Lots of Kitchen blog posts from me to come over the next few weeks... as many of you know, I'm under pressure to finish the plans for our new kitchen. Something that I had felt excited about (due to our current horrendous kitchen), and thought I'd enjoy, but which has been rendered a completely painful exercise thanks to Mr AV, who unfortunately has a lot of opinions on the design.


At any rate, I've spent the past two days drafting, and sorting through a long to do list of items to order/ instruct/ draft on the Renovation, and I've made some headway.

I thought I'd write a post on kitchen design - the actual organisation and layout of a kitchen. Whether you do the design of a kitchen yourself, or get in a kitchen design company, this is a post about how to set it up. Even if someone else is helping you to design your kitchen, they're not you, so a bit of thought about how you use it, and what you require at the start of the process will ensure you end up with a much better result.

Ideally, if you're starting from scratch, you need to consider the ergonomic triangle. This is kitchen design 101, but it really is important - basically, you want to be able to draw a triangle between your fridge, stove and sink points. If they're all in a row you'll find you're constantly walking up and down your kitchen. I've been lucky (!)  enough to experience that in my current kitchen for the past 2.5 years, and I have to say it makes the kitchen very difficult to work in. A triangle is definitely easier.


One other thing you want to consider is traffic paths. Ideally you won't have a dead end in your kitchen - there'll be space for others to move around and out of the kitchen if you're say cooking dinner, and someone else wants to get themselves a drink. Considering how you prepare breakfast and if you eat in your kitchen, and zoning that in one area means that you won't have people crossing paths trying to get bits and pieces and creating traffic jams.


Zoning parts of your kitchen in general will make it more efficient and easier to work in. I had a tiny kitchen in Melbourne, but it was actually a great design - everything was to hand where it was needed. When you unpacked the dishwasher, the corner cupboard next to it housed all the dishes, the drawers were on the other side of the dishwasher for utensils and cutlery. One thing to note is that you do not need to locate your dishwasher next to your sink - it's marginally cheaper, and if you have existing plumbing you're working with it may be necessary, but if your layout works better to separate it away from the sink nearer to your crockery storage, then that is an option worth exploring. Here you can see that my dishwasher was separated from the kitchen sink (and drainage point) by the corner cupboard. It worked much better than having it next to the sink (in this instance, the drainage hose ran through the back of the cupboard to the sink point). Having a sink right next to the cooktop was also handy when draining water from saucepans or filling them up.



Glasses were kept above the sink, so only a step away. Above the (bane of my existence) coffee machine all the mugs and tea and coffee equipment was kept. Underneath the coffee machine the cupboards contained saucepans and casserole dishes. A concealed drawer underneath the oven kept all the bakeware and large trays. Tiny, but very functional.



Zoning in a larger kitchen might mean that you have cupboards for your dishes and cutlery near to your dishwasher to facilitate unpacking - you don't want to be walking back and forward across your kitchen   with large stacks of dishes, it will quickly become a pain and something you want to avoid. If you enjoy baking, then specifying an area where you'll mix cakes or biscuits is a good idea. Food should be corralled somewhere useful - pantry as the primary location, but point of use is also a good place to store certain items, such as oils for cooking and spices next to the cooktop.




Point of use is very important in making your life easier - if you enjoy baking then power points on the counter top for a food processor/ kitchen aid/ thermomix point and drawers in the cupboard below that contain accessories for those items, as well as measuring cups and spoons and for flour/ sugar/ ingredients etc that you'll use when baking is a good idea - you don't need Self Raising Flour and Baking Powder in the pantry, they'll only be used for baking, so keep them where you use them.


A pull out drawer rack for oils that you use when cooking is handy, as is a drawer that holds your spices and utensils that would be useful at the cooktop or in the oven.

via 

If you put a bit of thought into how you use your kitchen, and ideally where you'd locate things it will make your life a lot easier. You don't need a big kitchen to do this, nor do you need matching storage jars (attractive, but that's not going to solve your difficulties in using your kitchen). It's very apparent to me that kitchen storage and organisation is something at the top of a lot of people's minds on Pinterest - many of the most pinned images are on this topic. I'd also say that while the pull out drawer above is fantastic, you don't always need to use lots of fancy build in storage options, some will help, others will cost a lot of money for little result.

I sorted out the layout and storage requirements of my kitchen some time ago, and the appliances have been ordered, it's really just the drafting that is holding me up, but I'm getting there! Hopefully I'll have finished plans to post soon....


