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Planning your layout

The most important aspect of any kitchen renovation project is its layout and this will need to be finalised before any decisions can be made about materials, fixtures or fittings.

Your budget and the configuration of the rest of your home will determine whether you have the option of removing a wall to create a larger kitchen-diner or single, open-plan living space. Work around original features where possible to preserve a sense of character, locating a range cooker in the original fireplace or hearth area, for example.

To ensure the layout works for your lifestyle, consider the different roles your kitchen plays, providing space not only for food preparation and cooking but also for working, entertaining and relaxing.

Most kitchen design still starts with the classic ‘wrap around’ kitchen which follows the perimeter of the room, with a mixture of fitted and freestanding furniture. It often takes the form of an ‘L’ or ‘U’ shape, with a table at its centre where space allows. And in homes where the available kitchen area is limited and narrow, the parallel counters of a galley kitchen offer a practical choice, with plenty of storage space on either side.

The principle of the ‘working triangle’ is a useful tool when deciding on your layout. By minimising the distance between areas used for food storage (the fridge), food preparation (sink and counter tops) and cooking (the oven), it’s possible to increase efficiency. Make sure your bin is included within the triangle, and most importantly, choose a layout which suits the way you live. By taking the time to give it some careful thought, you can create a space that’s both attractive and intuitive.