Planning a kitchen isn’t rocket science, but there are a lot of elements to be considered. These include the supply of electricity, sometimes gas, water in the form of plumbing, as well as the inclusion of kitchen cabinets, shelves, cupboards, and appliances, depending of course on what is needed.
If the planning process is approached logically there should not be any negative issues.
- Start with a basic outline of the room indicating all structural features (doors, windows and so on) as well as plug points and existing plumbing connections.
- Decide where the major activity centers will be. This will depend entirely on your kitchen design and would include preparation and washing up, cooking and possibly serving, food storage in cupboards and in a fridge, and perhaps eating as well. It will also align quite roughly with the kitchen triangle. If possible, make sure that these line up with existing services because these may be expensive to change.
- Create the work triangle on paper indicating where the sink, stove, and fridge will be. If there is a separate scullery, you should consider a smaller sink for food preparation.
- Add any other appliances, for instance a dishwasher or washing machine to the plan.
- Fill in the gaps with the storage units, work surfaces, and possibly an eating zone.
- Decide exactly which kitchen cabinets and cupboards will go where.
While templates really do help to logically organize a kitchen layout, you need to be sure that you make templates of all the appliances you need to include as well as properly scaled cabinet templates.
Then you can start working on your drawn-to-scale kitchen plan, shuffling the templates until the puzzle comes together.
Decide on Appliances First
What do you want or need? Make a list, differentiating between what you already have and what you need to buy. You might want to also highlight appliances you can use even if you eventually plan to replace these, because if your long-term plan involves larger sized appliances you need to be sure you can accommodate them at a later stage.
Identify on your plan where each of these will be located in the kitchen. Bear in mind that there is a certain amount of flexibility in the form of electric connections. For example, the fridge does not necessarily have to be located exactly at the point of a plug point. Similarly, plumbing could be altered if necessary. You will just need to ascertain the extent of the changes required and costs involved.
Choose the Best Cabinets for the Kitchen You Want
While some appliances are freestanding, others can be built into cabinets or fitted under work surfaces.
So, do you have a freestanding stove or an eye level oven? Are you happy to use a microwave on a work surface, or would you prefer to create a space for it within your cabinet plan? Do you want sliding or lifting cupboards for smaller appliances like mixers or blenders?
If cabinets are going to be part and parcel of an appliance, plan for these first. Then start playing with templates to see where all the other cabinets will fit nicely. Also, make sure you match cabinet sort with the function you want it to fulfill. For example, if you are going to store food you want to be sure the cabinets are not too deep or you won’t be able to find what you are looking for. Conversely, if you are going to incorporate pot drawers perhaps under an eye level oven, make sure they are accessible and deep enough to store your pots and pans.
Shelves that pull out of a cabinet can be a great help, and drawers can be used to store a multitude of items. But there are no set rules and you need to cater for your own needs.