A kitchen deconstructed: which items/areas need space in your design?
Tuesday, 27th May 2014, Jane Gibson
When designing a kitchen it's important to plan where everything is going to go, especially if you've only got a small space to work with. There are plenty of great storage solutions out there to suit all sorts of kitchen designs, so don't panic if you suddenly realise you've got ten tons of kitchen appliances.
Here's what you need to consider when designing your kitchen.
Pots and pans
Pots and pans can take up a huge amount of room and aren't always easy to stack. Instead of taking up precious cabinet space, why not hang them from the wall and utilise that unused space? Alternatively, they can be hung from the ceiling. Most homeowners like to have them hanging opposite the oven, above their kitchen island. This makes them easy to get to when you're cooking and it means you won't spend hours digging through the cupboard to find the right one.
Most people keep their knives in a knife block, but they can take up valuable countertop space. Consider getting a mounted knife rack instead. These are magnetised, so your knives stick to the wall. An ideal place to put one of these is next to where you're going to do all your chopping, so perhaps somewhere near the oven.
Cutlery and other utensils
Although cutlery can easily be tucked away inside a drawer somewhere, it's a good idea to think about where that drawer is going to go. One of the best places to put it is near the sink, so that it's easy to put away when you're drying up or emptying the dishwasher. Your other utensils, such as your scissors, wooden spoons and spatulas can probably squeeze in this drawer too, but there are better places to put them.
For example, you can get a bar with hooks to go above your oven to hang your most-used utensils on. That way they won't be getting crushed in a drawer somewhere and you'll have easy access to them whilst cooking.
A lot of homeowners don't have a dedicated dining room any more and instead eat in their kitchens. Even if you do have a dining room, it's unlikely you'll want to munch your quick morning bowl of cereal in there, so it's always a good idea to have a breakfast bar or small table.
Whether you have a lot of room or not, it's important to decide where your table is going to go and how big it's going to be. If you don't have a great deal of space, there are plenty of tables out there which come with chairs that neatly slot underneath. However one of the best space-saving solutions is to double up your kitchen island or countertop as a dining table. You need to make sure that the space underneath the island is free though, so that you have somewhere to store your stools or chairs when you're cooking.
Anyone who's into baking will know that storing baking and muffin trays away can be an absolute nightmare. They take up far too much room in cupboards and even if you do manage to stack them neatly, they slip over five seconds later. Therefore it's a good idea to give yourself some space underneath your oven, as this small area makes a great home for baking trays. Plus, it means they're nice and close to the oven - which is handy.
If you put your sink in the corner of your kitchen, you'll give yourself a nice big space for all your cleaning supplies. Under the sink is an ideal place for your dishwashing tablets, washing machine powder, kitchen surface cleaners and your spare rubber gloves. Some people even choose to put their bins under here to allow themselves more floor space.
Remember that plastic bags should have a place in the kitchen too. Do your bit for the environment and get a plastic bag storage container. These can be hung on the inside of the sink cabinet door, which is a much tidier solution than just slinging them down the side of the bin.
You've probably thought about where the sink, fridge and oven are going to go - but what about the rest of your appliances? You might also need to make space for a dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, freezer and microwave. All these appliances can take up a lot of room, but there are some solutions.
For your microwave, you might want to make a neat little shelf it can slot into so that it isn't taking up countertop space. If you really can't live without a dishwasher but don't really have the room for one, you might be able to find space for a compact or countertop version. Washers and driers don't necessarily have to go in the kitchen, but if you do have room to put them there, be sure to put them somewhere you can easily load and unload them.
Although you love your George Foreman grill and amazing coffee machine, you might not want them taking up countertop space when they're not being used. It's a good idea to plan some deep cupboard space where your mixer, blender and ice cream maker can go until they're needed again.
However, if you really fancy having your KitchenAid out on display, build some space in between the top of your cabinets and the ceiling. This will give you some great extra storage space and make it nice and easy to get to your favourite appliances. Just make sure you build in a stool too.
There is a lot to consider when designing your kitchen, so one of the best things to do is to write down all the appliances and utensils you have first. Then you'll know exactly what you have to create a home for. Don't forget you need somewhere to put all your food too!