The kitchen does not have to be expensive and technically perfect, but it is undeniable that it is comfortable and functional. How to achieve this and what to consider when planning it – says the pros.
Choose the right type of layout
The placement of the kitchen set directly depends on the shape of the room, windows and doorways in it. Experts distinguish several types of kitchen planning solutions:
To understand which option is right for you, start by measuring your kitchen and draw a plan. Here you need to take into account the location of doors, windows, gas pipes, heating radiators. Think about how it will be convenient for you to move around the kitchen and where it is better to place household appliances.
Focus on the rule of the “working triangle”
The basis of the layout of any kitchen is usually the so-called work triangle. Back in the 20s of the last century, German scientists calculated the ideal distance between the three main areas of the kitchen – stove, sink and refrigerator. These calculations allow the hostess to spend a minimum of time and effort on cooking.
In the arrangement of the kitchen, designers are still guided by the rule of the “working triangle”. Although there are many opinions about the distance between the refrigerator, sink and stove, ideally these three “whales” should be at the vertices of an equilateral triangle. The distance between them should not be less than 1.2 m or more than 2.7 m.
Choose the width of the work surface
The standard width of the countertop of a kitchen set is 60 cm. This is usually enough for mounting appliances and lower kitchen cabinets. If you plan to do a corner sink, then you should consider the option of a countertop with a width of 80 cm. More than 90 cm is not worth it.
The working surface in the kitchen is the distance between the sink and the stove. Although its dimensions depend on the area of \u200b\u200bthe kitchen, there are also recommended standards. The optimal width of the countertop between the stove and the sink should be between 60–90 cm.
Calculate the ideal kitchen height
Studies have shown that a prolonged back tilt with a deviation of more than 20 ° leads to a unilateral load on the intervertebral discs. This means that this position of the body can cause back pain. That is why the height of the working surface is recommended to be adjusted depending on the height of the person.
The standard height of the countertop is 85 cm. If you are under 160 cm tall, you can lower it to the level of 75–82 cm, if you are above 175 cm, raise it to 95–100 cm.
The distance between the lower base and the upper one should be 60 cm. The height of the upper drawers and their opening method should also be selected according to the height of the person – this will allow you to comfortably open and close the cabinets.
Choose a sink and conveniently position it
The kitchen sink is one of the vertices of the famous “working triangle”. How exactly you place the sink will directly affect the convenience of cooking.
Depending on what kind of kitchen layout you have, the location of the sink may be different. But in any case, it should be directly accessible, and household appliances should not be placed next to it. Ideally, at least 45–60 cm of free work surface should be left on the sides of the sink.
When choosing a sink, consider not only its location, but also the installation method.
Recessed sink. One of the most common and simple mounting options. For installation, it is enough to make a hole in the countertop the size of the sink and carefully seal the joints.
Overhead sink. Suitable for a standard free-standing kitchen unit, on which the sink is mounted in the form of a cover. It is noteworthy that anyone can install an overhead sink, having a minimum set of tools with them.
Integrated sink. The most difficult option for the location of the sink in the countertop, which requires experience and the availability of special tools. Even a slight error can lead to the fact that the built-in kitchen sink will not stay in the countertop.
There are never too many outlets in the kitchen, but still you shouldn’t make too many of them. Think about what household appliances you often use, what usually stands on the countertop, and what can be hidden behind the facades. Based on this, calculate the required number of outlets.
Most often, overhead and built-in sockets are used in the kitchen. Recently, more and more often in projects you can see retractable sockets and flush-mounted ones – they are convenient to use and can be removed from your eyes when not needed.
Pick up household appliances and find a place for it
It is better to think over the choice of household appliances in advance in order to know its power consumption, installation dimensions of the built-in and determine the location in space.
For example, for a refrigerator, it is necessary to know its height – this will help to correctly design an outlet that needs unhindered access. A built-in refrigerator will help to avoid visual noise, but in terms of usable volume it is smaller than a freestanding one – consider this point.
The dishwasher should be located next to the sink, but where to put the microwave oven, you have to think carefully. When placed on a countertop, this household appliance takes up precious work surface space, so it is ideal to build it into a kitchen set or put it on a separate shelf. Please note that the microwave should be placed at a height of no more than 135-140 cm from the floor or 6-8 cm below the shoulder of the one who most often uses the appliance.
Choose dining table
The dining table should be such that the whole family can comfortably sit behind it, but at the same time there is still free space in the kitchen itself. Ergonomics experts have long calculated and deduced the formula for a comfortable table. So, for one sitting there should be at least 60 cm wide and 40 cm deep. At the same time, there should still be room in the middle of the table for other serving items.
The minimum width of the dining table is 80-85 cm. The length is already selected depending on how many people will regularly gather at the table and what is the area of the kitchen.
There is also a norm for planning the distance between the table and the kitchen set. It is desirable that there is enough space to fully extend the chair and leave the table – this is 70–90 cm.
Create layered lighting
The main secret of proper kitchen lighting is the presence of its several levels. One ceiling lamp will not be enough here. When cooking, a person usually closes the light with his back, and it turns out that the work surface remains practically unlit. Because of the falling shadow, it is inconvenient to cook, so an LED lamp or several spots above the countertop is not just a design decision, but a practical necessity.
In addition to local lighting above the work surface, it is necessary to provide an additional light source above the dining table. If it’s a pendant light with a long cord, don’t place it too low as it’s easy to hit your head. It should be above the countertop in the range of 70–90 cm.