One of the most exciting parts about building a new house is the prospect of planning and designing the heart of your home: the kitchen.
From the countertops to cabinet placement and layout, you’ll finally have a kitchen that’s built to your exact specifications! Even small spaces can shine with some careful planning of colour, furnishings, and well-placed organization.
But before you get too carried away with ideas, here are a few key things to consider to make sure your new kitchen is as functional as it is beautiful.
1. Use What Works!
One of the best ways to start gathering inspiration for your dream kitchen is to take a look at the most popular kitchen layouts. Ask yourself how you’ll be using the kitchen and consider your cooking workflow ‒ then, contemplate well-loved layouts such as:
Galley kitchen: often preferred by pros who are making kitchens for smaller areas, this walkthrough design is a popular space-saver.
Example: The Lynden model home boasts an efficient galley kitchen that opens up into the family room!
L-shaped kitchen: Maximize corner usage with two perpendicular lines of cabinets!
U-shaped kitchen: The perfect layout for a kitchen island, a U-shaped kitchen will have three lines of cabinets in a horseshoe or “U” shape.
Example: The beautiful Bala model home is designed with a u-shaped kitchen and tons of counter space!
2. Understand the Golden Triangle.
As you begin to envision a kitchen layout that’s just right for you, don’t be afraid to stray from popular layouts and try something new. But be careful not to get too wild with your kitchen layout ideas lest your kitchen become so unique that it’s difficult to use!
To keep your imagination in check, think back to what the experts of kitchen design call the “Golden Triangle.”
The three points of this triangle are comprised of the most important aspects of the kitchen—the range, the refrigerator, and the sink. No matter how you use your kitchen, you can plan for a great deal of back-and-forth traffic between these three points, so it’s important to keep them free of obstructions!
Keep the size of this triangle in mind as well. Too large and it will be a pain to get work done in the kitchen; too small and you’ll be tripping over dinner helpers and guests!
3. Don’t Forget the Kitchen Island!
Particularly in smaller homes and cottages, including a kitchen island in your layout plan can do wonders for your kitchen. You might even aim for the largest kitchen island that’ll fit comfortably in the space.
When your family spends a lot of time in the kitchen socializing, eating and even getting some homework finished, you’ll be grateful for an island with more counter space!
To further maximize your kitchen space, opt for a kitchen island that doubles as a bar cart or one with built-in drawers for additional storage. A kitchen island on wheels will provide further flexibility in small spaces. The possibilities are endless when you can literally move the centrepiece of your kitchen to suit your needs!
4. Think Ahead and Value Accessibility.
Don’t forget to include accessibility in your thought process while designing your new kitchen. Not only will this ensure that you can fully utilize your kitchen despite a change in mobility later in life, but it will also make the kitchen space equally comfortable for visiting guests or family members who use walkers or wheelchairs.
For example, leave room for ample turning space in your chosen layout, and consider lowering certain sinks and counters to a comfortable and accessible height for wheelchair users.
5. Consider Storage.
Many will agree that there’s nothing better than a kitchen with ample storage, particularly when the kitchen (or the house it occupies) is on the smaller end.
Take some time to plan for storage in your new kitchen. Ask yourself what you’ll be keeping in the kitchen, how many people you plan on serving and the number of dishes you’ll need, and whether or not you’ll be utilizing larger kitchen appliances such as a toaster oven or a stand mixer.
Then, get to plotting out the location of your cabinets! Professional designers suggest optimizing your kitchen’s storage by placing drawers on both sides of the range and including vertical cabinets near the range. You might also consider including customized top drawers for utensils and spice organization.
Of course, there’s always more to ponder, but these five considerations are a great start as you determine what’s perfect for you and your dream kitchen