Planning the Perfect Kitchen Layout: Part Two

In the second and final part of our kitchen layout series, we take a look at the special extras that can make all the difference to your kitchen design, plus popular mistakes that often compromise the functionality of the room. Read on to find out more…

The Special Extras
It’s important to bear the little things in mind when designing your kitchen layout. If you’re a keen cook for example, then a layout such as U-shaped or island design will facilitate plenty of prep space, as well as storage, bins and appliances within easy reach. You’ll need a kitchen which allows for easy workflow. If entertainment is the name of your game, you’ll want to choose a layout which gives you scope and space for a social zone – for example, a wine-cooler located within arm’s reach to the breakfast bar. Excellent kitchen zoning is achieved by a combination of aesthetics, usability and efficiency to create a design that suits both the space and your needs.

When planning your kitchen, don’t treat ventilation as an after-thought – there’s nothing worse than a kitchen filled with smoke or steam, or pungent odours that can still be detected the next day. This is especially relevant with the current trend for open-plan kitchens. Similarly, you don’t want the TV competing with a noisy extractor fan, or conversation dominated by the hum of the motor so consider the size and layout of your kitchen when picking the strength and placement of your extractor. Invest in a high-quality extractor, you’ll reduce noise disruption in your shared space as they benefit from technology designed to minimise noise across all power settings.

Lighting will play an important role in creating the right ambience and atmosphere, and it will differ depending on whether your kitchen is used for cooking or entertainment. If cooking is your priority, you need excellent worktop lighting. Poor lighting is not only a design no-no, but can be downright dangerous in a kitchen environment. With sharp utensils, whirring electrical gadgets and scalding hot appliances, the kitchen needs to be well lit to avoid accidents and mishaps.

If you’re going to be entertaining often, accent and illumination lighting can help to highlight the social spots in your kitchen – for example, pendant lighting over your kitchen island or floor-level integrated LED lights both help to create a party ambience.

Make no Mistake
The biggest blunder people make is picking aesthetic over functionality. You need to pick a kitchen suited to both your tastes and your needs, not just your style.

A common kitchen grievance is not having enough storage, resulting in a disorganised and messy space. Minimise space wastage by making the most of every nook and cranny available by installing corner cupboards, ceiling-high cabinetry and conceal multi-layered pull-out shelving in drawers. There are plenty of clever solutions to consider, and by thinking about storage early in the design process you can avoid the all-too-frequent frustration of too many items, too little space.

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