Layout - consider both the arrangement/order of the cupboards and how to maximise the space.
Here you'll find some tips & tricks to help you get started thinking about design and the things we've learned through trial and error. Whether you're designing for a L-shaped, galley, U-shape or just thinking about an island or a small collection of cupboards our GUIDE No.8 LAYOUT can give you some food for thought.
Our Design Team have seen it all and can answer any layout-related questions!
Let's start with a space that lends itself to an L-shaped selection of cupboards. An L-shaped kitchen is made up of two runs adjacent to one another. The layout of your 'L' will depend on the size of your space. But a few tips we've learned over the years...
Tall cupboards can work well on the smaller section of the 'L' leaving the longer part for the main run and task area. This can make the kitchen appear more spacious and wall cupboards or open shelves can be used to add balance.
Sticking to using only floor cupboards? You may want to try the sink on the smaller part of the 'L' which can keep the kitchen in the triangle theory. Something to Google if you're unfamiliar!
In a smaller kitchen it's often helpful to use a set of drawers rather than a corner cupboard.
The use of an island in a larger L-shape can create a galley style work space when parallel to the main run. The back of the island can be used as a spot for a morning coffee.
A galley kitchen - a long space with two walls running parallel to each other, with cupboards and worktops along both sides.
Looking at the architecture of the room is a good place to start. If you have a window or door at the end of the space this can act as a great focal point.
Another option is to go the asymmetrical route. Use one wall to position the majority of the floor cupboards and appliances and use the other wall for the tall cupboards such as the fridge and freezer.
Using wall cupboards to only one side of the kitchen can help to make the space feel wider. Glazed wall cupboards add a lightness and can let in more light too.
A U-shaped kitchen quite simply sits in the shape of a U and uses three sides or walls.
We'd recommend using one side of the U for each of the 3 main aspects of the space. The cooking, the washing and the fridge/freezer. We're back to the triangle method!
U-shaped layouts can suit all sized spaces and we'd suggest using the base of the U as the focal point. The sink or the cooker!
It can also be useful to keep wall cupboards to a minimum with a U shape. Open shelves give the feeling of more space and also give you a spot to display everyday items.
Sometimes you may need to work around a doorway - no problem! Group your tall cupboards either side of or near to the doorway to help the U feel more balanced.
An island sits separately from the other cupboards in the space. It allows you to create a working space and gives you additional opportunities for storage.
To start with, decide on the main function of the island and how it needs to perform. Is it for cooking, food prep, eating etc. An example? The cooker is on the back wall and the sink is in the island - then you'd position the other cupboards around those two items.
Something to remember is that the main, working side of the island needs to sit adjacent to the run of appliances and cupboards. This will allow you to move freely between the sink, oven, fridge and bin - keeping the more social areas away from the task ("I'm cooking, do not disturb!") areas.
Check that you have enough space between the island and everything surrounding it. The most important thing with an island is that it should be useable on every side!
Islands also give you a spot to be creative with paint colour - we go into this more on our Colour page - but the island doesn't need to be the same colour as the main run; make it an accent!