Using The Space
The first step when designing a new kitchen is to decide how you want to use the space. Will it be lively, messy and full of adults and children or do you want a calm, minimalist oasis?
Many modern new builds are now cutting down on the actual space the units take up and floor area to devote more space to a dining area. Fridges, freezers, cookers and sinks can now fit into very compact areas if necessary. However, you may live in your kitchen and want to devote as much space as possible to the hub of your house.
Interestingly, there is also a trend to have pantries installed and these can provide useful additional storage space. The joy of a pantry is that you can see everything which negates the need to rummage at the back of the cupboard for that tin of beans. Positioning these rooms on an outside brick wall with air bricks for ventilation is an excellent way to keep root vegetables and other perishables which keep best in a cool, dark environment.
Do you incorporate other white goods?
For some of you, a utility room is another luxury as it will take the washing machine and tumble dryer out of the kitchen and give you more storage space. Another trend in new builds is to have the utility room upstairs with the bedrooms - if you have the space of course. This makes sense with regards to traipsing washing up and down the stairs but if you use an outside washing line, could well be irrelevant.
If you are building from scratch, the kitchen is likely to be at the back of the house with a good connection to the garden via glazed or patio doors. Spend as much time as you can thinking through your wish list and where everything will go. Most kitchen suppliers offer a design service which you can access for free. Budget kitchens tend to be just that so use a reputable supplier. Do lots of research and read the customer reviews. Often the design service is outstanding but once they have your deposit things can go downhill quickly.
8 STEP CHECKLIST
1) Make an inventory of everything you will need - equipment, utensils, crockery, appliances
2) Estimate how much storage you will need
3) Draw out a plan so that you can visualise the layout and play around
4) Mark where the main drainage is located as this will restrict your design to a degree
5) Work out the sequence of food prep, cooking, serving, washing up and eating. Does it all flow together?
6) Check the space around the units and appliances to make sure all the doors can open and close easily
7) Choose a style and try to make sure there is a cohesive look
8) Think about your lighting options and include plenty of sockets