When it comes to kitchen planning, a kitchen designer frequently faces the same complaints from homeowners about what’s ‘wrong’ with their existing kitchen. Most of these recurring problems and complaints originate from the old design not being designed to meet the needs of the customer.
Lack of storage
The most common kitchen design problems resulting from poor planning is insufficient storage. This can easily lead to clutter, mess and frustration. Yet even in really small kitchens, generous base and wall cabinets should be achievable – you just need careful and sometimes imaginative planning to maximise the space.
Kitchen corner units are excellent for making use of otherwise unused corner space, as they reach fully into the depths of the unit. There are also lots of clever storage options to consider, such as secret drawers or hidden spice racks, and many kitchen storage options are specifically designed for the provision of smaller items, such as gadgets, hand-held appliances and utensils.
Carefully thinking about your storage needs from an early stage of the design process will ensure you include enough of it and, in the long term, make for a much happier kitchen environment.
Poorly planned layout
A poor kitchen layout will impede the use of the kitchen, making you work much harder than necessary, and ultimately stopping you from enjoying it. Your kitchen should work specifically for you, with a workflow and layout designed to cater to your individual needs.
For this to happen, your kitchen designer must enquire about your lifestyle, habits and kitchen requirements, as well as how many people live in your house, who likes to cook and what your preferred cooking style is. All of this information should be used in the planning of your layout.
Insufficient worktop space
A lack of worktop space, or worktops being incorrectly positioned is a common design problem. This often proves frustrating too, as your worktop is needed for just about every activity you’ll carry out in your kitchen.
The worktop forms part of the kitchen workflow, so this will help to determine where and how much of it you need. During planning, it’s important to think about all the ways in which you currently use, or intend to use, your worktops.
Badly spaced units and appliances
It’s important that units and appliances, while well-positioned for easy use, are also well-spaced. There should be sufficient space (typically a minimum of 900mm) between opposing units and appliances, so doors and drawers can open clear of each other.
Similarly, they shouldn’t be too far apart: for the sake of a smooth workflow, you shouldn’t have to take more steps between appliances than is necessary. Think also about which way your unit and appliance doors open. For maximum ease of use, these should also be handed to the left or right according to the surrounding kitchen space.