How to plan your ultimate kitchen

I would say the first logical step would be to consider the big picture – what space does your kitchen have within your home? Ideally, you would like it to have good access to indoor and outdoor eating or entertaining areas but for it not to be a thoroughfare. Then I would consider where your large appliances are going to go – things like existing windows and doors will really have an impact on kitchen design when renovating and placing appliances especially the fridge.

This then leads into one of the golden rules that most people know which is the ‘work triangle’ and is formed by the placement of the kitchens key elements: the sink, cooktop and fridge. And the triangle is most effective when these areas of the kitchen are within a few steps of each other.

The third thing to think about that will make your life a lot easier when dealing with everything from designers to tradies to appliance salespeople is measurements –

Standard benchtops are between 88.5 and 95cm so if you want to go lower than this you should know that many appliances are made to fit under this height so you may need to consider options like wall ovens and dishwasher drawers.

Really think about the personal aspect of your kitchen and tailor it to the way you cook. This is the time to have a good think how you prepare meals. If you love whipping up large feasts and entertaining, then a 90cm oven and cooktop would suit you perfectly. If you cook simply most of the time, maybe you’d prefer to purchase a smaller hob and put the extra funds towards gorgeous tapware. Maybe you're totally attached to your blender or slow cooker then this is your time to make sure there is a space for it on the bench and have a powerpoint in the right spot.

The kitchen is a massive hub of the house so do it right the first time or you may just regret it! It might seem like a drag and loads of work but plan a place for everything and really think through how you work in your kitchen. This is your chance to assign a spot for large things lots pots and pans right down to those little random things that everyone has like a stash of loose plastic bags. Allocate easy to reach places for things you use frequently – maybe its coffee cups, maybe it salt, pepper and oil for the cooktop.
And of course really think about how much storage you need – it's something you’ll probably underestimate!

A few measurements to incorporate into the design will streamline your kitchen's functionality...

1.5m - is the ideal amount of space to include between parallel benches, especially if more than one person is usually in the kitchen. If your space is small then you can take it down to 1m.

90cm – This is the comfortable length of bench space to include near your oven for food prep. If you have a prep space somewhere else then ensure you have 30cm on one side and 60 on the other so you have somewhere to out trays of food.

60cm – Standard depth for a kitchen bench top is 60cm. If you want space for stools on the other side, add an extra 20 to 30 cm.

30cm – Plan to have this much bench space on one side of your fridge and on either side of your sink to give you room for the things like stacked plates, bowls of food and things to put in the fridge.