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kitchen design problems- am how to start!

(11 Posts)
SicknSpan Sat 01-Mar-14 15:56:29

I posted this thread initially in "Home decoration" and someone suggested I also posted here.

We are extending our house at present and need to start thinking about the final plans for our kitchen which will be a large open plan kitchen/dining/living area. There are so many possible layouts and plans that my head is reeling and I think we really need someone to help us work out even the basic things like which bit of the new massive room we're going to get should be the kitchen/which should be dining/which should be sofas etc. Let alone where the sink should go and whereabouts we need to run plumbing.

How do we go about doing this? Most places -quite reasonably- seem to need exact dimensions to be able to help. However we haven't got these yet as the internal building work has yet to be defined depending on what our kitchen requirements are! It's chicken and egg.

It's not a particularly awkward shape but does have quite a few constraints (eg lots of windows and doors so not much wall space, fireplaces which break up the run of available floorspace for units, structural pillar in centre etc).

Any advice?

cat88 Sat 01-Mar-14 16:37:29

When we were planning our extension we had this issue too. Eventually we decided to put the kitchen in the 'darkest' part of the new room as we would probably have task lighting there anyway. The living room area with sofas near the windows over looking the garden and the dining table and chairs between the two so we would not be carrying hot dishes too far from the kitchen etc but also near the windows/doors to the garden.

Once we agreed that we had to decide did we want any seating - breakfast bar etc in the kitchen area or not.

Then we tried to make the kitchen space focusing on the work triangle cooker, fridge and sink. Also do you have a separate utility for all the noisy applicances - washing machine, dishwasher, tumble dryer?? From that the plan was done step by step.

Obviously it depends on the size of the room and the light/depth within it. We decided early on we wanted to be sitting overlooking the garden so that made it easier for us. If you can draw a rough plan of the space then bits of paper for the sofas, table and chairs, kitchen space and move things around until you get a layout - there are lots of design software on the web to help with this and see it in 3d form.

truelymadlysleepy Sat 01-Mar-14 16:48:30

We're in the middle of it now. Have you got architects plans?
I took mine to the various kitchen designers and gave them free reign. I then picked the one I liked best & tweaked it a bit.
Like cat I've gone for the kitchen at the darkest end with the table under the biggest window at the end and left lots of space for french doors into the garden.
The designers are used to working around windows & fireplaces. Don't worry about that.

WhatWillSantaBring Sat 01-Mar-14 19:00:54

We had this issue too. We started by going round various high end kitchen shops that we liked (so for us, harvey jones and the like) to see what "features" we liked. We bounced ideas off the salesman designer re spacing between runs of units, etc and them came home and did losses of sketches, using a photocopy of our exixtmg floor plan as a base.

Once We worked out how we wanted to orient our new room (which dictated by the aga had to go on a north facing wall, and the sink under the window) we worked out the optimum size (eg 60mm unit, 1m space, 1.2m island, 1m space 60mm unit) (can't remember exact measurements, but this shows the logic). Then we drew the sketch design and got our architectural drawings done professionally, then ran the plans through the kitchen companies again to check our kitchen preference fitted!

A lot of research and time, but really good fun. Or you could just hire an architect and see what they come up with, letting the, do all the hard work.

Time will tell if my process creates a dream or a nightmare (about another 8 weeks). Given that I designed the kitchen too, it could go either way!!

Pinkje Sat 01-Mar-14 19:44:09

What do your windows look out onto? I'd base your decision on this. For example if there is less of a view one way (eg next door's garage) would you rather look at that from your sink window rather than your dining space. Hope that makes sense.

alcibiades Sat 01-Mar-14 20:54:39

We got in an independent kitchen designer - because we were (mostly) clueless. All we had were a few very specific ideas - DH wanted a range cooker, I didn't want a sink under a window, and we both wanted mostly pull out/swing out floor units and no wall units.

She came to our house, saw the building work in its early stages so got an idea of space available, talked to us about our needs and wishes, and came up a brilliant design - far better than DH and I could do. I think that's the most important thing. It's not just what will fit in to the space, it's about understanding how the people who live there will be using that space.

It's useful to look around showrooms to get some ideas, but sometimes if you turn up with precise measurements, the focus could be on the maximum numbers of units that will fit, which won't necessarily be the best design.

MillyMollyMama Sun 02-Mar-14 11:02:57

I have had two kitchens in darker spaces and I would avoid this at all costs. You work in a kitchen and can be in there a lot longer than you sit at a table. My kitchen is now in an orangery with 2 glass walls and roof and I have so much light it is wonderful . I hate having task lights on all the time and you can often be in your own shadow when working.

I have two walls in my kitchen and one accommodates 2 fridges, the freezer, a coffee machine (an opening into the hall), then an oven and microwave. The other wall has a larder unit with crockery storage under, one double sink, the dishwasher and storage above and below. There is a large island unit incorporating a table, another oven, hob and another sink and a water softener plus storage. The laundry room has laundry white goods, ironing board etc, mops and cleaning equipment, large sink, wine fridge and named laundry boxes for us all above the sink and fridge. I would have a dishwasher handy because you don't want to walk into another room with dirty pans and dishes. I would recommend a really quiet one and you will hardly know it is on.

Make sure you have loads of sockets and main lighting, task lighting and ambient lighting if the room has several functions. We have pull up sockets in the Island unit so when using the table area, computer cables reach to the sockets if necessary. I can see the garden and although the kitchen faces North and East it is very light. Have the kitchen in an area that gives you light and space, not tucked away in a corner. We did have a professional kitchen planner and then we tweaked it. There is so much to think about!

OnePlanOnHouzz Sun 02-Mar-14 15:35:16

Hi. If you have a general sizing - it's possible to start planning - especially at this early stage ! it's a great idea to start getting an idea of what you want and where so you can get the plumbing and electrics etc built in the right places etc ! Also do some research on past kitchen threads on the property/DIY as there's been some fab advice and ideas on here !!

OneMoreThenNoMore Sun 02-Mar-14 15:45:22

We're currently planning our kitchen extension. We used the magnet interactive kitchen design tool to help us get our heads around the space (we haven't built it yet so it's hard to visualise), and then we played around with it until we found the layout we liked best. Lots of websites have these tools, worth having a look if you have vague dimensions for the space.

Our next task will be to go to several kitchen companies to use their design services, to give us more ideas and some prices.

I've also spent a lot of time on Pinterest and house to home to get ideas and inspiration, and I requested brochures from a range of companies- from second nature, howdens, wren- again, just for inspiration. And I've spoken to several friends who've had kitchens done recently, to get their thoughts and opinions on different things. It's fun!

bigbadbarry Sun 02-Mar-14 15:52:28

I to-ed and fro-ed several times between architect/builder/kitchen designer. EG If the extension is a foot small in this direction, how would that affect the way you laid out the kitchen? - then back to the builder actually I think we really need that extra foot, how will that affect your price? They certainly didn't seem to mind at all.

MaryShelley Sun 02-Mar-14 18:52:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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