5 Top Tips for Planning a Kitchen that Works for you
1st July 2011
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Contemporary kitchens are no longer mere food preparation areas but the hub of social activity in the home. Whether entertaining friends or having a family meal, the kitchen needs to provide an inviting yet functional environment to cater to its modern role. Here we offer our top tips for planning a kitchen tailored to your needs:

1) Decide what your kitchen is for
Your kitchen should be designed with the lifestyle of its users at the forefront of your mind. Layout, size and style should be based around its main function(s) within the home – cooking, entertaining, eating, and/or other family activities (playing games, doing homework etc.). Perhaps you want your new kitchen to fulfil more or different functions to your current one? Pinning down exactly what you want your kitchen to do for you is key to deciding where to place certain elements and the style of your units, worktops and other furnishings. Kitchen design expert James Davies stresses that “a good kitchen layout is complex but subjective, as what works for one person’s lifestyle can be a disaster for another’s.” Take a look at James’ tips for your ideal layout.

2) Bear budget in mind
It’s important to be realistic about what you can have within the bounds of the budget for your project. It is worth making a list of what you’d love to include in your new kitchen, then divide this into two lists: 1) things you need 2) things you would really like but could live without for the moment. This process ensures that you can prioritise items on the first list and not overspend on a could-live-without item you’ve fallen in love with before the essentials are taken care of.

 3) Create “The Golden Triangle”
Kitchen designers emphasize the importance of creating a space where food preparation, cooking and cleaning can safely flow from one to another. Arranging your kitchen’s preparation, cooking and cleaning areas to form a triangle provides the optimum layout. For example, a fridge-freezer and worktop space could form your preparation area as one “point”, with the cooker and microwave forming the second and your sink and/or dishwasher as the third. Features requiring plumbing (sinks and dishwashers) will usually anchor your triangle, since the location of these is often inflexible. It is recommended that you are able to move from one task to another in a clockwise direction around your triangle for maximum efficiency. You can then place cupboards, surfaces and storage around these three key areas.

4) Make space for surfaces
Be sure to allow enough worktop space when designing your new kitchen. It is a good idea to give yourself plenty of space either side of your cooker so that you can place things here while cooking and avoid carrying hot food across walkways. Space for chopping may also be an important element of your preparation area. Think about what needs to be stored on your worktops- to be aesthetically pleasing it is important to have space in addition to this, avoiding a “cluttered” environment.

5) Select a style
Looking at magazines, the internet, brochures, catalogues and showrooms can be a great way to get inspiration for the kind of style you want to create. Visiting kitchen showrooms and displays can give you an idea of what you like and you can start thinking about how to incorporate this into your own project. You can also consider how these examples use the space they have. Gathering your preferences on a “mood board” is a great way of pulling your ideas together, helping to visualise how they could ultimately be combined. Key aspects to think about here are colours, materials, fittings, storage, flooring and lighting. Your mood board provides something you can constantly refer to when making design decisions.

If you are keen to design a new kitchen tailored to your needs, SR Furniture can help. We design, manufacture and install custom-made kitchens to ensure your look is completely original and works for you. Take a look at testimonials from satisfied customers here. Get in touch on 01769 574259 or email us at info@srfurniture.co.uk. Please mention The Best of Barnstaple when responding to this article

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