Fitting out a kitchen: 9 rules to follow

Do you want a future kitchen that is both beautiful and functional? Here are 9 tips to consider when designing it. Your kitchen is where you perform many important daily tasks. Whether you cook, clean, eat or entertain, the kitchen should be a place to feel good. And a well thought out and designed kitchen can help you achieve this. Whether you’re planning to remodel your current kitchen or designing a new one, these rules will help you create a place you’ll enjoy immensely. Follow our advice on space organization and must-have features for a kitchen that looks good and meets all your needs efficiently.

Rule 1: follow the principle of the activity triangle

The activity triangle is an almost century-old concept that is still in use today in kitchen design. It is a principle that dictates the location of three essential rooms: the oven, the refrigerator and the sink. The theory goes that when these three elements are close – but not too close either – the kitchen will be easy to use and the cook won’t have to take a lot of unnecessary steps. The principle of the activity triangle is an interior design concept known to all kitchen designers and kitchen design professionals. It is still relevant even if other precepts have appeared such as kitchen zoning.

Rule 2: Compose work areas

A more modern approach that parallels the concept of the activity triangle is that of work zones. Instead of focusing on distance between appliances, Zone Theory asks you to divide the kitchen layout by function. Each of these areas obviously includes everything you need for the related tasks. Here is how the zones are generally divided:

  • storing food with the fridge and/or pantry,
  • food preparation with hob, oven, microwave, small appliances, cutting boards, etc.
  • pots, pans and cooking utensils,
  • cleaning and waste with the dishwasher, sink, cleaning products, garbage cans and possibly the compost bin,
  • plates, cutlery, glasses, etc.

Rule 3: consider the doors and how you open them

In a kitchen, we often forget that there is not only one door at the entrance to the room – when it is not open to the main room, but indeed doors everywhere: cupboards, refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, etc. In their open position, the doors of all these elements must in no case collide. For a room that would not be large enough and would require interference, make sure that the overlapping doors are not used at the same time. This could for example be considered for the door of the oven and that of the dishwasher.

Rule 4: plan work plans

Consider your meal prep needs to guide your countertop choices. People who love to cook need more counter space (ideally between the oven and the sink) than those who rarely cook or prepare simple meals.

Rule 5: Don’t forget to install enough electrical outlets

Make sure your kitchen has plenty of electrical outlets in areas where you plan to use kettles, coffee makers, toasters, blenders, and other small appliances. Install sockets wherever you need them. If you want to charge devices discreetly, you can, for example, equip a drawer with electrical sockets.

Rule 6: anticipate the function of the island

Think about how you would like to use your kitchen island before considering its design. If you want to cook and eat there, for example, plan enough space so that the hob is sufficiently separated from the dining area for more safety. For more functionality, the island can also accommodate other elements such as a sink or a dishwasher.

Rule 7: think of your kitchen as a room where we meet

The kitchen is the heart of the home, a space to which we naturally gravitate. From this point of view, the areas where we gather, those where we have an aperitif, where we nibble or where we have a meal must be independent of the activity triangle. The idea being not to disturb the person who cooks.

Rule 8: Make it easy to unpack groceries

Kitchen ergonomics should not be limited to cooking. The way you enter your home and unload your groceries is also something to consider, although this is often overlooked. Placing the fridge and pantry near the kitchen entrance and preferably near a counter or worktop makes unpacking groceries much smoother in general.

Rule 9: create an area to exchange messages

In an easily visible place, for example next to the refrigerator, define an area to leave messages for you. Place a bulletin board, chalkboard, or whiteboard here to create a place to jot down reminders or to-do lists. Store a calendar, a notebook and something to write nearby.

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