We can all agree that the kitchen is truly the heart of any home and with the number of hours you spend in it each day, it’s important to ensure that the layout is right and you’re happy with the space. It may be an expensive, stressful, and time-consuming process, but breaking the planning down into manageable steps will make the whole process easier. Think of renovating your kitchen as a journey, and give each step all the time and consideration it needs.
Assess Your Current Kitchen
Focus on retaining or improving particular areas of your kitchen by first having a good clear-out. This may sound simple, but it’ll help you pay attention to the areas that matter the most and see what you already have.
Now, make a list of all the features you like and dislike about your kitchen. Whether it’s your sizeable American fridge freezer, ample worktop space, or a dark and dingy area you never use.
Think about whether to create your dream kitchen, the current space will need to open up, or if you want a modern open-plan space, will you need to knock a wall down? Any significant structural work will obviously increase your budget so bear this in mind.
Also, take time to think about the functionality of what you want to achieve with your new kitchen. Is it a space where you want little ones to play whilst you are cooking, or an area for friends and family to relax whilst you host a dinner party? Whatever it may be, think of who will use the space and how you envisage using it.
The layout you choose for your kitchen should be designed to perfectly fit your lifestyle. Focus on the layout of the working part of the kitchen, as well as on its relationship with the dining table, if there is one, or if it’s an open plan kitchen or other zones. To properly plan the preparation and cooking space, use the design concept known in the industry as the working triangle. The three points of the triangle are the fridge, sink, and hob with imaginary lines between these, forming a triangle shape. These points should be near each other to make meal preparation efficient but make sure to keep each workstation uncramped.
Some of the most common kitchen layouts are:
If you have a massive kitchen and a need for space, storage, and a place to eat, the u-shaped kitchen is perfect. It offers both counters and workspaces on 3 walls and there is still the option of adding an island in the middle.
An L-shaped kitchen is great for single occupants with small, separate kitchens as it makes the most of the space available whilst still maximising the corner space. This is a great layout for those who want to cook in privacy.
This layout consists of a single run of units along one wall, creating an efficient working arrangement.
It’s incredibly common for people to forget about the importance of lighting when designing their kitchen. Don’t let it be an afterthought, make it a key feature and integrate it into your design such as lights above your cooker. You’d be surprised by how much it makes a difference to the ambiance and practicality of your design, especially if your kitchen is north-facing.
Don’t Forget Your Appliances
Making use of existing plumbing, gas or electrical sockets is an easier and much more affordable option when you’re renovating a kitchen. However, if you’re having a complete transformation with extra appliances or an island installed, draw up a rough plan of where you need your new utilities to be.
Plug sockets are also a key feature to think about, and they need to be placed in the right spot with enough power to be able to supply certain appliances. Think about the whole layout logically as to where you want your appliances. Keep in mind the working triangle, as previously covered to help you maximise the use of your space between the stove, sink, and fridge.
Gather Together Your Inspirations
Now, it’s time to decide what colour pallets, accessories, lighting, and appliances you would like in your kitchen. This is a great chance to showcase your style and personality however in some cases it can be the hardest part.
A great way to decide what you want in your space is by creating a Pinterest mood board and taking inspiration from other designs. Collate lots of images and features you like the look of, whether it’s a rose gold tap or a marble worktop. You can also get some great ideas by using tools such as this kitchen design tool which will allow you to see how different treatments, surfaces, cabinets, and even colors, work together.
It’s all too easy to get giddy and carried away with extra gadgets and gizmos. Remind yourself what you’re looking for from the list that you made right at the beginning about the positives and negatives of your current space and how you want to use it with your new space. This will help you keep on track to get what you really need. It also helps to create a spreadsheet to document all your expenses and make sure it includes all building works, units, worktops, installation fees, accessories, and appliances.
Though, it can be helpful to splash out on a couple of specific items:
- Always go for the best worktops you can afford as they are the most hardwearing component of your kitchen. Most go for natural stone, a durable but stunning choice that suits all styles of kitchens.
- Units have to stand up to the most wear and tear compared to the rest of the kitchen, so it’s best to choose wisely and splash out slightly as a well-made kitchen will save you in the long run.
Choose Your Finishing Touches
It can be a joyous moment when you’re standing in your newly fitted kitchen and it’s exactly as you imagined it. However, it will always be missing something if you haven’t added those finishing touches. Sometimes, the little details can truly make a difference and can make even the most inexpensive kitchen look like a million dollars.
Choose items that let your personality shine through and make the space feel more homely.
Finally – It’s your chance to sit back, relax and enjoy your dream kitchen with family and friends.
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