Before you get under way with planning the look of your kitchen, think……… about how it will work on a functional level. As well as considering each component to be included, it’s worth asking yourself some general questions about the room: does it need to double up as a dining area? Or do you need to organize the space so that different people can get on with different jobs at the same time?
Make the placement of the refrigerator, or fridge-freezer, one of your earliest considerations as it comprises part of the “work triangle” – for more information on this. Also bear in mind that if you want your refrigerator to operate at maximum efficiency, you need to position it slightly away from heat sources such as radiators and dishwashers, as well as the oven.
When deciding where your storage units will go, think about where the contents should be kept for easy access: for example, store your plates and bowls in a cupboard next to the dishwasher and position storecupboard ingredients near the cooker. Your units will also provide worktop space, so consider where you want this – some large kitchens have a separate island of units in the middle of the floor for this reason. Wherever the units are positioned, make sure there is space for the doors and drawers to open comfortably.
The sink is the second point of the work triangle, so think about its positioning early on, at the same time you decide where the cooker and refrigerator will go. Remember that you need space in this part of the kitchen to be able to clean food or wash up without impinging on other work areas. Make sure it isn’t situated in the main thoroughfare either.
As the cooker is the third point of the work triangle, its ideal location will be partly determined by the relative positioning of the sink and refrigerator. Placing your cooker is made simpler if you have an all-in-one unit combining oven and hob. If the hob is separate from the oven, on a kitchen island, say, the oven should be within easy reach – immediately behind, perhaps, or in an adjacent run of units. As you may have to transfer food from the hob to the oven and back again, the two components shouldn’t be more than 120cm (4ft) apart.
25 Positioning your kitchen table so it doesn’t impinge on your work triangle may prove to be difficult if space is tight, as there should ideally be a meter (3ft) space for maneuver behind every chair. If you do not regularly need to seat people on all sides of the table, position the table against a wall and only move it into the middle of the room when you need to lay an extra place or two.