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
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
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
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
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
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
A FEW DON'TS
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.
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.
When planning tall units into your kitchen
i.e. larders, appliance housings, there are a few points
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.