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How to get your kitchen layout right

Getting you layout right is one of the trickiest parts of the kitchen design process, and it's also the most important to ensure the space flows well and works for your household. Here, Surrey designers Park House Kitchens offer up their top tips for getting it right.

Park House Kitchens, based in Ockley, have been designing and installing kitchens in Surrey and beyond for more than 27 – so it’s safe to say the team knows a thing or two about how to et the layout in your kitchen right.

Get it spot on, and your kitchen will flow seamlessly. Get it wrong, and – well, you’ll probably just have to live with the frustration. Here is what you need to consider to make sure it’s right!

WISH LIST

Park House Kitchens, Surrey
Decide what you absolutely can’t live without in your kitchen. All photos are from Park House Kitchens.

Your wish list in the kitchen must take priority. What do you actually want in the kitchen? A wine fridge, breakfast pantry, appliances on show or hidden away. The best way to do this is to look at your current kitchen. What works really well for you, for instance the sink in the island opposite the oven that you can drain the pasta into with ease. And things that don’t, such as appliances on show and you want them all hidden away in worktop cupboards. 

FOCAL POINT

Park House Kitchens, Surrey
This pretty blue Aga stove is a striking focal point.

Next would be something that you want to draw your eye to. This is usually the oven, be that a range cooker or electric hob with a canopy or hood. But it doesn’t need to be. It could be a selection of beautiful windows looking over your garden, or a piece of framed artwork. It’s good to think outside of the box sometimes and a kitchen focal point could be anything.

STORAGE

Park House Kitchens, Surrey
How do you want your storage to look?

This is what your kitchen is all about. But you need to make a list of everything you own. Crockery, children’s plates and bowls, fancy crockery. Everyday glasses, wine glasses, cups. Writing everything down you will realise how many items you need to put away. Once you have your list, make a note of how you would to store them. For instance, do you want your crockery in drawers , or perhaps a full height crockery cupboard where you can put your everyday, fancy and serving ware all in one space?

Making a list will then help you to decide what type of cupboards you actually need in your kitchen, and then you can combine this with your wish list. So, for instance you need somewhere for your coffee machine, cups, coffee pods and a juicing machine ready for your breakfast juice. You need these to hand to be able to use and access them easily. But your wish list you don’t want anything on show… the perfect compromise is a breakfast pantry with all your appliance set up but hidden with doors so all you have to do is open them and away you go!

LANDING SPACE

Park House Kitchens, Surrey
Don’t forget your to allow plenty of space on benches for preparing food.

Whilst it’s no doubt less interesting than what goes on your wish list, it’s important to consider space in your design.

Make sure there is enough space around each appliance for you to put items when you’re preparing food and cooking. Aim for at least 350mm of space next to a cooking top or a refrigerator. And don’t forget the smaller appliances like your coffee machine, hot water tap and kettle – you’ll need space to make your tea and coffee!

WASTE NOT WANT NOT

Park House Kitchens, Surrey
No ugly bins on show in this kitchens, because they’ve been cleverly incorporated into the integrated design.

The bins can be easily overlooked, and then slotted in somewhere as an afterthought. But with careful planning you can allocate space for your waste. But how much space do you need? For a family of five, it’s worth considering a large integrated bin, with a separate bin for recycling. No-one wants recycling packaging cluttering up worktops, or having to make constant trips outside to the recycling bin. A smaller family won’t need as much space, and may be able to allocate a cupboard or drawer with compartments for waste and recycling.

SEEING DOUBLE

Park House Kitchens, Surrey
Theres’ no shortage of fridge space in this kitchen, thanks to a double American style refrigerator, and a separate wine fridge.

This might sound strange, and it certainly falls into the needs / wants category. But a client with a large family found their dishwasher was always full, or switched on, which meant dirty dishes were left piled in the sink waiting their turn. The solution? A second dishwasher. And the family haven’t looked back – no more dirty dishes to make the kitchen look untidy. The same family also have a second fridge – which they’ve named the Christmas fridge, although in reality it’s used all year round.

Other clients have a wine fridge as their ‘second’ fridge, which means their collection can be stored at optimum temperature.

Park House Kitchens is a family-run business based in Ockley, Surrey. They have been designing and installing beautiful kitchens in Surrey and beyond for more than 27 years. phk.co.uk

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