What shape should my kitchen be?

Our most popular renovation projects see homeowners interested in ground floor extensions that can create space for a larger kitchen or kitchen-diner. Recent property guides suggest quality, refurbished kitchens can add as much as 10% to the value of your home and are often top of the list for house hunters on their property search. The kitchen has evolved over time from a single purpose space for food preparation to a key social hub in the home. So when it comes to designing a kitchen, you’ve got to consider both the functionality and the look when you decide what shape best suits your home and your needs.

On the functional aspect of designing your kitchen it’s important to think about a few things – how will your kitchen be used? Who will be using your kitchen? What elements/functions are your top priority for the space? Naturally designers assume cooking will be top of the list and for that reason we talk about the ‘golden rule’ or ‘kitchen triangle’ a concept developed at the University of Illinois School of Architecture in the 1940s. This idea suggests the three key components of food preparation: the sink, the cooker, and the fridge, should be within a certain distance of each other, easily accessible and unobstructed for your ease.

This rule works fantastically in this spacious Wandsworth kitchen diner created by a side infill extension on a Victorian family home. The use of the kitchen island creates the perfect practical distance between the key functions of the kitchen, whilst also creating a division between both the kitchen and dining spaces. We often talk about zoning within open plan living and how it can help to create subtle breaks between areas through the placement of key features that help define the different functions of a space whilst keeping them integrated within one room.

Tip! Islands can be used for more than just an additional worktop, they can incorporate a range of functions. They’re a great way to house the essentials in your kitchen (sinks, hobs and even an extractor fan) but can also provide the space for wish list items such as a wine fridge.

Some homeowners extend their ground floor with the intention of adding more family or entertaining space. Here our clients were able to add a sizable wraparound extension that created space for a separate utility room, pantry, and a ground floor WC. This allowed them to utilise the rest of the extension for their kitchen which they wanted to feature multiple social areas and dining spaces. Whilst creating these zones they wanted to keep a bright and natural flow to the property, so we opted for a single line of units in a classic gallery style, alongside an island that could double up as counter space, storage, AND a breakfast bar.

The use of the feature wall and large skylight help to define the seated areas toward the rear of the extension, but the overall shape and direction of the fittings really keep the room as one cohesive and unified space. Perfect for family dinners or evenings with friends!

Some clients find an island to be an imposing feature in the room, or feel they’d like the option to have more unobstructed floor space. We found a great solution in this Croydon home by combining an L shaped kitchen with an informal, movable island that gave the homeowners more flexibility and the freedom to open up the space – perfectly paired with large crittal style doors that keep this extension light, bright and spacious.

Did you know Home Tales offer design and planning services in Brighton? Down on the south coast our team had the pleasure of renovating this mid-terrace property in Worthing. This beautiful coastal home featured two reception rooms, one of which would become the primary dining area in the house whilst a rear extension created the space for a larger kitchen and separate utility room and pantry. Here our client wanted to focus on food preparation and their stunning choice of vibrant kitchen finish, so we designed a space to maximise the area for worktops and to keep the floorspace as unobstructed as possible – a must for a family with young children. This style of kitchen known as a double gallery kitchen features two parallel lines of units and is a great option if storage and counter space are important in your kitchen.

Tip! We often see clients opt for a double gallery style kitchen in their properties when the space is long and narrow. Although this is a great way to incorporate all the functional components of a kitchen, you should aim to avoid tall units as they can limit light and make the space seem smaller.

If you’re looking to extend your home and increase the size of your kitchen, speak with our team of experts for free advice and a no obligation quote to help you better understand making the most of your space. You can get in touch with our team today on 0207 043 2378. You can also book a consultation via our live diary here or email our team on hello@hometales.co.uk to arrange a call from us.


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