Hints & Tips – Kitchen

Design Hints & Tips

The kitchen is undoubtedly the most popular and widely used room in the house, and the various functions the kitchen of today is asked to perform, requires accurate planning and good design.

A good starting point is to look at the various ways in which your kitchen is used, how often and who uses the kitchen. This will then provide you with a list of basic design requirements for your kitchen that need to be met.

Before you start designing your new kitchen it makes sense to formulate your ideas and note them down on a ‘wish’ list. It is worth remembering that your new kitchen plan should incorporate the things you do like about your existing kitchen, as well as the things you don’t.

  • Have an idea of the types of appliances that you would like before designing the kitchen, as it’s a lot easier this way.
  • Start at the corners and work your way out. Good access into corner cabinets is crucial for utilising storage space.
  • Colour selection: The safest option is always simplicity and light colours. Dark colours should be used sparingly for they tend to shrink the space.
  • Light greys, whites and creams have always been popular and workable colours. However if you are renovating in a contemporary style, there is no reason why you can’t have a strong complimentary colour.
  • If the stove has a feature rangehood/canopy which dominates the kitchen, then centred along the wall would look best.
  • The fridge should be positioned for easy access and often this is positioned near a door.
  • Position all your tall storage together, so that your bench top remains continuous.
  • If you are left-handed then the dishwasher is to the left of the sink and if you are right-handed then it’s to the right of the sink.
  • Be aware that a built-in wall oven restricts bench space.
  • An island bench can often replace the family dining table, while doing double duty as a work station during the day or a cocktail bar at night.
  • Pop a colourful kettle or toaster on your counter top for a bright splash of colour if you are planning a neutral colour scheme.
  • In the design stage, position the sink first – ensuring there is enough work surface on either side for dishes and food preparation.
  • If you are right-handed, choose a sink with the bowl on the left, and draining board on the right.
  • If you have a dishwasher, ideally it should be positioned on the same wall as the sink, to cut down on plumbing costs.
  • Fit a rangehood/extractor fan and ensure that it is ducted out – it will remove nasty smells – particularly good if you are considering an open plan kitchen.
  • Ensure the location of your gas appliances have adequate clearance from combustible materials and meet the minimum gas clearance requirements.
  • Position the cooktop and oven together – and make sure you can put hot pans and dishes on a heat proof surface nearby.
  • If possible, try not to place the cooktop or cooker near a doorway or in a corner, or at the end of a line of units.
  • Don’t position the cooktop under a window, your window furnishings may be a fire risk.
  • Keep the fridge and freezer (if separate units) close together for ease of use. If you don’t use your freezer that often however, consider housing it in a separate utility room, or garage – to save on space.
  • A seating area is really nice in a kitchen – it makes it into a really friendly family area.
  • Adequate storage is vital in your kitchen.
  • Make a list of everything you need to find a place for in your kitchen. Try to allocate a space for every item. If you can also build in extra space for future purchases, that would be fantastic.
  • Deep pan drawers are a very useful addition to consider.
  • Make sure your largest plate fits into the cupboard you want to put it in. Make sure tall items such as bottles or cereal packets, fit where you want them to.
  • When designing a Kitchen Island, make sure there is plenty of walk-around space (preferably 1100mm, but minimum 900mm) on all sides. Avoid the temptation of including an island with less clearance space than this – it will dominate the room, making it look cluttered and difficult to mobilise around.
  • The ideal distance between the sink, cooktop and fridge should be no more than 8 metres.

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