being - food preparation, cooking and serving, and finally washing up. Each activity zone needs to include the work top(s) and appliances required for that activity, also the zone will require the storage space for the utensils, ingredients etc. required for it.

In addition to the three zones, it is important to arrange the appliances and work tops in the correct order i.e. work top - appliance - work top. A work triangle is formed between the three zones (as shown in the kitchen planning diagrams next page).

For the greatest efficiency the total length of the three sides of the triangle should be between 3600mm and 6600mm, and as far as possible, the work triangle should be uninterrupted by through traffic.



Kitchen Planning Using The Work Triangle

The main working zones in the kitchen are generally recognized as being - food preparation, cooking and serving, and finally washing up.

Each activity zone needs to include the work top(s) and appliances required for that activity, also the zone will require the storage space for the utensils, ingredients etc. required for it.

In addition to the three zones, it is important to arrange the appliances and work tops in the correct order i.e. work top - appliance - work top.

A work triangle is formed between the three zones (as shown in the diagrams below). For the greatest efficiency the total length of the three sides of the triangle should be between 3600mm and 6600mm, and as far as possible, the work triangle should be uninterrupted by through traffic.

1. Corridor Kitchen Layout - Galley Kitchen Layout

The galley kitchen name came from the ship's galley - a space of very small porportions. This type of kitchen is common in modern apartments where space is limited and is often used in an open plan room with one side against a wall and the other as a long kitchen island essentially.

In long narrow kitchen spaces with doors or openings at each end, the best design solution is to have two rows of kitchen cabinetry housing the appliances and providing storage and work tops.

There should be a minimum space allowance of 1200mm between the cabinetry to allow for a safe passage through and the ability to open and shut cupboards and load dishwashers etc. Some spaces don't allow for this minimum luxury of space between the cabinetry, so in this case, place all opening appliances and cabinetry along one side.


2. L-shaped Kitchen Layout

This is often the best solution where the kitchen can fit into a corner.


3. U-shaped Kitchen Layout

This layout is convenient as all working areas are within easy reach. It may be the only choice for small rooms although it can also be used with effect where a kitchen area needs to be fitted at one end of a larger room. Try to allow for 1200mm between the parallel sides of the U.


4. Kitchen Island Layout

Often thought of as a luxury, the island layout needs a fairly large room, however in such a room, it does reduce the amount of walking you need to do. Try to allow for 1200mm between the island and any other cupboard/obstruction etc. Although the design shown has the cooking hob on the island, the island could be used for the food preparation area. Remember that services will need to be taken to the island.


Next article i will post about style for kitchen. Keep your interest.. :)









3 comments:

Anonymous said...

A good option for worktops at the moment is acrylic... Maia worktops espicially, they come ready made and just need slotting in! For more info have a look at www.styledkitchens.com who stock them. There's a bunch of different brands on there aswell...

Anonymous said...

A great alternative to granite kitchen worktops are ready-to-fit acrylic. They can be re-worked and re-sanded so have a huge lifespan! Styled Kitchens stock and sell a range of sizes and colours.

Tony said...

Granite is available in a wide variety of colors including white, black, pink and red to be used as Kitchen Worktops at your home. The high presence of quartz can account for many of granite's color variations, as quartz can be milky white, rose, smoky, yellow or amethyst.