Checklist for Planning a Kitchen
The number of persons and your family’s lifestyle affect the layout and fittings of your kitchen. The following questions are to help you and your designer plan your new kitchen.
- How many persons are living in your household?
- Do you like to be with your extended family at home?
- Do you like to cook for friends, neighbors and others?
- Are there special styles / types of cooking you wish to do? (Preserving, brewing, bread making, cake decorating etc.)
- Does your family cook together? How many people could be working in your kitchen at once?
- Do you have someone help with the cooking? Regularly, only for events?
- Do you feed your pets in your kitchen?
The features of your kitchen should be based on the person using the kitchen the most. This also applies to the height of the worktops, appliances, sinks and storage.
- How tall is the person who works in the kitchen most?
- The efficient arrangement of the stove and sink depends on whether this person is left-handed or right-handed.
- When working in the kitchen do you also:
Listen to music? Supervise children playing/ doing homework? Use the internet? Watch the TV?
Planning your new kitchen should take the other rooms around your kitchen, and how you use them into consideration.
- What is your house like?
- Is it an older style with separate rooms or an open plan, performing multiple tasks?
- Does it have design features you wish to retain or enhance?
- Where does your family mostly eat, dining room, kitchen, other?
- Would you prefer a breakfast bar, table, built in banquette or a separate dining area in your kitchen?
- Where do you mostly entertain?
- How will your kitchen function when entertaining: as a primary work zone, prep zone only, part of the circulation space?
Your kitchen’s cabinetry needs are determined by what you require storage for and how regularly these items will be used.
- What kind of food do you store in your kitchen? Dry goods/ packets, cans/ bottles, spices, vegetables/ fruit, frozen foods, bulk foods of any sort.
- Will serving dishes, vases, table linens and other table ware be stored in your kitchen?
- Tableware: how many place settings and how many dinner, coffee/ tea services do you have and how often do you use these items? Do they all need to be stored in the kitchen?
- Glasses, jugs, carafes, how many and how often are they used? Would you like to display some of your special glass and serving ware?
- Cutlery(services, serving and carving sets), knife sets and special food prep implements(spatulas, egg flips, slotted spoons etc), do you prefer they are stored in drawers, on hanging rails or utensil pots on the work top.
- Cake trays & tins, roasting and casserole dishes, sauce pans, fry pans, how many of these items do you have and are any unusual sizes?
- Spice containers, foils & wraps, kitchen rolls, coffee filters etc can all be stored efficiently with draw dividers to suit. Where & how do you prefer to use these items?
- Detergents, cleaning agents, cleaning appliances (vacuum, mop, broom etc.), are any or all of these items to be stored in your kitchen?
- What would you use a free standing island for, serving, preparation, washing up, cooking, nothing at all?
- Would you use a Butler’s pantry or a walk-in pantry? Which items/ work functions would you perform in these areas?
- Do you occasionally use your kitchen as an office? Will you require storage for files, computer etc. within your kitchen?
- Will you be doing the ironing in the kitchen?
- Is there any other special work that you do in your kitchen? Large appliances ( mixer, boiler etc.)that requires special storage/ work area?
Appliance choices can be bewildering, having an idea of your needs, likes and preferences can narrow the selection choices to more manageable levels. Then space & budget constraints can be considered.
- Do you BBQ, wok fry, deep fry, traditional fry, boil or slow cook, how often and in what combinations and quantities do you use these cooking methods? Your cook top size and fuel type, gas/ electric (induction, glass ceramic, solid surface) will depend on your personal preference and cooking style.
- Extraction, the choice of extraction unit will depend on style preference and where you locate your cook top. Not all extractors are overhead there are down draft models available for integration in the bench-top.
- Baking, roasting, casseroling or just warming up. Microwave, combi oven or steam cooking? Which do you prefer?
- How large is your fridge/ freezer? Does it have water/ ice dispenser? Do you prefer the integrated look?
- Coffee maker, plate warmer, wine cooler, these are some of the large appliances you may require.