When you’re planning a new kitchen, getting the right measurements is extremely important. Be meticulous to ensure everything can fit perfectly within the space you have. Measure from the floor to the ceiling, from the corners to the doors and the distance between walls. Calculate the size of doors and windows, as well as the height and distance of each from the floor, ceiling and edges. Record any major architectural features, as well as small features such as pipes, radiators, ventilation, and special angles.
The devil’s in the detail
Note the location of existing electrical sockets, switches and water and gas connections. But don’t sweat the small stuff as these can all be moved to suit the layout of your new kitchen. All you need to do is mark down the approximate position of where you would like to have these new outlets, switches and connections placed within the new layout.
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The work triangle
The ‘work triangle’ is what kitchen experts call the imaginary line between the kitchen hob, sink and refrigerator. The trick behind a successful ‘work triangle’ is to position these points in your kitchen, ensuring they are all not too far from each other and not too close either. In total, the line between these three points should not exceed six metres in total, with an ideal distance of 90cm between each point. When deciding on the layout, it is useful to think of the kitchen in terms of zones, with a storage zone, a washing zone and a cooking zone. This approach will help to ensure you end up with an efficient and practical kitchen, able to cope with the demands of everyday life.
Pick the right products
Cabinets, drawers and shelves are all essential as they form the backbone and determine the shape of your finished kitchen. With such an important function, it is better to invest in quality materials that will stand the test of time. To obtain an optimum amount of storage space in your kitchen you will need: base cabinets for pots, pans, utensils and plastic jars; corner cabinets for dry goods; a variety of wall cabinets and high cabinets. The most visual element will undoubtedly be what doors to go for – the most important element in the overall appearance of your kitchen. Whether you’re after a minimalist look or a warm cosy one, choose carefully between glass, solid wood, lacquer and melamine. Other products that will make your kitchen complete include handles, worktops, wall panels and lighting.
Get energy efficient
Approximately 40% of your household energy consumption takes place in the kitchen, where you can also make significant energy savings. Whether you’re re-doing your current kitchen or making it from scratch, invest in energy efficient appliances, which are better for both the planet and your pocket. The best way to do this is to only buy ovens, dishwashers, fridges and freezers that are energy-rated A or better. Other tips for a more energy efficient kitchen include using an induction hob rather than a glass ceramic or gas hob, cooking in pots with a lid on that are the right size for your cooktop and using energy-efficient kitchen lighting. Finally, reduce your water bills by more than 30% with water-saving taps and by using an A-rated dishwasher instead of washing by hand.