32 comments:

  1. Can't wait to see how it all turns out! I read Terence Conran's tome on kitchens cover to cover before we did our first kitchen....the kitchen company were loathe to follow through on my ideas (concrete top, long island bench and no overhead cupboards) so I had to stick to my guns yet it turned out so beautifully that we only minimally tinkered with the design when we did our current kitchen.....one of the changes was the placement of the dishwasher, which my husband was determined to make, I let him, yet now he agrees with me that he made a mistake! I'm saving this up for future use! Rx

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    1. Oh dear - I've probably built everyone's expectations that my kitchen is going to be the best thing ever!! It's more been a long and arduous arguing process with my husband. Husbands should not get a say in kitchen design, clearly! I haven't read the Conran book, should probably put it on the list to look at, it sounds excellent. I really do think you can use any kitchen much smarter if you follow some basic rules/ concepts... although my current kitchen is the exception as it has almost no cupboards, so sorting anything is a nightmare! xx

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  2. Awesome post Heidi... It all makes perfect sense and had given me lots to think about.. Ist this stage I have my dishwasher next to the sink as well as the bin. In the island I will have storage for plates etc and the cutlery will go in drawers next to the dishwasher. The glasses will go in the cupboard above the drawers... .. Ok that's enough for now!! Xx

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    1. I'm looking forward to seeing your kitchen design too Jenny, I'm sure with all your past home projects you've got some great ideas on what works and what doesn't. Good luck with the appliance shopping tomorrow! xx

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    2. Am laughing at my comment above... I was just about to fall asleep - was tapping the comment on my iphone and got lost in my own thoughts!!!

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  3. Perfect timing Heidi! I am doing my design up right now and I have to turn it in by July 4th...Pressure. Mr CSW is getting involved with the design as well even though he doesn't cook at all. Stressing me out a bit. But you have just reminded me with that sliding oil drawer bc the clutter next to my stove is doing my head in. I also like the color scheme of the first kitchen so might show him that one for inspiration! xx

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    1. Can't wait to see your plans Naomi. What is it with men who don't cook but think they have valid points on Kitchen design? Funnily enough, when I was doing the appliance selection last week, the sales guy (who was great..) admitted to me he didn't cook. So I took no notice of the how my life would be completed with a steam oven spiel as a consequence!! Glad you liked the pretty picture. Couldn't leave it all images of spice drawers! xx

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    2. Sorry to disappoint but they are going to be so boring. Already arguing about everything and we haven't even gotten the approval yet!! The guy only makes coffee Heidi...Grrr. PS I used to have the steam Gaggenau when I was single and had no one to argue with me about my choices and one thing I noticed is that bread is lovelier when it just comes out fresh from oven but cakes and breaks tend to go staler that much quicker -must be extra moisture perhaps?

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  4. So excited to follow your kitchen come to life. And I love this well analysed post. So much to learn from <3

    B

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    1. Hi B! Sloooowly getting there with the plans... it's been quite tortuous! xx

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  5. The spice rack drawer is such an a excellent idea, I only have one drawer so my cutlery is in that, every time I need a spice that isn't one of my core of 4 at the front, I have to get up on a chair to get to the shelf - I'm small and can't reach the top shelves without a chair, yep, my kitchen is not exactly an ergonomic hot spot.

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    1. Ive always had my spices above the stove too.. and I suffer the same fate. Too short! I currently keep them in small storage tubs, so I just pull the whole thing down and rifle through that. It's definitely not ideal though. xx

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  6. Good luck!! My kitchen is 20 + years old but so functional and so many power points- I love it! xx

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    1. You're so lucky! My current kitchen is around 40 years old, and the layout and storage is terrible. It's really not the age that's the problem at all... I have friends living with very old kitchens, and they don't mind them because they were well designed to start with. xx

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  7. YAY! Love to read anything about kitchen renovations. I will be doing one at my place one day and I am CONSTANTLY thinking about it. It does not stop. So this has helped me question my design, but I think I am following all the rules and will function nicely. I have drawn it all to scale and even in the IKEA 3D kitchen planner. LOL. I love this. Why don't you love drafting?? Your kitchen in Melbourne was quite tiny wasn't it? I spy a proud little kitchenaid hehehehehe. Anyway, I don't really have anything of any great value to add but I think I want a dovetail wooden pot drawer!!! Ohh and marble!!! and hand painted 'greige' cabinets. I'm interested in your lino-esque floor option. Are you still going with that? It's late, I'm rambling.

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    1. Drafting by hand is very tedious - when you make a mistake/ want to change something it takes forever to correct. I much prefer CAD on the computer, but it's too expensive for the amount of use it'd get with me, so I don't have it. Plus I need a large chunk of time to get into drafting, and I"m always getting interrupted (of course!). If I draft at night I'm too tired and I make lots of mistakes. Yes, the Melbourne kitchen was tiny, but I fitted everything in quite well. I think it's a good reminder that 1. You don't need a lot of stuff to be able to entertain/ cook (we used to entertain constantly) 2. If you've got a good layout it's really the most important thing. Yes, still doing lino! My builder thinks I'm insane!! But I'd prefer some really good light fittings and rugs, I really think with the floors that they'll recede into the background! xx

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  8. Sending this post to my daughter. Thank you

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  9. What an interesting post with useful tips. My recent kitchens have had a working triangle and it makes a huge difference. One of the best things in our newish kitchen is the huge
    cutlery and utensils drawer under the hob. I particularly like the spice drawer you have shown here. I always seem to need the spice jar at the back of the cupboard! I definitely need a better system!

