Archive for February, 2007

Kitchen Floorplan

The size of the room you are using for your kitchen may dictate the floorplan for your kitchen. Floorplan design is an important factor in the process of designing a kitchen. If your building a new house you can pretty much determine the kitchen floorplan, if you are renovating you may be constrained by the existing shape and size of the kitchen. Before you begin the process of deciding what countertops, units, flooring, lighting and appliances you going to buy you need to consider what is going to work within the chosen kitchen space.

The floorplan you chose should aim to optimise the functionality and aesthetic appeal of the space and shape of your kitchen.

Common floorplans include:

1. Inline
Inline Kitchen Floorplan
The Inline Kitchen Floorplan is very effective for small narrow kitchens where space is at a premium. The core work areas are in a line and it’s important to consider the distance between the extremities (in the plan above the distance between the sink and the cooker). Also consider the distance between your key storage areas such as Fridge, Larder and Utensil storage.

2. Galley
Galley Kitchen Floorplan
The Galley Kitchen Floorplan is one of the most efficient floorplans in terms of layout of key activity areas. It is a layout favoured by many professional kitchens as you only have to turn around to access an alternative workspace. It’s also an important floorpan for houses with narrow kitchens. Some of the considerations with a Galley Floorplan is that you need to allow enough space for appliances and unit doors to open out from both sides of the Galley. The issue of width can also be a problem if the room is also a passageway with entrances at both ends. The issue is that now people may need to be able to pass one and other comfortably as well as catering for the opening of appliances and doors. The minimum width should be approximately 1.2m.

3. L shaped
L Shaped Floorplan
This is an ideal layout if you want to have a kitchen / dining area as the kitchen only takes up one corner with plenty of room for a breakfast table and chairs.

4. U Shaped
U Shaped Kitchen Floorplan
The U Shaped Kitchen Floorplan is efficient as it can be a more expansive version of the Galley Kitchen where all areas are easily accessible. However in a larger room you have to be careful to consider the distances between the key work areas.

5. Island
An Island can be introduced into some of the other floorplans (space permitting) and can very effectively allow you to reduce the distance between work areas in a large kitchen. Islands can be used to site a worktop/breakfast bar, a cooking island or a sink. Thus you can mix and match your areas to suit the layout of the rest of the kitchen.

Kitchen Design

Your Kitchen is the heart of your home and therefore deserves pride of place when it comes to design.

Your kitchen is both a functional area and a place in which you spend a lot of time, this means that both the functional layout and the decor require thought prior to the build phase.

Functional Design – The functional design is an aspect of kitchen design which is often neglected. The key things you need to consider is the layout of the core components: Cooker, Worktop, Sink and Fridge. (Ignoring appliances that have nothing to do with cooking and should probably be in a utility area – Washer, Dryer, Dishwasher etc). The height of your sink and your worktop should be tailored to your own height. Most Kitchens and simply fitted for the “Average” person – this means they are not at the optimal height for most owners! This can lead to back pain and joint strain for the enthusiastic cook.

Laying out your units –  It sounds laborious but it helps to do some time and motion studies before you install your kitchen. What I mean is this, if you are a big coffee addict and have a state of the art espresso machine you will regularly have to:

1. Find the coffee
2. Go to the Coffee Machine and fill with coffee
3. Go to the sink and get water
4. Fill the Coffee Machine with water
5. Go to the press and get a mug
6. Take the mug to the Coffee Machine and fill with coffee
7. Go to the fridge for milk
8. Enjoy!

OK this is laboring the point, but for tasks you do frequently it is important to ensure that related work places layed out adjacent to one and other. A Cornell University study back in the 1950s established the notion of the ‘work triangle’ based on many tasks requiring going to the fridge, cooker and sink. Your tasks may be different, for example going to the freezer, microwave oven and dishwasher but the principle of thinking through your tasks remains equally important.