10 Tips for Planning your Perfect Kitchen

10 Tips for Planning your Perfect KitchenYou’ve finally found the house of your dreams, you’ve paid the deposit and you’re looking forward to moving in. You love everything about your new home except… the kitchen.

Kitchen-love is a subjective emotion: whilst one person may love the rustic farmhouse-style kitchen the next prefers that sleek, functional ultra-modern look.

So, Where Do You Start?

Part of the fun of planning your perfect kitchen is to visualise the empty space and imagine how everything will be laid out and fit together in your new kitchen. It sounds straightforward, but if you’re not an experienced kitchen planner there are a few things that should be taken into consideration before you start ordering in brand new kitchen units and appliances.

kitchen blueprint

If you’re planning to design and install your own kitchen you’ll need to be aware of these important practical or safety concerns. If you buy your kitchen from a home improvement shop like Wickes, their kitchen specialists should talk you through the options and make you aware of these points but its still good to have this information at your disposal before you start making plans.

So, here are 10 points to remember when planning your perfect kitchen:

1. The sink unit usually sits beneath a kitchen window

Why? Because health and safety concerns prohibit the installation of a hob or oven beneath a window so, in most cases, siting the sink beneath the kitchen window makes the best use of available space. Since windows are located in external walls it also makes sense to locate the sink here to simplify plumbing requirements.

2. Choose the right type of sink

The size and type of sink you choose: left-hand drainer, right-hand drainer, double drainer, circular sink, rectangular sink etc. may have a significant bearing on the way your new kitchen must be laid out. For example, the sink’s proximity to a corner may dictate which side the drainer must be.

clean modern kitchen design

3. Washing machines and dishwashers should be close to the sink

Again, this is to minimise the required plumbing works for these appliances.

4. Think carefully about your electricity sockets

You can’t have electricity sockets over a sink or hob, for starters. You also need to consider whether you need more sockets in your new kitchen than are already available, and that they are in the correct locations for ease of connecting all of the appliances that will be used in your kitchen.

Think not only of fridges, washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers but also regularly used small appliances such as microwaves, toasters, electric kettles, food processors and so on. You can find out more about Electrical Regulations on the HSE website.

sleek modern kitchen

5. Ovens, hobs and sinks should be installed in a single, continuous worktop

Installing ovens, hobs or sinks on or near a join where two worktops meet can lead to heat or water damage in the join which may eventually distort, weaken or compromise the aesthetics and safety of the worktop.

6. Base units should be aligned with wall units

In order to create clean lines and a produce uniform look to your new kitchen, the widths and positioning of wall-mounted kitchen units should correspond exactly with the widths and positions of the floor-standing base units beneath them.

modern kitchen design

7. Ovens and hobs must be positioned for safety

Whilst there are no mandatory regulations governing the positioning of either electric or gas hobs in relation to high level kitchen cabinets, common sense should apply.

There should be sufficient clearance for saucepan handles to stick out so that they are not over adjacent rings and ideally a worktop immediately left or right of the hob onto which hot items such as roasting pans can be placed. Ovens and hobs should not be placed in proximity to a door or walkway to prevent collisions with someone standing at the hob.

For gas hobs there are however mandatory regulations governing their position in relation to combustable material. These regulations are enforced by a CORGI registered (now known as the Gas Safe Register) gas installer which is why its very important to check that your installer is registered as such.

The installer will not connect a gas hob if they deem that, according to installation guidelines provided by the manufacturer of the appliance,  there is not enough clearance around it to satisfy these regulations.

8. A wall-mounted unit cannot be installed above a hob

Again, for safety, kitchen cupboards must not be situated directly over a hob; the only item that may be installed over a hob is an extraction unit.

traditional style kitchen

9. Try to plan your kitchen around existing room fixtures and fittings

When planning unit sizes and taking room measurements for your perfect new kitchen, don’t forget to plan for existing fittings that may be difficult or expensive to move such as radiators, light switches and telephone points.

10. Don’t forget boiler safety!

I there’s an existing kitchen boiler that is more than ten years old you could benefit from having it replaced with a modern energy-efficient model and there are now companies offering boiler replacement for a relatively low monthly fee which also includes yearly servicing. 

It is often possible to conceal a kitchen boiler by housing it in a kitchen unit, but sufficient space must be left around the boiler in order to assist airflow and ventilation, and unrestricted access for boiler maintenance and repairs must be available.

Images courtesy of Aristocrat , Sunland Group & Pohlenz Cucine Moderne

avatar Name: Amy Sawyer
About: Amy is a freelance journalist from London. She loves vintage decor and modern comforts and is in the process of recovering from 2 house moves in the last 2 years!
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