Planning a new kitchen is thrilling and daunting at the same time. It’s crucial that how a room looks should also complement its functionality. It will take careful planning, research and creativity to come up with a working kitchen design layout that avoids the usual faux pas.
Usual Kitchen Design Layout Mistakes
* Setting Unrealistic Expectations: Visualizing it that has exquisite cabinet work and high end appliances will lead to some serious overspending. Don’t sacrifice your budget and common sense just because you lust after the way it looks.
Decide on a reasonable and realistic budget and stick to it. Keeping a list of how much each item costs can really help control spending. But if you really have your heart set on a pricey fixture like or expensive tiles, then cut back on appliances or other materials. You should remain logical and realistic.
* Impulsive Buying: When shopping for materials, fixtures or appliances for it, never buy the first thing that your eyes set on. Always bring a notebook specifically for this project with you and write down prices or other details that you need and compare with other pieces that you’ve found.
Canvass furniture stores and home improvement shops or browse online to see the different selections and new designs out in the market. Take photos of kitchen furniture and other fixtures with your cell phone so you can remember what a particular item looks like.
* Wrong Measurements and Awkward Traffic Patterns: One of the reasons why taking the time to plan it is crucial is the traffic pattern. Seeing the layout on paper, with the right room measurements, will give you the chance to visualize and see if the traffic flow makes optimal use of the space. So be extra careful when measuring the area and deciding on the traffic flow.
* Ignoring Storage Requirements: Take stock of all your items like dishes, cookware and cooking utensils that you’ll be using. Take into consideration how much food you usually store in your cupboard or pantry. Decide where you’ll put small appliances or the trash can and check how much space is required to store everything in your planned design.
* Using a Design Style that Doesn’t Fit the Architecture of the House: A steel and chrome kitchen design layout will look incongruous with a country themed home. The house’s design style should be consistently seen from one room to the next. Certain styles can be merged or can complement each other. However, if you’re not sure if your proposed kitchen design layout will fit the rest of the house, browse through interior design magazines or decorating websites to find inspiration.
* Allowing Extra Expenses to Ruin Your Budget: When bought separately, extra gadgets or knick knacks might seem cheap. However, you might be in for a rude surprise once you add them up and realize that they have put you over your budget. Decide what’s important in it is and stick to it.
* Neglecting to Factor Installation Cost in Your Budget: Remember that installing cabinets, countertops and other fixtures will add up. So be sure to include labor and installation costs when you’re out canvassing stuff for it.
Plan Your Kitchen with a Design Software
There are several free kitchen remodel software that can make designing your layout easy and fast. Programs like Ikea’s Kitchen Planner and Easy Planner 3D helps you visualize how the design layout will look like when following a particular design theme, wall color, fixture or appliance.
It’s a big budget saver since you’ll see the proposed setup and more in advance and any design flaws it will have. And this can prevent big mistakes from happening since you’ll see if a particular design concept or appliance will fit even before the project starts.
Whether it’s a minor remodeling of a narrow galley or a major kitchen overhaul, planning ahead will help save valuable time and money, and you’re sure to have your dream setup. So keep a firm hold on your common sense and avoid falling for those mistakes that usually crop up when planning it.
How Important is Kitchen Island Height
Kitchen island height is the aspect in the work space that is often looked over. People have the tendency to focus more on the design and decoration, forgetting to consider the height. They fail to consider that the height is a major factor that will affect their overall comfort in the long run. If it has the wrong height, chances are you won’t be using it as often as you have planned in the first place.
According to the contractors, there are two heights to consider: the stand-up and sit-down heights. The standard stand-up height is 42 inches or 3.5 feet, while the standard seated height is 36 inches or 3 feet. These dimensions not only provide you with comfortable working area but also offer just enough space for storage cabinets under the island. Here are the other considerations in determining your height.
Measuring the Kitchen Island Height
1. Your own height. Yes, it matters – if you are taller, you will need a higher island. If you are shorter, you need to make it shorter than the standard as well. Alternatively, if it comes with a built-in island already, you can install a step around it or use a stool. The idea is to work with it that is most comfortable for you.
2. The height of the rest of your existing cabinetry. Although there are cases wherein the island is higher, the most ideal is still to have the same height as the rest of it. This provides symmetry in your work area.
