The kitchen really is the heart of the home. It’s the room where we cook, socialize, and spend time together every day. Even if you’ve got a house full of teens who would rather walk over a field of hot coals than watch Netflix with you in the evening, they still make an appearance in the kitchen, demanding to be fed!
Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes
Like all rooms in your home, the kitchen has undergone significant changes. But maybe more than any room, it’s the one where technical development has arguably had the most impact.
What was once a pretty grim place, home to a whole host of major health hazards, has clean running hot water nowadays. Waste disposal is elegantly handled. And there’s a wide range of appliances, gadgets and gimmicks to help you prepare and cook food.
If we really need to put it in context, the refrigerator – something now taken utterly for granted – didn’t make its way into our homes until the 1930s, the freezer until the fifties. That’s nothing more than a nanosecond in the history of humanity.
Still, the next decade will see even more changes. Smart and integrated high-technical solutions have already started to impact the kitchen and we’re getting closer and closer to the point where it’s likely that our handheld networked devices will help us control the kitchen even more.
Just as technology has changed, kitchen design choices have changed. Once it was all about farmhouse kitchens, then kitchens with chrome finishings left, right and center. Natural woods are popular in 2018, but so are high quality quartz countertops. When it comes to design changes, we could go on and on.
Something that never changes though is good planning!
Planning Your kitchen
If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen, functionality should be the keyword from the get-go.
At the heart of planning, is what we at Inspired Kitchen Design refer to as the golden triangle: the ratio between sink, fridge and stove.
The golden triangle is an important design concept that improves a kitchen’s functionality by keeping the walking distance between the sink, refrigerator, and stove to the minimum. As a rule of thumb, the total distance between the three points of the triangle should be no more than 26 feet; each stretch of the triangle should measure approximately 5-8 feet.
If you’re remodelling an existing kitchen, the triangle should already be there so you have a pretty good guide as to where your new IKEA units should go. Most folks don’t want the expensive hassle of changing the placement of water and power outlets so tend to stick with the triangle in place; but that’s not to say you shouldn’t. Some solutions, only a designer can see.
A completely new install is always going to be pretty overwhelming if you’ve never designed a kitchen before. This is why newly built houses often include a set kitchen design to ensure that the cabinets and work surfaces fit. Because we all want to set our own stamp on a new build, we may want to rearrange things to personalize them. This is fine if you know what you’re doing or you’re working with a dedicated kitchen designer, but it can be risky if you put your faith in your installers who may listen to your requests without the necessary kitchen design know-how.
One thing that we often see in new builds, or when customers start to talk to us about remodels, is that people forget to avoid major traffic walkways through the triangle.
What might look good in an IKEA showroom or design magazine, my not be entirely practical for the space of your home.
In all our design projects, we ensure that your kitchen has the optimum golden triangle, and that walkways are efficient and natural, as well as looking good.
Other design considerations
If you’re going it alone with your IKEA kitchen design, ensure that any sink has at least 24 inches on one side and no less than 18 inches on the other. If you don’t, you won’t have sufficient drying space or space to put things.
The nearest edge of the dishwasher should be no less than 36 inches of the nearest edge of a sink. Although your dishwasher instructions might say that it’s safe to put items into the machine without ringing, we all know how much a quick rinse removes food and reduces the chance of your machine blocking over time!
At present we recommend that your IKEA kitchen has at least 158 total inches of countertop space where you can work or place items like a toaster, kettle, food mixer, coffee grinder, etc. Anything less is going to feel cramped. If you’re living in a smaller apartment with limited kitchen space, it’s important not to scrimp on this or you’ll find cooking and preparing food stressful.
Of the 158 inches, a 24-inch-span should be next to the sink for preparing food and allow 15 inches or more of countertop beside the handle side of the refrigerator or on either side of a side-by-side refrigerator. Allow at least 12 inches of countertop on one side of a cooking surface and 15 inches on the other.
Then there is the seating area. If you don’t leave enough space behind chairs and stools, things are going to get very cramped indeed. We recommend leaving no less than 36 inches clear space behind the seating area, measured from the edge of the table top, and preferably 44 inches if it’s going to be one of the major walkways in the kitchen.
Getting the balance right
When you go into the IKEA storeroom you’re seeing a kitchen that’s been optimized by outstanding designers. Yes, there’s a reason those kitchens feel just right when you walk in.
Even though IKEA’s kitchens are designed to fit together with the optimum sizing we’ve outlined above, there are instances when customers get too creative in their thinking and simply get it wrong. This can be an expensive thing to change, particularly as once assembled, IKEA cabinets can be a little tricky to take down and put together again.
That’s why if you’re looking for a solution that’s a little bit outside the box, you should talk to a company like us. We can help you ensure that your kitchen is well-designed, not just from an aesthetic point of view but also in terms of usability.
Investing in a new kitchen is not cheap. But with IKD as your kitchen design team, working closely with you, you can bet that your investment in your brand new IKEA kitchen will be worth it.
Why not start your kitchen design today!