The Crew Blog
Planning A New Kitchen
Planning your kitchen can be one of the most enjoyable domestic projects you can undertake, as long as it’s done properly. Get it wrong, and it can open the door to months of heartache and disappointment.
In most households, the kitchen is the social hub so making sure it’s a bright and enjoyable space to be in is obviously, of prime significance.
Here are the key things you need to take into account to make sure that your kitchen renovation or new kitchen build is as successful as you always dreamed.
1. The Constraints
Within most floor plans or house designs, there are parameters that you have to work within.
There’s only so much floor space. Windows and doors may or may not already exist that you are stuck with.
Remember the cardinal rule is that you’re trying to maximize the experience that people will have in your kitchen. That doesn’t necessarily mean making sure it is the most practical, making sure you eke out every square centimeter every square inch of floor space to cram in as much storage space as possible, but you want to create a space that is conducive to the experience you want to cultivate.
Does your world revolve around coffee? Make a mini coffee station with all the fixings (sugar, mugs, coffee beans, etc.) grouped in one place. It’s a simple thing, but most people don’t think about it when they’re designing their kitchen layout – they think about things in terms of having enough storage space, instead of considering a dedicated area with the right fixings in place.
Unloading the dishwasher can be taxing on our back. To make dishwasher unloading less of a workout, store dishes, glasses and silverware as close as possible to the dishwasher.
These days there’s a kitchen gadget for just about everything you could possibly dream of, so install multiple outlets along the backsplash and on the island so you’ll have electricity wherever you need it.
Making sure you have enough space so you can have the appliances where you normally use them is preferable rather than needing to bring them out of a cupboard every time they are needed. This makes for a really convenient kitchen.
Do as good chefs and designers do. Think of your kitchen as a series of dedicated areas. One each for prepping food, cooking food, storing food, eating food, etc.
3. Functionality and Flow
The three main traffic areas are between the oven and hob, the sink, and the fridge – the so-called “kitchen triangle”. So think about where each would be fit. The most efficient way to arrange these is to have them form the smallest, or shortest lengths triangle as possible.
This eliminates unnecessary steps. As there can often be more than one person working in the kitchen, adequate space for movement is vital so that people aren’t constantly bumping into each other.
In the general kitchen area, the space, or path, should be 900mm wide. In the actual ‘cooking zone’, there should be a 1050mm path if it is usually a one cook kitchen, and 1200mm wide for a two-cook configuration. So when planning, adjust kitchen islands accordingly.
Allow 400mm of countertop ‘landing space’ on each side of a cooktop and refrigerator. Landing space is also important near the microwave. Keep the cooktop out of traffic areas so children don’t cause spills when running through.
The refrigerator should be accessible to both passersby and people working in cooking and cleanup areas wherever possible. So make sure it’s easily accessible – usually at one of the edges of the kitchen, bordering a pantry or another room, or at the end of some bench space.
Make sure doors won’t bang into each other if open at the same time. Locate dishware, cutlery and glassware near the dishwasher to ease the process of unloading.
The correct height and location for a microwave oven may vary depending on the chef or the kid-friendly character of the kitchen. For adults, 500mm above countertop level is a good microwave height. For kids, a below-countertop setup may be safer and more suitable.
When it comes to kitchen islands, form follows function. If you want to cook and eat on kitchen islands, plan enough space so the cooktop is safely separated from the eating area.
Chefs who like to cook require more counter space — ideally between the range and sink — than those who cook infrequently or who prepare simple meals.
Ingredients you cook with regularly (think olive oil, spices and salt) should be stored near the stove.
Dark colour schemes shrink an already small space and make it less inviting. Use soft shades on cabinets and natural light to visually expand a small room.
Pick one focal point in your kitchen design and complement that area with a few other quieter, eye-catching details.
Every kitchen will come with a price tag yet you’d be amazed how reasonable costs can be. Plan your kitchen carefully and work out where you can economize.
There’s a massive range of options available these days, so you can still have a fantastic experience and pretty much select a budget range that’s going to suit you.