Friday, May 6, 2011

Thinking of Kitchens, Part 2: Layout

Somebody is bound to think that I have put style before substance in listing Style ahead of Layout when discussing my new kitchen. The reason is simple: my new kitchen layout has so many constraints, there's not a great deal of choice available to me.

Our kitchen is going to be eat-in, for a start. The effect will be something like a farmhouse kitchen. I've noticed that when you look up farmhouse kitchens, you tend to get anything but the kind of kitchen found in actual farmhouses, which is something like this:

Now this picture is not from a farmhouse either! But the layout is typical: a table in the middle, used for both meals and food preparation, and the perimeter of the room taken up with kitchen benches, appliances and storage. My kitchen will be like this, but there's room for benches on only two adjacent sides, if you look at the initial plan below.

As it's expensive to move plumbing and the like, we're sticking with the sink (and dish-washer! Hooray!) under the window, and putting the fridge in the corner. This is the short wall (3300mm, previously the long wall). The long wall (3600mm) will hold the stove and under-bench oven, and there will be a run of cupboards above the bench.

I'm planning to centre the stove on the long wall: I am right-handed, so I will be preparing food to the left of the stove. The one thing I've craved all my married life is room for cooking preparation, and I will have it!

Immediately, I hit an additional constraint. Did you know that your gas tap needs to be accessible via a cupboard, in case of emergencies? Bang goes my idea of under-bench pot drawers to fill the long wall. I need a 400mm cupboard to the left of the stove. Putting a 400mm set of pot drawers to the right will give us a symmetrical, if not brilliantly useable result. Further to the right, more pot drawers. I imagine I'll be using them for food storage rather than pots.

I was planning to have wall cupboards on the long wall only. The first kitchen designer suggests mirroring the widths of the under-bench cupboards in the wall cupboards. I suppose I could do something slightly different there, but I wouldn't want it to look odd.

Secondly, the builders tell me it will look strange to end the base cabinets at the dish-washer, and have suggested building around the fridge -- putting in a side panel and that inaccessible little cupboard on top (I'm not very tall). I think this will interfere with the window too much, but I haven't come up with any other ideas.

In the meantime, I pop in just to enjoy my less-ugly kitchen space!


Little Sis said...

Why don't you put the fridge at the far right of yout "long wall"? Nicer to have open space around the window I think.

Little Sis said...

And then you could also have a return and even more bench space where you have the fridge marked on the plan.

Deidre said...

Designing a kitchen must be so hard! I dream of lots of counter space and cupboard space!

Chookie said...

Little Sis, I'd have a much bigger work triangle if I did it that way. It would be handy for getting drinks out, though.

Deidre, I've been dreaming of counter and cupboard space for years! My first kitchen had 3 foot of bench space in total -- part of a built-in dresser. It was a 1920s flat and most of the kitchen was original.