If there’s one thing for sure is that the kitchen is the centre piece of the home. It’s the place where our meals are cooked, where we eat and where we meet and socialise with our families.
Now I’ve mentioned many times before that terraced houses are not designed for modern living and that applies more so to the kitchen than any other room in the house.
The terraced house kitchen was originally designed with servants in mind who prepared the meals for their masters inside the kitchen before serving them in the dining room.
These days we don’t really use dining rooms as we used to and the classic change to make to a terraced house is to build a rear extension to create a fully integrated open plan kitchen dining room.
However you don’t need to build an extension to create an open plan kitchen/dining room as we can remodel or reconfigure the spaces to suit to create a smaller version of what we could do with the extension.
Either way planning out the layout of your kitchen is crucial and should be tailored to how you or the designated cook works in the kitchen.
So we’re now going to take a look at how your kitchen currently stacks up with respect to a couple of the most important aspects.
Size & Efficiency
Cooking should be fun not a pain and over the years the idea of the ‘work triangle’ has been used to design kitchen layouts.
The ‘work triangle’ corresponds to the 3 main kitchen areas:
- Wet zone – sink
- Cold zone – fridge
- Hot zone – cooker
Let’s look at your current kitchen.
For this exercise I need you to draw a plan for your kitchen. If you don’t know how to do that then check out this blog post here: https://www.bespokehomedesign.com/blog/reconfig-how-to-draw-your-own-house-plans/
It’s very simple and even easier for drawing out a single area in this case your kitchen.
There’s also some free graph paper included with that blog post above so get your hands on that and sketch out your current kitchen.
Next measure the distance between everything and plot where your sink, fridge & cooker are on it.
Now draw the triangle between the 3 zones and measure that overall distance, in other words measure the distance of each line and add them all together.
The ideal overall distance is 6m or 20 feet and no single line should be less than 90cm or 35 inches.
If your overall total is less than 4m or 12 feet then your kitchen is cramped and I’m guessing you already know that!
If the overall distance is greater than 8.5m or 26 feet then everything is too far apart and it’s a chore doing anything in there.
Another thing to note is traffic flow across your work triangle.
Having people constantly walking across the work triangle whilst you are cooking is enough to drive anyone mad (as my homes’ designated cook I have personal experience of this!).
So how does your kitchen stack up here?
After layout the next most important thing is lighting.
Basically there are 3 types of lighting in kitchens:
- General/Ambient lighting
Ideally it should have dimmer switches so you can brighten or dim to whatever levels of light you.
Also instead of having a single bulb hanging out of the ceiling, lighting racks that have 4 lights on them are much better.
These are also directional so you can point the light in the direction you want too.
General lighting alone isn’t enough to adequately light your kitchen.
- Accent lighting
This is additional lighting that creates mood and pools of light in a room. This can be a wall light, picture lights, table lights or candles.
In a large kitchen the accent lighting can consist of wall lights and some table lights to spread light on the work surfaces.
Another good place for accent lighting is either downlights or spotlights on artwork in your kitchen area.
Candles on a dining table are great too and create mood lighting when it suits.
Here’s an excellent explanation with examples of both general & accent lighting: http://www.kichler.com/style-guide/learn-about-lighting/ambient-task-and-accent-lighting.aspx
- Task lighting
As the name implies task lighting is lighting for a specific function like reading a recipe book, cooking on the range, preparing food, etc.
For example, small downlights in the ceiling or the underside of wall units are ideal for a kitchen as they don’t cast shadows over what you are cutting or stirring nor do they create glare.
Plus you can aim them on worktops and prep areas too.
Here’s an excellent blog post on them: http://lightmynest.com/kitchen-undercabinet-lighting/
How’s Your Lighting?
The upshot of kitchen lighting is flexibility and that can be summed up with these 3 points:
- Ability to direct light on to areas or surfaces as required
- Ability to increase or decrease light levels as required
- Each type of lighting should be controlled separately but each light in each type can be controlled in mass.
So to grade your kitchen, how many of the points raised above does your kitchen meet?
The Ultimate Terraced House Extension Information Pack
In the meantime if you would like to know how to layout a kitchen extension or full on ground floor extension AND make sure that the building work goes as planned then you need to check out a our Terraced House Extension Information Pack.
This information pack has been developed over the last 16 years in designing & managing peoples extension projects.
Here are some of the things that are covered:
- Step-by-step, easy to follow instructions that show you how to add an extension to your terraced house so you can make your house a lot bigger
- Several extension layouts so you can pick and choose what to do with your home
- How to create an AMAZING KITCHEN in your extension
- Where to get some other work done to your home that will add a lot to the value of your property
- How to make sure and check that you are getting QUALITY WORKMANSHIP in your extension
- How to put together a world class bathroom in your home
And this is just a sample!
This info will give you confidence when you deal with builders so you’re not taken for a fool or even worse ripped off.
So to find out more all you have to do is click the link below: