Planning your layout

The layout of your kitchen is by far the most important aspect of any project and needs to be finalised before any decisions are made about materials, fixtures or fittings.

Depending on your budget and the existing configuration of the rest of your home, you may have the option of removing a wall to create a larger kitchen-diner or single, open-plan living area. You could also consider removing a chimney breast to maximise floor space.

The starting point for most design is still the classic ‘wrap around’ kitchen which follows the perimeter of the room, but nowadays it often takes the form of an ‘L’ or ‘U’ shape, and features a modern island unit where space allows. However, in narrow spaces, the galley kitchen is still a practical choice, with two parallel counters and plenty of storage space to keep everything within easy reach.

The positioning of your hob, sink and fridge can make all the difference to the way your kitchen works, creating a logical flow or resulting in a frustrating experience every time you cook. Start by considering the principle of the ‘working triangle’ formed by the areas used for food storage (the fridge), food preparation (sink and counter tops) and cooking (the oven). The idea is to minimise the distance between these zones to increase efficiency. It’s important to make sure your bin is included within the triangle, too.

If you use your kitchen to entertain in, an island unit is a great option, allowing you to prepare a meal while you chat. Islands with a breakfast bar can also be useful for working, and you can even use them to house an appliance. What matters most is that the layout of your kitchen is based around your lifestyle. With a little thought and careful planning, you can create a space that works hard and looks fantastic.