    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Your new kitchen sounds lovely - I'd love a utensil drawer, mine are currently all jumbled on top of each other in a drawer. Horrible! I suffer the same fate with the spices as you! xx

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  10. Heidi, all of the images your have above are fantastic. I watched the American cook Ina Garten talk about Kitchen designs on a You tube clip recently - she spoke about a similar formula to the one you mentioned above. My dad had his kitchen renovated last year and it is fantastic - lots of terrific storage and deep drawers in functional places etc. I particularly like the look of the 2nd kitchen image you have - what a beautiful space. Love the utensil and spice drawer xxx

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    1. I love that second image too - it's quite serene. I really like a 'working' kitchen, meaning nothing much on the surface, easy to clean. Some images of Kitchens on Pinterest make me think of the ick factor of having plants (not herbs)/ ornamental pottery chickens/ containers holding things you don't use much (decorative jars of legumes etc)/ even lamps! I can't imagine these things get cleaned often and I think of the film of oil/ dust on them and it creeps me out! Your Dad's new kitchen sounds lovely. I'm envious! Going to google that youtube clip.... xx

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    2. Heidi I have a serious addiction to watching You Tube interviews. Love watching interviews of good cooks/ chefs/ authors and anything on Oprah.com.

      Here are two interviews by Ina (she loves having two dishwashers too).

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUFc3O1y_Hc

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlMUn0q3lgE

      Fifi xxx

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    3. Oooh! Thanks for the links, am going to spend a bit of quiet time while my youngest naps watching them. I actually have one of the first Jamie Oliver cookbooks where he goes into kitchen layout a bit (as well as essential equipment), it's quite interesting too. Two dishwashers is key! I hate having things waiting to go into the dishwasher on the countertop and I won't run a load until it's completely full (too wasteful).xx

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  11. I can't wait to see your new kitchen - I am sure it will be fabulous.

    Having moved from a new kitchen to a tarted up old one I do miss the big drawers for stuff (although I do think they were just coming in when this one was first designed as it has a couple) I have lots of cupboards though so no complaining too much. Our layout is pretty good though and the triangle arrangement works well.

    The Farmer gets quite involved with which cupboards he thinks things should be in which annoys me lots as he never cooks. So when he says I have the pots in the wrong place I always ask "the wrong place for who?" and threaten to go on strike! Maybe it's a male thing??

    The only other thing that annoys me with kitchens is when there is an island bench (that is just a bench, so no sink, stove or anything) in the middle of a too small kitchen and you just have to walk around it to get anywhere. Why do people do that? It is like putting a big obstacle in the middle of your triangle and making it more of a roundabout.

    Anyway - best go and deal with Friday.

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    1. Do you know, the actual style of the kitchen is still slightly under a cloud. I like both the top two images, and they're completely different. Of course, Mr AV has a (strong) opinion on how it will look, so that will be helpful (!).
      Too funny about where things are in a kitchen... Mr AV has had to learn to adapt to my way. His mum lays her kitchen out in a very different way from how I would, and as a consequence I can never find anything in her kitchen. She said all her sisters (she has 4 sisters) lay their kitchens out the same, and they can always find things in each others kitchens.... maybe layout is to some extent a learnt family trait?
      Hmmm... your island comment is making me laugh - that's essentially the layout of our kitchen, but I do have reasons! Its the prep area. Will explain all when I've finished the dawings, in layout it's similar to picture number two above. Hope you have a good day xx

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  12. Good luck with getting your design finished, I'm sure it will be beautiful. Nothing worse than a man with design opinions is there? Why do they show no interest except in the things where you have very determined ideas of how things should look? Maddening!

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    1. I totally agree. They show no interest, and then suddenly express an (unwanted) opinion! xx

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  13. Looking forward to more kitchen posts...And I suggest that only people who prepare at least 25% of the family meals should be allowed to contribute to the design!
    Have a nice weekend!
    Renie

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    1. Ha! totally agree Renie. And I think he's at around 2% of meal preparation.... so that should equal no input in my opinion!! xx

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  14. Hi Heidi, very much looking forward to seeing your kitchen once it's in! I hope you can wrestle design control from Mr AV. Does he cook a lot? If not, he should have No Say At All!

    I'm filing this and your cooker post away to refer to once we get down to the nitty gritty of our renovations. The plans are being drawn up and we hope to have the DA in within the next month. Eek. Scary! I'm trying not to think about it too much.... We will have to move out while the structural work is being done.

    On a more hedonistic note, J has booked the Lyall for our anniversary in Nov! No spontaneity in our lives, but we need to book it so that we actually get our act together to farm out the children!
    He got a great deal, with late checkout and breakfast etc. thanks so much for the recommendation!
    I'll be bothering you for shopping and eating tips nearer the time!

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    1. That's exciting your DA is going in Ruth! When I put mine in, around this time last year, I thought I had so much time up my sleeve to sort out the details of the kitchen design. How wrong I was. No, Mr AV does not cook (toast and pancakes), and it's been a tortuous 6 months of arguing with him over the design. Hopefully we are close to being finished.....
      But it's exciting to start the building process... and see all the plans come to life.
      So happy you've booked the Lyall - I hope you have a wonderful time!! I'll be happy to give you a long list of places to go and shop/ eat nearer to the time. They do good breakfasts in house though, so I know you'll enjoy it. xxx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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