3. A stand-up or sit-down workspace. Depending on your preference, you may either follow the standard stand-up or sit-down height. Will you be using the island for prep-work, cooking, or cleaning? Are planning to use it as breakfast area, or a space where your kids can have snacks while doing their homework? If you are planning to use it as a one-stop cooking area, you will have to use the standard stand-up height as you will be working mostly on your feet. For more casual dining and entertaining functions, the sit-down height is more appropriate.
If you think you will be using it for all these functions, you may choose to use a multi-level design. This design will have a comfortable sitting area and a cooking space or serving area. Usually, both areas are facing each other. This is a good alternative for the single-level models.
4. The type. It may also vary depending on the island type – if it is a permanent model or a mobile one.
5. The appliances you will be installing. For the permanent island models, they have the option of installing different appliances right on it. This could be a sink, an oven, an undercounter refrigerator, a cooktop, deep fryer, or a dishwasher. Some would opt to use it as a shelving space for china, cooking utensils and wine. Whatever additional feature you want to add, you will have to make sure that you have just the right amount of room and height to accommodate all these (especially for cooktops as you will need a vent space).
The Importance of Kitchen Island Height and Cabinets
It will also affect its overall design. A beautiful kitchen island will need the right proportions, dimensions and symmetry in relation to the rest of it like your cabinets. It will be the center of activity, and will also be where the eyes will first be drawn to in terms of design.
The ideal height will primarily depend on your comfort. It should not be too short that you will have to stoop low, but not too high that you will have to be on the tips of your toes. Remember that it should make your cooking and baking experience easier, faster and more efficient. The wrong island height might be tolerable at first, but in the long run it will slow you down and may pose comfort problems in the future. You will spend a lot of time, so you might as well take time in careful planning incorporating the rightheight.
Making the decision to get island kitchens
Island kitchens have steadily been increasing in popularity in most modern homes. It started gaining recognition when people started seeing them in television cooking shows and food networks. People began to see the various ways they can make use of them to upgrade their cooking and baking experience.
They let you maximize your space more than the usual wall-to-wall cabinets can since they are positioned right in the middle of the room. This is ingenious as this area is the most unused area of the room.
Aside from its location, it will provide additional prep-room for your cooking and baking needs. You can use these areas for chopping and lining up all the ingredients that you need. Some models may even have a built-in sink and dishwasher installed. A stove and oven may also be installed without consuming bulky space.
For some their regular refrigerators may not be enough for them, so they install a smaller pull-out refrigerator right at the island. Others would opt to use the space as a wine rack, even going as far as tweaking the shelves and installing a temperature controller to make their very own temperature-controlled wine cabinet. Others may find that a simple cabinet where they can store their everyday china and utensils is enough for them.
What You Need to Consider
There are two things that you should consider when planning it. First is proportion in terms of location. You should measure your entire available space and be able to position the island appropriately. Remember that these are supposed to help you maximize your working space. This means that you should have ample room around it to be able to move around and work freely. At the same time it should not be too small that make use of it as much as you would have wanted. Big kitchens call for large islands, while small ones need smaller ones.
The second thing to consider is the island height. According to most contractors, the standard stand-up height of island kitchens is 42 inches, or 3.5 feet. The sit-down height should be 36 inches or 3 feet. To determine which size you will use, take note of how you will be using it. Will you be using it more for prepping and cooking, or as an additional dining area for snacking and where the kids can do their homework?
If you will use it more for the latter, you will be on your feet most of the time so you have to adapt the stand-up height. However if you will use it more for the former the sit-down height is more appropriate. If you think that you will be using it for both, a multi-level type may be the best option for you. This way, you can have one side as a dining area and another as prepping area. It will greatly affect your comfort of using it in the long run, so be careful not to overlook it.
After studying the right dimension for you, the next factor to think about is the island type. There are three most common island kitchen types: the permanent or stationary type, the butcher block type, and the mobile or cart type.
The permanent or stationary model, as its name suggests, is a non-movable kitchen furniture. Usually this already included in the kitchen floor plan before building it, and is common among big houses or loft-type apartments. With this model you can install all kinds of appliances that you usually use, including the sink, dishwasher, refrigerator, and microwave. Due to its sturdiness heavy items may be placed on it.
Choosing the right dimension and model for these nifty space savers are crucial in maximizing the benefits it offers. Careful planning must be observed before building your very own island.