What to consider when planning a new kitchen

Reader's Digest Editors

If you are planning to renovate your kitchen, take plenty of time to think the project through. Consult all family members and visit kitchen displays to search out features you like

Before you start

There are several things you will need to consider in order to avoid making any hasty decisions that you may regret later. These include:

  • The function and character of your new kitchen. Will it need to be "eat-in", a galley, L-shaped or a formal arrangement? Do you entertain regularly?
  • Will your new kitchen plans call for some building work—major or minor? Is this feasible and can you afford it?
  • Can the cost involved be justified, or is it possible that you might be in danger of over-capitalising your property?
     

Compile a wish list

Write down all the requirements you have for your new kitchen. Make a scrapbook of pictures from kitchen magazines of styles and features that appeal to you. Also visit as many kitchen showrooms as possible to provide inspiration for any novel features that could be incorporated in your final design. 

 

Select a style which compliments your home and lifestyle

Take care not to design something that clashes with the style of your home or its current décor. Selecting an appropriate style will add to the value of your house. Inappropriate styles can actually have a detrimental effect on a property’s value.

 

Make sure you know the accepted standard sizes of components

Planning around standards will allow you to make the best use of materials and fittings, and it is also easier to produce a workable layout if you are using modular cabinet sizes. As an added bonus, most new appliances you buy should fit into the spaces allowed.

 

Choose appliances first

Select the appliances and design your kitchen around them. Take care not to pick appliances which may be too large for the available space, or unsuitable because of the kitchen arrangement. Order the appliances well in advance and have all the technical data available to consult when building them in. Follow the manufacturers' recommendations concerning installation procedures.

 

Points to consider

Always refer to the manufacturer’s specifications, or the relevant Standard, concerning appliance installation details and clearances—especially for gas cookers.

  • Ensure wall ovens and fridges are adequately vented.
  • If a fridge will project too far in front of the cabinets, it may be necessary to recess it into the wall behind.
  • Pay particular attention to which side doors of cabinets and appliances open from.

 

Lighting

Good lighting will make all the difference to your new kitchen. Take the time to work out where concentrated light will be needed for detailed work, and where subdued lighting is preferable, such as over a dining area, for example.