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Kitchen planning basics

The kitchen is probably the most used room in the house. It is where the day starts and ends and is generally a hive of activity when the family is at home. It is therefore very important that this room is well organised and the use of space is carefully planned. This page is all about planning to make the room safe, pleasant and relaxing to work in.

It will also help to ensure that you have a kitchen to be proud of and which will add value to your home.

There are three simple stages in kitchen planning. The first is to carefully measure your room and draw a plan of it, to scale, using graph paper. Do wall plans as well as a floor plan.

The second is to list the fitments you want and plan their positioning in the available space - follow these simple guidelines to ensure that the kitchen you create is practical and safe, as well as beautiful.

And the third is to view the Arts & Crafts kitchen design range to choose the kitchen style you prefer, and enlist the aid of a Design Consultant to answer any questions you may have about the planning, and to process your order.

Measuring Your Room

You should do all measuring work in millimetres since all kitchen units are made in metric modular sizes.

Measure as accurately as possible to ensure that when you begin to install your kitchen the units fit exactly as planned.

Follow the hints and tips which follow, and initially sketch in pencil until you are confident with the measurements. The scale you should use is 1:30 which means that each 10mm square on the paper equals 300mm on the ground/wall.

Measure each section of the room. Measure and draw in all projections, for example pipes, gas or electric meters etc.

Remember to measure the ceiling height for the wall elevations.

Show the precise positioning of windows, doors, the location of all fixed items such as radiators, balanced flue boilers, gas supply points, water supply pipes and existing electric points. Although windows and doors are in a fixed position and major structural work would have to be taken to change them, most other `fixed' items are, in fact, movable should it become necessary.

When everything has been measured double check those measurements and make sure they are accurately drawn on the floor plan and wall plans.

Measure the size of any existing appliances which you want to keep.

Planning Your Kitchen Layout

The following information will help you decide which kitchen layout is best for you and the shape of your kitchen.

There are FOUR basic types of kitchen which you can use as guidelines for your own layout. All are based on a WORKING TRIANGLE. In diagrams B,C,D and E the points of the triangle are indicated as:-

A= Food storage and preparation B= Cooking and dishing up
C= Washing up
Determine the layout which best matches your kitchen and start penciling in units on your plans.

Start with the food storage area A and include the fridge. Ideally you'll need cupboards and a work surface here so that you can select all the food items which you are going to prepare. With the To Order range of kitchens the fridge can be built into a base unit or both a fridge and freezer can be built into a tall unit. If starting a run with a tall storage unit ensure that you have a work surface alongside.
This leads directly to the actual preparation area - again a work surface with adjacent storage for the utensils etc., which are normally used. Casserole dishes, pots and pans would be stored here as well.

Next comes the cooking area B. Take great care when positioning the oven and hob that they are bounded on each side with work surfaces. You never want to find yourself in the situation whereby you have to remove hot pans from the cooker, then swing round to put them down on a surface behind you.

Far too many accidents occur as a result of this sort of action when someone else happens to be passing by behind you at the time. Always plan your layout so that you work to one side or the other.

So, adjacent to the cooker, you must have a work surface which will be used mainly for dishing up.

From there you go to the sink - C - for washing up the pots and pans and later the crockery and cutlery you have used. Continuing the logical sequence you'll want to store the crockery and cutlery either close to the dishing up area or just past the sink so that when the washing up is completed, these items can be quickly put away close by.

The only natural break in this progressive sequence is between the final storage area for crockery etc., and the starting point where the food is stored. A door could quite safely be positioned here as long as it doesn't open directly onto someone standing by the cupboards.

You must allow for ample storage because you'll always need more than you think. The room examples do not show wall units which add considerably to the storage area.


A door must never be in a position adjacent to a cooking area where there is the risk of the person doing the cooking accidentally swinging around with a hot pan and coming into contact with someone else walking past, or where an opening room door may hit someone working at the cooker.

It is not a bad idea to ensure that doors into the kitchen are hinged to open outwards.


- Site wall cupboards above hobs or cookers
- Site a hob or free-standing cooker at the end of a run of base units, in a corner, or next to the bowl of the sink (a minimum of 300mm of work surface should be allowed either side of the cooker or hob.)
- Site a hob unit under a window
- Site a free-standing cooker and free standing fridge side by side.

