The most obvious room for home improvement is the kitchen, the heart and soul of most homes. Any changes you make to this room can really improve your quality of life.
Without a doubt, the kitchen is the most expensive room to improve in your house so make sure you have a budget in mind and stick to it. It is very easy to get carried away when planning your kitchen.
You need to plan your kitchen around your needs such as do you have young children or elderly parents you need to cater for in the planning stage.
Take accurate measurements of your kitchen and include all the doors, windows and which way they hang and open. Mark out the radiators, gas points, electrics etc.
Plan out your kitchen on graph paper and cut out some shapes such as an oven, dishwasher etc. and play around with moving them around your kitchen to see what works best.
It will also give you some idea about how best to position your “working triangle”. The 3 things to consider are the washing, cooking and food preparation areas. You need to keep the distance between these 3 points to a minimum. Around 1100mm to 1300mm is considered optimum. Think about the most efficient working triangle for your kitchen and then add the other appliances you would like after these are in place. A few points to bear in mind are to position the cooker away from the door, keep the sink as near to the window as possible and put your fridge near the door so family and dinner guests don’t interrupt the working triangle at crucial times.
The U-shaped Kitchen
This design uses 3 walls to accommodate kitchen units. The storage space at the corners should have units installed with a carousel. Little gaps can be used for open shelving for a wine rack or cookery books. You might want to include a glass cabinet or open shelves as wall cupboards on three walls can give a feeling of enclosure. You could even replace a section of the cupboard with a breakfast table.
The L-shaped Kitchen
The L-shaped kitchen is probably the most popular design you will find. It allows for all the essential items plus you should be able to fit wall units along both walls to increase the storage space. Why not fit a magic corner or carousel into the corner unit to maximise the storage potential.
In most new houses these days you won’t find the room to install a galley kitchen as you need the walls to be at least 2200mm apart. This allows for 1200mm for the depth of the base units opposite each other leaving just 1000mm minimum for a walk through. Any less than this reduces the walkway to an unacceptable width.