Kitchen planning should involve making your activities in your new kitchen faster, more efficient and less stressful. It is important to observe the so-called rules of ergonomics. This is not only about the furniture arrangement in the kitchen but also about the height of the worktop, the depth of the cabinets and the sink. Also, remember appliances and lighting when planning. In our little guide, you will find all the important rules to help you plan the most functional kitchen.
Kitchen planning starts with the zones
Start planning your kitchen by dividing it into five zones. These should be placed next to each other in a clockwise direction (for right-handers). Thanks to them, movement in the kitchen while preparing food will be easier and more comfortable. A functional modern kitchen is primarily about minimizing walking, turning, and bending and reducing the need to lift something and stretch out your hands.
The role of zones in the kitchen
This zone refers to the refrigerator, freezer, and cabinet for products that do not require refrigeration. This zone should be as close to the entrance as possible so that you can unpack your purchases without walking across the room.
This means cupboards for pots, dishes, cutlery and small appliances. In this zone, you can use hanging cabinets to arrange plates, bowls, glasses and mugs. Modern wardrobes have hinged lifting flaps instead of regular opening doors, which are safer and save your space. In the storage area, you should rather give up the shelves in the lower cabinets, which force you to bend and kneel. Instead, install fully extendable drawers there.
This zone includes the sink, dishwasher and trash cans. The dishwasher saves time and is associated with greater hygiene and conserving water and time. It would help if you ideally placed waste sorting bins in a cupboard with a pull-out drawer. It is also a good idea to put a drawer for washing and cleaning utensils near the sink, such as dishwashing detergent, cloths, a shovel and a brush or garbage bags.
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Space for food preparation
The appropriate height and width of the worktop provide a prerequisite for convenient cutting and mixing of ingredients. That is important for every kitchen counter or island in the kitchen. It is also worth placing a kitchen rod above the worktop to hang the most necessary accessories (scoops, cups, etc.). A stand with knives, plates and containers with spices should also be part of the prepared space.
The kitchen includes a stove, oven and microwave. In addition to classic gas or electric stoves, induction hobs are becoming increasingly popular recently, which can prepare food quickly. It is also advisable to install a silent hood above the cooking surface.
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Another fundamental principle of an ergonomic kitchen is the so-called work triangle. This determines the arrangement of the three most important appliances in the kitchen, i.e. the refrigerator, the stove and the sink. They must be as close as possible in a triangular arrangement. The optimal distance between them should be:
- in the case of a refrigerator and a sink, 120-210 cm
- for sink and stove 120-210 cm (minimum 90 cm in small kitchens)
- the distance between the refrigerator and the stove should be 120-270 cm
Kitchen planning according to its arrangement
Single-row kitchen layout
This is the least functional arrangement of furniture in the kitchen. Since the cabinets and equipment are built in only one line, applying the working triangle rule here is impossible. For the best orientation, the refrigerator should start the furniture row. The worktop, sink, main worktop, and cooking surface should be only behind it. This system works best in small rooms and kitchen corners.
The cabinets are placed in two parallel lines in the ergonomic two-row kitchen. This type of kitchen should have a sink, worktop and stove on one wall, a refrigerator, and an additional worktop (kitchen island) on the other. The distance between two rows of cabinets should be 90-120 cm. This allows you to walk around freely and open the door comfortably. This type of kitchen is suitable for a short but wide kitchen.
L-shaped kitchen design
In an L-shaped kitchen, the furniture is arranged vertically, so the sink and refrigerator should be placed on the longer side and the stove on the shorter side. There should be a corner worktop between the sink and the hob. You can put rotating shelves, pull-out baskets and the like in the corners, giving you plenty of space for pots and small household appliances. If you have enough space in the kitchen, you can also place a small island in the kitchen. This arrangement is suitable for both small and large kitchens. This kitchen is ideal for a space where we need to create a smooth transition to the living room or dining room.
Kitchens created in the shape of the letter G are enriched with a so-called peninsula. In this case, the kitchen line is located along all three walls, and a table is also attached to it, which is used for eating by the fourth wall. It can be similar to the cabinets, but you can make it much taller to diversify the space. The solution is that this type of kitchen is suitable for spacious interiors and allows for storing many dishes and appliances. A big advantage here is the large number of corners, which you can use practically. If the kitchen is well organized, there can be plenty of free space in the middle where you can put a table.
In the case of a U-shaped kitchen, the furniture is built along two longer walls and one shorter one. With this kitchen unit, it is best if the stove and refrigerator face each other and the sink is mounted in the corner. If you have a window in the kitchen, put a worktop under it. You can put tall furniture and hanging cabinets on one side of the kitchen, then put a lower table on the other. It is best suited to a spacious, rectangular, open space with a window.
Andrea is a garden and DIY enthusiast. She always comes up with great ideas and the latest trends in the interior or outdoor design.