Designing Your Ideal Kitchen: Navigating Layouts, Features, and Space Planning

Everything related to kitchen layout revolves around four basic floor plans, yet no two kitchens need be identical. If you are still at the drawing board stage, use graph paper to enable you to visualise the layout better, or take advantage of the various design softwares available like SketchUp, AutoCAD, Revit and others. Your only limiting factors are doors, windows and the general shape of the room (but also keep in mind the position of the electric sockets, water pipes/drains and the gas supply). So, let’s look at the choice to enable you to keep your options open.


The most basic kitchen is a straight line, single unit arrangement, with matching top cupboards. Then comes the L-shape; a variation on this is the F-shape, with the cooker being placed slightly out of your cupboard line to enable more than one person to have access to it at the same time. And finally you have the U-shape, with lots of cupboard surface area and more storage both above and below.


If you are confused on which shape to go for, you may find consulting a kitchen designer will help. Most kitchen manufacturers will design a plan for you at no cost and the designers experience can go a long way to help you visualise what you are saying. Sometimes, a site visit will also help but concepts like the F-shape, which are a feature in themselves, while enabling the kitchen to be more sociable, will not occur to most people shopping around.


Creating standout features in interior design is crucial. One popular choice is a kitchen island with a central cooker and hood, especially for open-plan living spaces. Additionally, combining a TV and drinks cabinet offers a stylish and practical solution, enhancing both functionality and aesthetics in modern homes.


If your room has depth, and perhaps leads on to a breakfast room, you may consider adding a breakfast bar. This adds on to your main cupboard and provides a relaxed, informal atmosphere, inviting members of your family or house guests to sit down and get involved in social interaction while someone else is cooking.


Maximise your work surface by making sure there are no interruptions caused by tall cupboards or a fridge. Allow space to unpack your shopping both in terms of your larder, dry store, fridge and freezer.


Remember the three points of the triangle we talked about earlier – cooker, sink and fridge. Ensure they are not too far apart (3m in all) to save unnecessary mileage and keep in mind that you need space on either side of the cooker and sink.


Do everything you can to keep things organised, including pull-out baskets and trays, deep drawers and partitions. Strive for balance and symmetry as much as possible.


Position your utensils where you will need them most: your pots and pans should be close to the hob; your crockery and glass cupboard next to the dishwasher/sink drain board.


Ultimately, look for something that is in keeping with your character and lifestyle.

The kitchen is a central focus in any household, so you may as well devote care and attention even at the design stage to ensure the reality fully fits your expectations.