The kitchen is the place where one does a wide variety of important everyday tasks, so it is needed to be convenient, stylish and less in maintenance. Whether you’re cooking, cleaning, eating, or entertaining, the kitchen should be a space which you enjoy to be in and thoughtful kitchen design can help make that happen. If you are getting your kitchen designed for your home, be ready to be bombarded with few jargons that may go over your mind like kitchen layouts, carousel cabinets, tall boys , pull-outs, countertops etc. Are you confused , what all things and reminders should be kept in mind when you meet your designer or check out in the kitchen market?Follow our Architect -Nilesh Sawant advice on planning, organisation, and must-have features for a kitchen that looks beautiful and functions efficiently for all your needs.These tips and go-to rulebook for first-timers will help to create a space you’ll love. So let’s begin how to get started with your kitchen layout design and plan.
1. Identify Your Kitchen Work Triangle
When designing a kitchen, think about how and where you typically use kitchen’s major items. The major 3 items in kitchen are heat – Cooking hob , water- Sink and air – refrigerator. A kitchen work triangle constitutes a refrigerator, a sink and a cooking hob. A large part of choosing a kitchen layout is deciding how these three essential items interact with each other, i.e. the location and space between each. If you join these 3 items , it should form a triangle and each side of the triangle should not be more than 5 – 7 ft in length. This will ensure that you will not tire yourself in walking when you move around these 3 elements. Draw up a rough sketch of this triangle in your kitchen space before starting the layout.
- The three elements (cooktop, sink, and refrigerator) must be laid out in a triangle pattern, between 5 feet and 7 feet apart.
- The total length of all three sides of this imaginary triangle must be no less than 13 feet but no more than 26 feet.
- Cabinets, islands, tables, and other partial-height obstacles must not stick into the triangle more than 12 inches.
- Full-height obstacles, such as floor-to-ceiling cabinets, should not intrude into the triangle at all.
- You should avoid traffic flow through the triangle.
2. Ideal Counter Top Height and overhead storage.
The standard counter height for a kitchen is usually decided by the average height of people in a country. In India, the counter height is generally between 32-36 inches. It’s comfortable for most people to work at this height. Ensure that the space between your kitchen overhead cabinets and the countertop is not too much , it should be max. 2ft from the counter top.. If it’s too high, it may be difficult for shorter people to reach the upper shelves.Often, while creating storage shelves and cabinets, we ignore the corners. However, nowadays there are plenty of options available to make the best use of corner spaces. Professionals can help you personalise your layout and get the most out of the space available.Pay attention to corners when deciding where to place cabinetry and appliances. To make cabinet and appliance doors fully functional, plan space for the door’s clearance and swing direction in your kitchen design. Keep appliances away from corners, and make sure doors won’t bang into each other if open at the same time.List down your needs for meal preparation which will help you to choose the material for countertop. The countertop material should be non porous and maintenance free. Those who like to cook require more counter space (ideally between the range and sink) than those who cook infrequently or who prepare simple meals.When organising your food storage areas, place frequently used ingredients and snacks easily within reach. Consider the needs of other family members as you arrange items. If you have small children, for example, make sure to put kid’s favorite snacks and foods on shelves they can reach.
Pro tip: By rule of thumb, there should be a gap of 4 inches between the top of the countertop and the elbow when you are standing. This way you can personalise the counter top height.
3. Choose Kitchen Colour palette wisely.
Remember that you will need to maintain the kitchen in the longer run. It’s very important to make the right choice of colours which will create your colour palette for the kitchen.It might be best to avoid all white kitchen simply because Indian cooking tends to result in a lot of tough stains. All white kitchens demand consistent cleaning and are high on maintenance. But that does not mean you blindly opt for bright or dark colours. After all, darker shades attract more heat, especially in summers. You can always choose a combination of the two to maintain the overall harmony.Use light colours in a small kitchen.Dark colour schemes can shrink an already small space and make it less inviting. Use soft shades on kitchen cabinets to visually expand a small room. Outfit large windows with simple window treatments to ensure the space receives plenty of natural light.Choose one focal point within your kitchen design that draws the eye or makes a bold statement. Splashy backsplash tile, fancy flooring, a sizeable range hood, bright kitchen cabinets, or patterned countertops can all serve as the attention-grabbing element. Once you select the focus, complement that area with a few other quieter but still
- Make sure your kitchen colour goes well with your overall home décor.
- Do have fun with colour. Add a pop of colour with colourful accessories and dinnerware.
- A stylish way to add colour is to put up a crockery unit on the wall. Fill your glass rack with colourful crockery for a cool shot of colour.
4. Kitchen Lighting and power sockets
Nothing can beat natural light flooding in through the window to lighten up your kitchen. However, with natural light, ensure that there is great lighting in the kitchen for the evenings and night time. Overhead lighting will light up the countertop where most of the action happens. Under-cabinet lights are becoming popular as they provide direct light on the countertop. Ensure your kitchen includes plenty of electrical outlets in areas where you plan to use a coffee pot, toaster oven, blender, and other countertop appliances. Install multiple outlets along the backsplash and on the island so you’ll have electricity wherever you need it. For extra customisation, consider outfitting a drawer with outlets and USB ports to create a hidden charging station for devices.
Pro tip: Use warm LED luminaries for task and general lighting in the kitchen.
- Aimed at the countertop edges, the lights will illuminate counter work areas or the sink, and avoid creating shadows by people standing at the counters working.
- Place your recessed down lighters 12″ apart from each other and 12″ to 18″ away from any cabinets to illuminate counter areas.
5. Ventilation , safety and recycle is the Key
Cooking is one activity that generates a lot of heat. Make sure that your kitchen has sufficient ventilation. Most kitchens have a chimney or an exhaust fan (or both) to vent out the frying fumes. Ideally, there should be a window in the kitchen which opens out to a balcony or outside. This would allow fresh air to come in and make sure that the smoke from the cooking doesn’t collect inside your house.When it comes to the kitchen, one of the most important things to consider is safety! From safe gas piping to curved countertops edges, you should think about all different ways to make your kitchen safe. Make sure that even the flooring you choose is anti skid quality. Your appliances should be close to the switchboard, and there should be enough space between the sink and the cooking hob.The kitchen waste dustbins location should be such that it is easily accessible. The waste bins material should be easy to clean as well. However, if you hate the visible waste bins in the open , then you can get built-in waste bins. These are constructed behind a cabinet door and its usually under the sink.Always have a waste food crusher installed below the sink so that all perishable waste is crushed before it enters in the drain pipe. Plan separate waste bins for waste and recycling to make sorting as easy as possible. Have separate containers for glass, plastic, and metal. Have a spare drawer which could hold old newspapers and other papers recycle.
- Organise your kitchen , use plastic waste bins with degradable disposable waste bin-bags.
- Sort kitchen waste in degradable and non-degradable, reduce your waste and recycle your waste.
We hope you got some ideas for your kitchen planning. Don’t forget, these are just the basics. You should put in a lot of thought and research while doing your kitchen interiors because it is an expensive investment. Please connect with our team at Architect -Nilesh Sawant and get the advice you need to make your cooking space customisable, eco-friendly and functional.