Planning the Layout of your Kitchen
Thinking about the layout of a bespoke kitchen can be one of the toughest parts of designing a home and not thinking about everything in the planning stages can be costly and time-consuming. At Bella Kitchens, we like to get hands on and if you’ll have us, we like to be there from the start to assist the architects and builders with creating a space that’s right for you. For now, here’s a few tips on planning the layout of your kitchen…
Think about your requirements
Establish what you want from the space, decide upon key requirements and start collecting ideas from magazines and websites, pinning inspiration on Pinterest. Start to look at which kitchen designers can cater for your requirements – many kitchen design companies have a limited portfolio of off-the-shelf options, whereas bespoke designers like us have a limitless range of ideas and possibilities.
The first consideration when planning a kitchen is always extraction and waste. This can have a huge impact on the layout if proximity is restricted. After this there are various other factors that come into play, including the distance travelled between the key kitchen zones – cooking, washing and refrigeration.
Bella are a design led kitchen installer so the look and feel of the kitchen are very high on the list of priorities, but we will always advise a client if the design moves away from functionality. It’s important for us to understand how the kitchen will be used. Is this a family kitchen, a kitchen for entertaining or a keen chef? These will derive a different design and different requirements.
What are your layout options?
From a technical point of view the layout options range from galley kitchen, to L-shaped kitchens and U-shaped kitchens, to Island kitchens. You may already have a specific space to work with or you may be thinking about the best shaped space for you – we can help with either!
Galley kitchens usually have limited space so a social area is often disconnected from the kitchen space whereas an island kitchen offers the potential of a seating area in way of a breakfast bar. An L-shape kitchen is often located in the corner of a room which means the chef is generally facing a wall, however, it does allow for plenty of movement within the space which is good for social cooking – our favourite kind.
Think about the ‘Golden Triangle’
The primary tasks in a home kitchen are carried out between the cooktop, sink and refrigerator. These three points and the imaginary lines between them make up what kitchen experts call the ‘work’ or ‘golden’ triangle. The concept is that when these three elements are in close, but not too close, proximity to one other, the kitchen will be easy and efficient to use, cutting down on wasted steps.
Don’t forget about the practical things!
The biggest mistake people make when planning the layout of a kitchen is not considering availability of services such as the waste from sinks and dishwashers, which require a gentle fall in the direction of flow. The location of the hob also needs to be well thought out as external extraction requires access to an external wall, although modern recycling extraction methods are very effective.
If moving services can enhance the kitchen we would always advise doing it. The first consideration is always ventilation, this is biggest restriction and often overlooked. It is generally best to locate any extraction on an external wall. We are currently seeing an increased demand for downdraft extraction on islands as this is then hidden. However, this generally requires invasive work to the floor structure to facilitate, unless you use the less popular option of a recirculating extractor unit. We’d always advise getting designers in at the same stage as the architect so that you can ensure layout is considered before it’s too late.
Visualise your kitchen
Visualising your kitchen by seeing 3D designs can really help with the design and establish any problems before they make it to the real life kitchen. We use a 3D rendering software so that the client can see the kitchen from various angles. We also encourage our clients to stand in the space and imagine they are stood in the various zones. This helps to bring the space to life and ensures they are happy all the way through the designing process.