Appliance Planning

It is important to remember that free standing appliances are fixed sizes so try to position them first. Here are a few points to remember when planning appliances into a kitchen.

1. Ensure height of appliance will go under the worktop. You should have this information to hand from your original measuring.

2. Try to keep appliances away from corners as fridge and freezer doors cannot open wide enough to take out trays etc.

4. Try not to place appliances, especially dishwashers, in front of water pipes as this will push them out into the room. If you have to do this then you will need a deeper worktop.

Tall Units

When planning tall units into your kitchen i.e. larders, appliance housings, there are a few points to remember.

1. Try to position tall units on the end of a run of units.

2. Remember that light switches are usually at the end of a run so you may have to allow clearance by moving all units along.

3. Do not position oven doors opening onto room doors as this can prove very dangerous.

4. Tall units containing integral fridges or freezers should be spaced away from an end wall far enough to allow doors to open fully so that trays, etc., can be removed. Any gap - normally about 100mm minimum - can be infilled.

5. Tall units with ovens in must have a minimum of 300mm of work surface adjacent to the units.


It is normal to position a hob over a minimum 600mm wide base unit. Here are a few points to remember:-

1. Always try to leave at least 300mm worktop either side of a hob as a hot pan needs to be put somewhere quickly.

2. Do not position hobs too close to a sink for safety reasons. There should be a gap of at least 300mm between a hob and a sink.

3. Do not position hobs under windows or close to corners and ends of runs. 4. Do not position hobs beneath electrical points or flammable surfaces.


There are various types of sinks available, all are different shapes, sizes and colours.

There are some basic rules to remember.

1. Ensure you have the correct handing of the sink before planning as this can affect your positioning of units. This means selecting a sink with the drainer to the left or right.

2. The smallest unit a single bowl single drainer will fit into is normally 500mm. The smallest unit an 11/2 bowl single drainer will fit into is normally 600mm.

3. If you are fitting a waste disposal unit you will need to ensure the model chosen will fit into the unit, as some are wider at the base.

4. Never plan a sink across a worktop joint.


Decorative End Panels and End Wings At the end of a run of base or wall units you can either fit a decorative side panel to match your chosen kitchen fronts instead of the normal plain panel supplied, or you can fit an end wing unit. These are open shelves again in a finish to closely match the door fronts. Base and wall end wings are 300mm wide.

Order the decorative side panels also for use in any situation where the side of a unit will be visible, for example two wall units separated by a console midway unit.

Tall units are supplied with decorative side panels.

Wall end wings which are shallower - back to front measurement - than base end wings can be used back to back under breakfast bars very effectively. If you want to do this order additional adjustable legs.
Gallery rails are available for both base and wall end units.


These are matching decorative trims to provide a continuous neat finish to the tops of runs of wall units. You will need to order sufficient to fit along the tops of the units and any returns. You will have to make mitre joins at corners so allow an additional 100mm per joint. The cornices are screwed to the wall unit tops.


These are decorative trims for the underside of wall units to create a neat finish and also to provide concealment for strip lighting. As with the cornice you will need sufficient for the full run of wall units including the returns. The pelmet lengths are fitted with small brackets and will need to be mitred at corners.

Both cornices and pelmets will be fitted to any wall end wings also.


All base units are supplied with adjustable legs to cope with uneven floors. Plinths to match door fronts and which clip to the legs are available in 2.4 metre lengths to enable long runs to be fitted rather than having individual pieces on each base unit. The base end wing units will also need sufficient plinth to fit around these.

Wine Racks and Spice Boxes

Wine rack units are 150mm wide and are effectively base units. They are intended for use as wine racks or holders for spice boxes.

Wall units with spice boxes are also available.

Integrated Appliances

If you prefer not to see your fridge, freezer, washing machine, washer/dryer or dishwasher, you can order these appliances with doors to match the rest of your new kitchen. When fitted you only have to remember where each is located! Cooker hoods can also be of the `integrated' type, but ovens and hobs cannot, although they can be built into units.


Walter filter. Plan one of these into your kitchen from the start to avoid additional work later on.

Consider replacing a radiator with a Plinth Heater. This frees up more wall space and allows extra units to be included for more storage or workspace.

email: John and Chrissie - theartsandcraftshome@gmail.com