Putting up a Kitchen: Part 1
Let’s jump right into it and find out what we need to consider regarding kitchen layout and what you should think about before changing a hob or sink…
Preparation: Part One
Current kitchen design
When was your home built? If it’s not too old, I’d recommend keeping the sink, stove, and dishwasher in the same spots. A professional architect has likely already optimized the facility for efficiency (and security). (You don’t need to change things for the sake of change; new cabinets and countertops will make a huge difference anyway).
Adapting the space to its current characteristics.
o Most rooms in contemporary homes are square or rectangular, and there aren’t many architectural details to work with. However, if your bathroom is directly above the kitchen, a pipe box in a corner or a slanted ceiling near the stairwell can be seen. (Remember this when planning wall or larder units).
o In older homes, obstacles like chimney breasts or outdated pantries may need to be dealt with or removed before a new kitchen can be installed. (Now that we have contemporary refrigerators, many individuals do away with pantries in preference of a larger kitchen).
To accommodate preexisting apparatus characteristics
The central heating boiler is usually to blame. Traditional, big boilers on the floor are inefficient and unsightly compared to their smaller, more modern counterparts. If it’s causing problems and you have the funds, you might consider renewing or moving it.
o Similarly, a heating radiator in the kitchen could be moved or replaced with a thinner towel rail type if it interferes with your design. If the pipes are exposed, this should be simple, but if they are hidden beneath a concrete slab, it will be more of a challenge.
Is the room getting more prominent, or just rearranged?
If you’re expanding the kitchen, perhaps by building an addition or removing a wall to connect it to the dining room, you’ll have more leeway in your design choices. It can be costly to relocate the water, gas, and electrical lines if you plan on relocating the sink or other fixtures.
(Contrary to what a kitchen salesperson may tell you, you don’t need to fill it all with units simply because you have an additional room available; a room can look excessively “busy” if all the walls are covered with furniture or storage).
We’ve done a few kitchen and dining room knock-throughs, and the resulting spaces have been unique. However, if the wall is a “supporting wall,” you’ll need a Building Warrant before proceeding.
If you have a young family, how many people reside there, and how often will they use the kitchen?
Consider the ages of the people living there and whether or not they can access the upper shelves. Do you live alone, in a couple, or as a family with toddlers or teenagers? Or perhaps caring for an aging parent. Most households utilize their kitchens for more than just cooking; they often serve as study and craft rooms.
Most people can’t reach the top shelves of extra-tall wall units (900mm) without using a stepladder. Thus, those cabinets usually end up collecting dust and collecting things nobody ever uses. When there is less space above the unit, the room can appear lower in light and size.
Consider whether you’d want a breakfast bar, where you may have light meals, coffee, and the morning paper, or a traditional dining set. Of course, the room’s dimensions are crucial, and they’ll determine how you put it to use and what furnishings you can include.
Think about the type of cook who will be using it; are you the next Gordon Ramsay, or do you like to reheat frozen dinners in the microwave? Everything from the stove and oven to the sink, faucet, refrigerator, and freezer will reflect this decision.
Current setup for the kitchen sink, stove, and hob
Do not rush into relocating any of these things. The plumbing and electrical work could consume more cash than you anticipated if your plan shows them being moved more than approximately a meter from their current placement. However, if these things were in the wrong spot, it might make sense to eliminate them.
The kitchen’s main point can be improved by relocating the sink, stove, or hob to an “island” in the middle of the room. Remember the logistics of transferring the services (wood floors are simple to move, but concrete floors are not).
You may build basic but accurate kitchen plans with nothing more than Microsoft Word by visiting Basic Kitchen Design, where a complete guide explaining how to do so is available for free download.
Hywel Merrett is the head honcho at ICON Kitchens, a UK-based online retailer of all things culinary-related.
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