How To Design a Kitchen

The kitchen is the social hub of a home, and a well designed kitchen not only adds to the enjoyment of your home, but also boosts its resale value. A kitchen needs to make a strong design statement.

Each day you spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing meals for your loved ones, so the kitchen must be efficient, comfortable and as beautiful as possible.

Factors to consider when planning your kitchen.
1. The Project Team.

First you need to decide on the person to supervise the construction of the kitchen as well as come up with an appropriate design. You also need to decide on the contractor for the project.

It is very important to ensure that you get the right team to do the designing and building of your kitchen. Be sure to check their references and past jobs thoroughly before committing. You should also know that a cheap quote emaymay  best compromise on the  quality.

Choose a contractor that has the best balance, in form of good quality verses cost for your budget.

2. The Cost of Building the Kitchen.

What is the cost of the kitchen project? Start by shopping around for a kitchen design you can afford. Make sure the materials are cost-effective, durable and of a good quality. Prepare a list of all the requirements, before going out to shop for the items. Tick against the list to make sure nothing is forgotten.

3. What is your Lifestyle?

The best kitchen design is one which fits your lifestyle; a kitchen that is functional and appealing. Look into your everyday life to get ideas on what aesthetic features to incorporate in your kitchen plan.

Factors to consider when developing a kitchen plan

  • How many people are to be served by the kitchen?
  • Are there any special physical needs or allergies among the family members?
  • Is there any special consideration to be taken into account in the kitchen area, like wine storage area, laundry area, position of the windows etc.

Consider where you would like to position your kitchen appliances. For instance where do you want to position the fridge, cooker, or dishwasher? You also need to consider whether you will have accessories like juicers, toasters, and coffee makers. It is also important to consider where you would want to position the kitchen sink and other facilities such as the pantry.

4. a) The kitchen Layout. (Classic work triangle)

This is basically the shape of your kitchen. Several factors can determine the kitchen layout, and these include the doors, and position of the walls.
Under this category, there are 3 types of shapes of a kitchen layout. There are as follows;
1. U-shape
2. L-shape
3. Galley

Whatever shape you choose for your kitchen, the relationship between the clean up area, cooking area and storage should be properly planned. This relationship is what is called a work triangle. A Work Triangle connects the sink, cooker and the fridge. This work triangle is the heart of kitchen design.

U-shaped kitchen layout.
This kitchen takes on the shape of the letter U, with the fridge, cooker and sink being on the three sides. It’s very ideal for a large kitchen space. It can even allow for an extension of a breakfast bar. If it is big enough it can also allow inclusion of a dining table.

L-Kitchen Layout.

This kitchen is shaped like the letter L-.It is the most common kitchen layout. It provides a working functional kitchen with worktops, sink, cooker and fridge. It can also allow for space for the dinning table, walk in cupboards and other features.

Galley Kitchen.

This is a kitchen layout that runs along one side of a room, and is best suited for a small kitchen space.

The Twin Galley.

This layout is like the galley layout only that it runs along two opposite sides of adjacent walls, with a walkway in the middle. The work triangle can apply to the entire layout, with exception of the single galley shaped kitchen.

The work triangle is designed to maximize on the efficiency of the work triangle. When developing the work triangle, it is important to ensure that;

  • No side of the triangle is less than 1200mm or more than 2700mm long
  • The sum of the 3 sides of the triangle should range between 4000mm to 7900mm.
  • Cabinets and other obstacles should not intersect any leg of the triangle by more than 300mm.
  • A full height obstacle should not come between two points of the triangle.

4 b) Kitchen Layout Contemporary Planning. (Work zones).

Modernization of the kitchen, i.e. introduction of new kitchen appliances along with changes in the way kitchen functions presently, can make applying the work triangle very challenging. The solution to this is creation of a work centre or zones.  A work centre, groups everything needed to do a specific type of task into a single area. The main ones are;

Food preparation centre
-Consist of sink, trash, compost containers for small needs e.g. knife storage, cutting boards, measuring and mixing containers, cook book storage etc.

Cooking centre
-Consists of cooker, small cooking appliances like toaster, oven, and deep fryer. It also consists of storage for fry pans, saucepans, pot lids, cooking utensils, salt pepper, spices and fire extinguisher.

Clean up centre-Consists of the Main sink, dishwasher, garbage disposal, trash and recycling bins. Storage for cleaning materials, food storage containers, paper towels. Depending on your eating style, you may have other centers like,

Baking centre
-Consists of the counter for rolling pastries, rolling pins, electric mixer, food processor, storage for baking ingredients, cookbook storage, measuring and mixing utensils and bowls.
Snack centre-Consists of Cup and dish storage. Microwaves and toaster ovens, popcorn maker, coffee and tea making equipments and materials, water cooler, snacks.

Eating centre-Table, chairs, breakfast bar and stools, storage for dishes, napkins, place mat etc.

5. What Type of Floor Do You Want?

The kitchen floor is also a very important aspect that should not be ignored. When choosing the kitchen floor, consider durability, your comfort and how it will appear in relation to the entire kitchen design. Ceramic tiles are widely used because of their durability, and ease of cleaning. Ceramic tiles also come in various colors and shapes.

A Wooden floor finish can also be used in the kitchen. They are usually treated with wax and polyurethane finish, and are best suited for kitchens with less traffic, or kitchens operated by one or two people.

6. Pantry or Store.

Having a pantry in the kitchen is important. It can either be a walk in or a long cabinet pantry. It can be used for storing dry food. It basically compliments the kitchen whether low or high level.

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