OVER THE past few years one of the most common requests of kitchen designers is to create a multi-use space where clients can cook, eat, open the post, entertain and help with the children’s homework.
Dining rooms are increasingly redundant, sacrificed to create a single, larger space where people can gather and that’s why, regardless of your kitchen design style, organisation and layout are essential.
Though every home is different, there are four or five classic layouts, each with their own benefits: single and double galley kitchens with one or two continuous runs of cabinets; L-shaped kitchens that are built into a corner and offering optimum counter space; and U-shaped kitchens, which surround the cook on three sides with everything within easy reach.
Central to this is the installation of an island (or a peninsula), the ultimate multitasking space.
A work zone and social hub, the island provides additional work surfaces and can also include a breakfast bar. You can make it work even harder by incorporating sockets for charging phones and laptops and by adding integrated coat pegs under the lip of the counter.
You could also add wine storage or bookshelves. Extra storage space can be gained from the island, allowing you the luxury of not having wall cabinets so that the space can remain light and open. And with the new generation of extractors, there is no reason not to have your hob located on the island itself. The island can also delineate the kitchen zone without cutting it off, a plus if you like to socialise with guests while cooking.
Sight lines are another important layout consideration, particularly when designing for an open-plan space. The sight lines from key views and entrances should be kept as clear as possible so that the room feels open and spacious.
Regardless of the layout, there are some key things that should be a part of everyone’s plan. Keep the dishwasher near the sink, and try to keep the bin within easy reach of the dishwasher, the food preparation area and the hob zone. This is all part of the ‘golden triangle’, a three-point rule for the placement of the sink, fridge and cooking areas. This is a good rule of thumb and is simply about keeping the most-used areas of the kitchen in close enough proximity to each other.
Finally, plan down to the last detail: utensil drawers, pots and pans stored next to the hob and oven, knife block and drawers adjacent to food preparation areas and, most important of all, measure all your crockery and tableware – you’ll want them to fit perfectly in your new kitchen.