How to Design Simple Kitchen Layouts (Kitchen Upgrades)

You can plan out and design your kitchen layout in a simple DIY way if you want to build a new kitchen or renovate an existing one without you needing the services of an interior designer. The savings you make can be put into the kitchen cabinets production and installations expenses.

Beautiful kitchens are made when its layout is well-thought-out. It is true that beautiful kitchen designs are pleasing to the eye, but it is also important that space works well for its user. It must be functional, efficient, and user-friendly. The kitchen is said to be “the heart of the home”, so, a kitchen layout demands special attention design-wise.

Design Your Kitchen to Form a Clear Work Triangle

Designing a successful plan and arrangement is fairly easy but what many people overlook is the fact that a kitchen’s activity flow should follow a particular path. This path is what kitchen designers refer to as a “work triangle” and is the distance between the sink, refrigerator, and the cooker.

1st point of the triangle - The starting point of the work triangle is at the food storage area (refrigerator). This path's distance can range between 42inches (1metre) and 60inches (1.5metres) to both the kitchen sink and the cooker.

2nd point of the triangle - The food cleaning and processing area (sink) is the second point. It is the area where uncooked food is cleaned, cut, mixed, stuffed, etc... and set ready for cooking.

3rd point of the triangle - The last point of the work triangle and path of movement is the cooking area. This is the area where the oven, stove, and microwave are installed and the zone where the processed and mixed foods are cooked.

The three points which form a triangular path works well for efficient activity flow and even though kitchen designs differ widely and should be adaptable to each home occupants’ ways of life, certain things somehow remain constant. This means that the best kitchen planning involves following a flow pattern while working in the kitchen. It must heighten efficiency and save both time and the expended physical energy of moving around.

Kitchen Worktops

The standard kitchen worktop width is 60cm (24"), but in some regions of the world, you'll find lesser countertop widths of 50cm (20inches) and 55cm (22inches). The total area of the worktop will always depend on the kitchen's size (area) and its length and breadth.

Kitchen Worktop Backsplashes

Backsplashes are vertical addition to kitchen counters and are an essential part of kitchen cabinet top surfaces. Although today's backsplash offers more than protection from splatters of food and splashes of liquid, they are still an integral part of kitchen cabinet designs. Modern kitchen designers now use them in a wide number of ways to add beauty to their creations. You'll find them made from various materials including colourful PVC-based finishes, glass, stainless steel, natural stone, ceramics, and wood.

Kitchen Appliances

The basic appliances required in all kitchens are the refrigerator, single or double oven, the cooker, dishwasher, microwave oven, and if you have a large family, a separate deep freezer. You’ll also need a kitchen sink, double or single. Depending on the size of your kitchen, and how often you use it, a kitchen may require space for food processors, toasters, rice cookers, etc…; it is a good idea to have these in mind while designing your kitchen.

Others Kitchen Requirements
  • Ample storage in terms of open and/or closed cabinets.
  • Walk-in larder if space permits this or one built into the cabinetry.
  • A serving surface or a breakfast counter.
  • A waste disposal unit in the kitchen sink.
  • Central island cooker with a downdraft extraction fan.
  • An intercom system.
  • Built-in warming trays.
  • Sliding cutting/chopping boards.

Many homes have their kitchen in close proximity to a utility room. A well-positioned utility room can provide space for an extra deep freezer, washing machine/dryer, a folding table for laundry, an ironing board, and a laundry sink if possible. Being an appendage to the kitchen, a utility room should also have a counter-top, cabinets, and/or open shelves.

And for senior citizens and the newly liberated empty nesters, it is advisable to create wider doorways and easy-to-reach kitchen furniture. Your kitchen design must take into cognisance the fact that as we advance in age, we need easy access and movement around the kitchen.

Further reading:

Slate Kitchen Worktops: 16 Reasons Why They Are Getting Popular
Is It Wise (or not) to Use Marble for Kitchen Countertops?
Top 5 Materials for Kitchen Worktops 
5 Best Kitchen Layouts: How to Design Efficient Kitchens