Property Futures

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Kitchen Design

An appealing kitchen that is as functional as it is beautiful can be the heart of a home.  Depending on space and budget, the design of a kitchen requires a lot of planning.

Kitchen design is usually about making the most of an existing space, which can be tricky. Kitchens should be functional areas, so it’s well worth considering all the activities that take place go on in yours in order to make the best use of the space – see our list of ideas below, and don’t forget food storage, food preparation and hygiene.

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The Triangle

A simple way to make a kitchen easy to use is to ensure that the three key elements of food preparation are easy to move between, forming a roughly equilateral triangle. These are:

  • Stove
  • Fridge
  • Sink

 Work zones


Recognizing that modern kitchens may have several uses, some of which happen at the same time, some designers now prefer to create work zones.

Work zones are areas that cluster the tools and appliances needed for a particular function. A triangle may be part of a cooking work zone, while the kitchen table may be the focus of a dining work zone, with cutlery and plates nearby.  In some kitchens there may even be a homework work zone.

Space to move


While space is often at a premium, nothing makes a kitchen feel cramped quicker than overcrowding of appliances, tools and food. Clear spaces that enable you to move between areas are a key part of kitchen design.

Kitchen Types & Layouts


Residential kitchens suffer from many of the same problems as commercial kitchens, and they are often solved in similar ways. Below are some key kitchen design terms.


  • A long, narrow space usually with a one or two-sided layout (see below)

Open plan

  • Where the kitchen is part of or only partially separated from the dining or living room


  • Treated as a separate room with doors and walls that close it off from the rest of a house, an enclosed kitchen may be preferred by those who don’t want the smells or heat to escape to other living areas

Common layouts

  • One-sided
    • Work surfaces and appliances on one side of the room only
  • Two-sided
    • Countertops facing each other, sometimes with an island or kitchen table between them
    • Or a narrower space as in a galley kitchen (see above)
  • L-shaped
    • Surfaces on two adjoining walls, sometimes with a dining area in the opposite corner
    • U-shaped or horseshoe
      • Countertops on three adjoining walls form a U

Any of these layouts and designs may have:

  • Island
    • A surface which is not connected to any walls, usually a work surface or dining area but may contain the stove or a sink
    • Peninsula
      • An island that is connected to a wall at one end, jutting out into the center of the room. These are often used to separate an open plan kitchen from the adjoining room

Other uses of a kitchen


Kitchens have many other uses, which can leave them cluttered with odds and ends. Finding a drawer or a little shelf space for each can work wonders to tidy up the room.

  • Homework and children’s crafts
  • Household management – including paying bills and making appointments
  • Paid work – anything from accountancy to zoology can be done at the kitchen table
  • Display artwork – from children’s pictures to family photos to fine art
  • Feeding and caring for pets
  • Dealing with minor repairs and injuries

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