Kitchen Design: The 7 Steps to Follow

Do you want to redo your kitchen? Take the time to think it over because the design of a kitchen depends on many parameters: what place does it occupy in your interior and your daily life? How to make it ergonomic? How to equip your kitchen ? And the list of questions is still long. Côté Maison has list for you the criteria to be taken into consideration in the design of a kitchen. Then you just have to get started. => To read also: Makeover a kitchen: easy and cheap ideas

The design of a small kitchen is different from a large one and even more so if it is an open kitchen to the living room. As you will probably have understood, the layout of a kitchen is done on a case-by-case basis, so that it meets the constraints, expectations and needs of each and that it fits in best with its interior. Come on, we help you imagine its layout and equipment … To ensure that your kitchen project is a success. Open, closed or semi-open kitchen, with or without an island? It’s up to you !  

1. The basics of kitchen design

Are you a large family, a couple without children, a single person? Do you only use your kitchen occasionally? Are you a real chef? Are you used to entertaining? From these aspects will result the choices in terms of layout, layout and equipment. Choices that are not trivial, when we know that a kitchen is renewed on average every … 23 years.  

Then set a budget. For this, several elements: furniture, household appliances and possible works (plumbing, electricity). It is by having an idea, even rough, of your project that you will be able to make your decisions. It’s up to you whether you want to invest in household appliances rather than furniture, or vice versa. For the latter, the entry-level offer ranges from 1,000 to 5,000 euros, with furniture in kit form generally. The mid-range is between 5,000 and 10,000 euros with, in this case, factory-fitted furniture. Finally, the top of the range allows all the daring … on condition that you pay the price.  

2. Well thought-out kitchen design goes hand in hand with practicality

Comfort and ergonomics are essential elements. We sometimes spend time cooking, and this involves a lot of travel: from the refrigerator to the worktop, from the preparation space to the oven … You might as well save your efforts by arranging the place as practical as possible. For installation, kitchen designers generally start from the triangle of activities defined by the cooking space (hob, oven), the washing space (sink, dishwasher) and the preparation / storage space (refrigerator).  

Bringing these areas closer together makes it easier to move around while avoiding any obstacle. Storage gains in height: choose columns that take up less floor space, but allow more storage than a traditional cupboard. Likewise, with a raised work surface, the storage capacity is increased, for example by installing an additional drawer.  

3. Successful kitchen design also relies on good space organization

Before you start, an action plan is essential. To help you define the location, the kitchen designers have developed 3D software that allows you to build your project in just a few clicks. But, beforehand, you will have to take the measurements of the room to be fitted out: dimensions (length, width and height of each wall), right angles or not, location of openings (doors and windows), connections and technical elements (water, gas , electricity, but also sockets, switches, radiators). 

Then draw up a plan with these various data. This being done, you will be able to orient yourself towards the most suitable implantation in relation to the place. There are several possibilities: in L (for square and rectangular rooms), straight or linear (along a wall), in U (a space that offers storage) or in a corridor (along two walls forming face, for a long and wide part).  

Here are also some tips to guide you. To position the first pieces of furniture, start from the sink, which is often the element whose place is most obvious, since it is located near the water inlets and outlets. (If it is in front of a window, consider equipping it with a faucet allowing the opening.) Then place the elements low. You can combine sink, dishwasher and trash can in the same space for more convenience. As for the pans and saucepans, they will take place near the hob. 

Simplicity. Elegant furnishings with the “Abstrakt” gray gloss fronts and the “Personlig” worktops in light maple imitation laminate. “Faktum”, 485 euros the typical layout, Ikea. 

4. Select materials and finishes

Determining the type of material for the furniture, facades, worktops, as well as their finishes will directly affect the price of the kitchen. While solid wood is the most expensive for facades, solutions such as veneer, PVC or melamine particle board (the cheapest) make the score more affordable. New materials are also making their way into the kitchen, such as paper (PaperStone), bamboo, with environmental benefits.  

Other criteria come into play. For example, avoid choosing a lacquered kitchen if you have small children, as this coating is fragile and cannot withstand knocks. For a worktop, a wide range of materials is available: stone, quartz, resin, glass, wood, stainless steel, laminate … In addition to the price, the choice also depends on the more or less intensive use, resistance to shocks, scratches, heat, cleaning products.  

5. Choose the household appliance

Generally, when creating a kitchen, we opt for built-in appliances. A question of aesthetics and practicality, since the household appliance disappears from view or goes perfectly with the kitchen furniture. Moreover, manufacturers have developed coordinated ranges (oven, dishwasher, hob) and now offer colors other than the classic black and gray. Of course, this evolution is also found in the open kitchen, which, offering itself to the view, imposes a hyper-neat appearance.  

Beyond the aesthetic aspect, the choice of a model depends above all on its capacities and its durability. Built-in appliances are often more expensive than freestanding models. To find your way around, you should look at the energy label affixed to large household appliances. It allows you to find out and compare energy and water consumption, but also to know the acoustic performance.  

Good to know, if you go through a kitchen designer, be aware that most of the appliance packs include hood, hob and oven from the same brand, to reduce the cost. 

Clever. This kitchen with doors and drawer fronts in matt or glossy lacquered fiber panels is equip with a bench unit with large drawers for clever storage. “Carat brilliant graphite”, 1,649 euros for the typical layout, Lapeyre. 

6. Provide sufficient light in the kitchen

First, think about mood lighting to give general light. Ceiling or suspension, the choice is yours. Spotlights, recessed or not, are another solution. For the preparation area, prefer a powerful and precise light. Halogen spotlight, fluorescent tube, can be install. Be careful to fix them without creating a shadow when you are at work. Finally, a decorative lighting can be chosen: LED strips, small spots place in a niche, light shelf … are all possibilities to liven up the space. A word of advice, choose LEDs which consume less energy.  

7. Ventilate the room well

Good ventilation is important in the kitchen. And for that, you have to choose a hood. It is install between 65 and 75 cm above the hob. With the new thermal regulations (RT 2012), it is often the filtering hood, therefore recycling, which will be preferred. It does not reject the air outside, but uses filters for grease and activated carbon for odors. In the suction version, a duct allows the expulsion of odors and vapors, and the grease is retain by braided metal filters. We distinguish the decorative hood (on the wall, above an island), drawer (integrated in a cabinet), cap (compact, hung under a cabinet), worktop (integrated into the plan, next to the hob ) and the filter unit (hidden in a cabinet).  

An islet or not?

When we think of cooking, we often imagine having a large island. If this arrangement is the dream of many of us, a good advice: if you have a room of less than 15 m2, it is better to give it up. Because this piece of furniture not only requires space to be functional enough, but also to move around, or use it (if it has storage for example). All around, a space of at least 90 to 100 cm is require. This in order to be able to open the cupboards without embarrassment. 

Loft style. Graphics dominate in this kitchen adjoining two tall cabinets linked together by shelves. Available in glossy and matt laminate, melamine, acrylic. “Expression”, Arthur Bonnet. 

Practice. Even in a small space (only 6 m2), it is possible to create a convivial kitchen. Here, the work plan acts as a dining area. “Shiny white Kiffa”, Mobalpa. 

Contrasted. Here, we played on the opposition of materials: rough sawn effect splashback, ceramic worktop and wood veneer fronts. The plus: the “Aquastation”, a stainless steel cabinet equipped with a sink, multiple basins and preparation accessories. “Cinnamon”, Darty.

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