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How to plan and design the layout of your kitchen

When thinking about redesigning your kitchen you will be faced with many choices. Some will be dictated by the shape of the room and the ammount of space available. There will be various styles and colours, wood choices (or not!), worktops, numbers of units, drawers versus doors ... the list goes on.

This guide is to help you with your decision making process and to help you to realise the designer kitchen you will love. Putting in a new kitchen can be one of the most expensive things to do in any home and can only be replaced at relatively high cost unlike wallpaper, paint and even furniture. However, do it right, and not only will you reap the benefits from having a stylish kitchen it can also considerable value to your home.

Layout

Let's start with the basic layout. This may be dicated by the shape and/or size of the room. However, take a moment to look at the pitcure below and think what layout best suits the area you are working with:

kitchen-layouts.jpg

Above all think practicality. What you have to remember is the golden triangle which is between the sink, cooker and fridge (see shaded areas above).

You also need at least 100cm gap between one side and another (this may be the run of units against a wall and an island).

Count how many units you have currently - is this enough? Make sure you plan enough units to accomdate all your pots and pans, plates and food. Pull out larders are excellent space savers and very practical as you can reach them from both sides. Again pan drawer units are an excellent choice as they not only look great but you can easilly reach items at the back unlike with a traditional cupboard.

Plumbing - do you want a water dispenser in your fridge? If so you need plumbing there.

Think of extractor vents (although you can get non-vented ones) and whether you are going to choice a gas or electric hob.

Once you know all of this get drawing!


Planning

You do not need to be an artist to draw out a layout plan. All you need is some graph paper, a pencil and a ruler. A good tip is draw the layout of your kitchen then photocopy it so you don't have to keep drawing it out.

Now try and fit everything in taking in to consideration the size of the cooker, fridge, width of drawers.

Make a wish list of items you want to include and tick them off. You will find that to some degree, unless you have a very large space to work with, this determines the layout in part.

 

Style

Once you have a basic layout think of the style. Traditional, contemporary or a mix of both. Look at magazines. I've included a few ideas here to give you inspiration:

blue-accent-colours-in-kitchen.jpg  kitchen-rope-lighting.jpgneutral-kitchen-with-green-accent.gif   kitchen-layout-different-height-island.jpg 

 kitchen-layout-gloss-units.jpg  kitchen-layout-wood-units.jpg  

 201.jpg color-watch-dark-rooms-pitch-black-and-navy-blue-walls-are-back1.jpg


Don't feel you have to stick to one design only, take elements from kitchen you have seen and mix them up a bit.

Also create a focal point, this could be a hob with an amazing extractor, overhead island lighting, a wine cooler, an oven or a designer fridge. If you are having an island think about having a curve shaped, different levels or choosing a contrasting wood / paint finish.

 

Lighting

Not only is good overhead lighting very important when preparing and cooking food but can also be a feature. Have downlighters for practical use but add ceiling lights to create a feature. Think of installing under-cabinet and rope lighting for a more subtle and relaxed effect for when you are eating and entertaining.

 

Finishing touches - the wow factor!

You've planned your kitchen and had it fitted, don't fall at the last hurdle. This is where you can take a kitchen from being great to being amazing.

Firstly I hope you planned enough cupboards as nothing, yes nothing, should be on the surface. A kettle and a toaster if you must but make sure they are designer ones. No bottles of old olive oil from a trip to Italy or paperwork that needs sorting. Have a larder for food including oils and a drawer for all paperwork. The only items allowed are for look only, not to be touched and dusted occasionally. I have a large artifical floral display that looks fabulous all year around, a champagne bath with a couple of bottles for effect and a few tealight holders to add a bit of sparkle.

That's it, take a look at the pictures of my kitchen below (an added bonus is it's really easy to keep clean!):

211.jpg   213.jpg   215.jpg   217.jpg

 

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Happy designing and thanks for reading!

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