The kitchen is the central hub of any home. It’s where you and your family gather to cook, eat and generally hang out. While everyone’s idea of the ‘perfect kitchen’ comes down to their needs and desires, there are some rules of thumb that should be considered when planning. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind…
1. Be Efficient In Your Space Planning
When creating a functional kitchen, the first thing you need to do is consider how and where you’ll be using different kitchenware. The spaces for your appliances and crockery should be closest to where you’ll be using them. For example, you might like to place breakfast foods and bowls nearer to the table, rather than on the other side of the kitchen. Keep your plastic storage containers near where you’d be preparing food, such as under the bench or in the cupboard above.
2. Think About How Much Room You Need
A cramped kitchen is a recipe for disaster! Think about how many people will be in your kitchen at any one time. Wide walkways through a kitchen help create space and ease of movement. Designers recommend that walkways should be at least 1m wide. Paths within the ‘cooking zone’ of a one-cook kitchen should be at least 1.1m wide, while a two-cook kitchen should be at least 1.2m wide. Kitchen islands and peninsulas should come into the design brief when planning. Many new kitchen designs allow for the Island as an informal eating area. If this is the lifestyle that you plan for your kitchen, you’ll need to make sure there is room for stools or seating.
3. Kitchen Traffic
If you’re a family with a few children running around, you’ll need to think about safety. Kid-friendly kitchens should include a cooktop that’s out of main traffic areas. This will help to minimize the risk of little hands catching pot handles. The fridge should also be positioned so that the door can be opened without blocking entrance to the kitchen. More importantly, it should be easy to access – both for those passing through and those preparing food.
4. Cut Out The Corners
Too many corners can make a kitchen awkward – especially when you have lots of people opening cupboards. To make the space more functional, consider cupboard door clearance and swing direction. Your planning should allow the space required so that doors don’t bang into each other – or into the people opening them – when they’re being rummaged through.
5. The Right Height
You don’t want to be stretching up to take hot food out of the microwave! Consider what height and location for your microwave will be best suited to you or your chef. The ‘kid-friendly’ element will also come into this. A general rule of thumb for adults is around 40cm above bench level. IF you have kids, it may be worth putting the microwave below the countertop for safe access.
6. How Much Bench Space?
If you’re an aspiring chef or busy mum who does a lot of cooking, you’ll need more bench space than a single person who prefers simple meals. The most efficient place for larger bench is generally between the range and the sink; this makes for easy food transfer and clean-up. And if you have kids who want to help with baking and other meal prep, you might consider incorporating two benches of different heights.
7. Twice As Nice
Doubling up on certain appliances and facilities can make for more efficient meal prep! Why not install a second hob in your scullery, or perhaps a mini fridge for your beer and wine? Double dishwasher drawers or a second sink can also make washing up easier. Adding a ‘snack drawer’ at the edge of the kitchen is handy for keeping snackers out of the chef’s way (especially after school). A breakfast bar with stools is also great for keeping the kids in view while you’re preparing a meal.
If you’re thinking about designing the dream kitchen for your new home, speak to the team at Landmark Homes about your plans. We can take you through all of the design options that will fit your lifestyle and your budget. You can also order your free Landmark Book.