When planning a kitchen redesign, one of the biggest challenges is balancing visual appeal with functionality. Whether you’re going for a classic or modern look, you’ll want to ensure that your kitchen’s layout allows easy meal preparation.
So what are the golden rules when choosing your kitchen layout? And how can you make the most of your available space with clever solutions?
Keep reading to learn our favourite tips and tricks to keep in mind when designing a kitchen layout.
Traditionally, kitchens were designed using the ‘work triangle’ in which the fridge, oven and sink/dishwasher were located approximately 2 metres apart to form a triangle. This design theory worked exceptionally well in small kitchens in which just one person cooked and cleaned.
Today, with much bigger, open-plan kitchens that feature more and more appliances, a considered zone layout is essential in creating a kitchen that is practical and functional.
To set up zones in your kitchen, consider the tasks you perform regularly, such as preparing food, cooking, eating and cleaning. A zone contains everything you use to perform each of these tasks. For example, for the most practical ‘cleaning zone’, you would include your dishwasher, sink and rubbish bin.
You’ll want to think about the location of specific items. For example, ensure your rubbish bin is near your kitchen sink and work preparation areas, but hidden in a storage area (with a lid to contain any odours) so that it doesn’t take up floor space. Also consider installing two separate bins, one for general waste and one for recycling to save time sorting rubbish.
If you wish to avoid dripping food and grease on the floor, place the dishwasher within arm’s reach of the sink. That way, when you rinse the excess food off plates, you can place them straight in the dishwasher.
Finally, it is recommended to leave a minimum of 1m of floorspace between benches. This will allow room for you to open drawers and cupboards, as well as to stand in front of your dishwasher when it’s fully opened. However, if you have the space, we would suggest you aim for a space of 1.2m so you can comfortably move around your open dishwasher without fear of bumping your shins on the corners.
Cabinets are often one of the major focal points of kitchen spaces, making them important elements in kitchen design. There is an endless array of kitchen cabinets on the market, which can make choosing a particular style for your home difficult. Any homeowner would want to make the right choice for their kitchen and not buy kitchen cabinets that do not enhance the look of the space or are less than functional.
Having both wall and base cabinets for maximum space utilisation and minimal countertop clutter is often the way to go. You can also opt for a pull-out pantry unit with multiple shelves for jars and containers. These units are too heavy for children to open on their own, so they are child-safe too and nothing gets lost at the back of a cabinet.
Make sure that the cabinetry you like fits with the overall style and appeal of the room. If your kitchen is more modern, be sure to choose pulls with clean lines and a nice finish like brushed satin. If it’s more traditional, maybe a curvy, antiqued bronze pull is the way to go.
The kitchen is the most likely room for accidents to occur, and it’s no wonder! Hot ovens, sharp knives and hobs can all be household hazards. It’s for this reason that good lighting is essential in the kitchen.
Consider a combination of ceiling lights, under-cabinet lights and pendant lights. Downlights provide general lighting in the room and illuminate the entire space. Pendant lights, on the other hand, provide more focused light. If you have worktops underneath hanging cupboards, you might also like to consider under-cabinet lights. This will ensure those dark corners will also be illuminated.
Above all, think about where you are going to need light at all hours of the day. Stay up late with friends? Choose dimmable lighting over the dining area. Prefer to cook on the island unit? Choose task lighting to shine directly on your prep zone.
When installing pendant lights, ensure you position them so the light falls in front of the food preparation area, rather than behind, as this will cast shadows over your workspace.
Design 360 can help you come to the decision that’s right for your needs - now and in the future. Our dedicated team of custom home designers and certification professionals work with you to create your beautiful, practical home.
Our designers can walk you through your home renovation or rebuild prior to construction. Using the latest technology, your floor plans can be projected onto the floor of our custom-built, studio on a 1:1 scale. You will actually ‘walk through’ your new home making adjustments as you go!
If you’re planning a complete internal makeover of your home, our colour and design studio has everything you need under the one roof. You’ll save time running around to the paint shop, the tile shop, the bathroom shop and the appliance shop and can see what it will all look like in the one place.