It’s time for a lesson in kitchen design. Don’t be discouraged. I am going to help you discover the most functional layout for your kitchen with some tips that I have learned. You see, during the day, I am an associate designer at Interior Works Inc. It’s not only an interior design firm, but also a custom cabinetry shop. After 3 years of working with kitchen layouts, all shapes and sizes, I have narrowed down a few of the most important things to consider when space planning your kitchen.
How Do You Want Your Kitchen to Function?
When starting your kitchen planning, ask yourself, what is the purpose for my kitchen, aside from just cooking? Think…Do I want to entertain in my kitchen? Do I want the kids to have a place to do homework? Do I want to watch TV while I cook?, etc. Consider what the most important functions are in your kitchen and start planning from there. This may help when deciding if a wall needs to be removed, to improve the cabinetry with the existing layout or to completely change the location of your kitchen.
The following diagram is the layout of my new kitchen. Albeit, it’s not the most spacious. I was working with retro-fit cabinets to create this plan but the basic principles were still applied when I was designing the layout.
|My soon-to-be kitchen layout.|
1. Walk Throughs/Halls: Any walk through area in a kitchen should be no less than 36″ wide. In this example, I had to consider the door of the stove opening as well as someone standing to open it. 36″ should be allocated on either side of an island, peninsula or any walk through area. In fact, this tid bit is true to any walk way in your home.
2. Prep/Cooking Space: On either side of the stove and sink, you always want to have space. You need a place to put your dishes, pots or pans while performing most tasks. Ideally, the centre of a counter run (a long span of countertop), is best because you have either side to work with and can accommodate more than one person working at the same station. In my kitchen, I was unable to find a spot suitable for my sink and an island would not fit within the space. I placed it next to the wall and can place a cutting board over top of the one sink to extend my space.
|This is not ideal for cooking.
|Microwave in island on the lower base cabinets.
|Open shelves and glass panels breaks up the
|Fridge is placed in the middle of cabinetry to allow for the
doors to open freely and does not impede on the main flow of the
7. Free Standing Furniture: In an area where cabinetry is not an option, a free standing side board, or small kitchen table could be the alternative. This allows you to have some flexibility with your space as your needs and wants change.
One final tip is to remember the working triangle in your kitchen. This triangle ensures your fridge, stove and sink are at a comfortable distance away from each other to perform tasks.
|The kitchen working triangle.|
Kitchen design is a complicated animal. There are many things to consider, however, these tips should give you an idea of how to approach your space! Did you find these tips helpful? Do you think you can tackle your new kitchen layout? What would you change about your kitchen if you could?