When you’re working on a kitchen design, pictures are very helpful to give you ideas and to see what other people’s words really mean. As well as the obvious posed pictures of fancy kitchens in magazines and books, useful kitchen design pictures can include floor plans, snaps of model kitchens in showrooms, shots of kitchens belonging to friends and relations, even paintings and drawings of kitchens from the past. Anything which gets your mind working is useful.
Here’s a selection of pictures with some commentary to get you started…
A variety of lighting in this picture: traditional ceiling-mounted light for looks, recessed can lighting for good general coverage (though personally I don’t like these), natural light from the window over the sink, counter lighting under the upper cabinets. The tiled counter and backsplash are a great color but I would never have a tiled counter because I hate keeping grout clean, and I don’t like the uneven surface. The center island is very narrow because of the size limitation of the kitchen itself. Not such a bad thing, as it’s still big enough to eat at or to use as prep surface. However, it looks quite long and it might turn out to be a “barrier island”, blocking movement from one side of the kitchen to the other. The main range and sink are protected by the island from through traffic to and from that far door, but it looks like the microwave door may stick out into the traffic flow, which may be a problem.
Here’s a floor plan for a fairly small L-shaped kitchen with an island. The fridge and range are on the two legs of the L, with a double-bowl sink and a dishwasher on the island. The island also has room for some seating.
Good things about this kitchen floor plan:
- The triangle formed by the fridge, range and sink is compact (to save steps) but not too cramped, and there’s nothing blocking the paths between the three points.
- There are two good-sized stretches of counter, neither of which are likely to be encumbered by piles of dirty dishes.
- The range is in a protected area where passing family won’t bother the cook, and its oven door can open without interference
Not so good things:
- Sink has work space on only one side, making washing up by hand and other cleanup work more difficult
- Having the island eating area by the sink is not pleasant if the sink area has dirty dishes
- Dishwasher and fridge doors will block the aisle if they are both open at once
- Aisle at the end of the island near the stove is quite narrow
- Countertop left of the fridge is isolated and so not as useful as it could be
I’m sure you can think of more pros and cons – how could they be applied to your own current or projected kitchen layout?
[ad code=2 align=left]
This tiny kitchen is less than 8ft square, with the sink and two counter sections on one side (shown here) with the range and fridge on the other side, with a small section of counter between them. Given the small space available, the counters here are relatively uncluttered. Knives live on a magnetic rack on the wall, away from small fingers; sink necessities have their own wire basket shelf so they can air-dry; spices are at the far end (rather a long way from their most-frequent-use point at the range, but in a kitchen this small nothing is ever really far away); and at the right hand end, on the very edge of the picture, tall glass canisters hold pasta and other dry ingredients. The bright red doors with fruit and veggie handles make for a cheerful space, though they might be rather overwhelming when the space is so small. The downside of this kitchen is across the aisle, where the range is butted up to the wall on one side, making for banged elbows when stirring pots, and there’s very little counter between it and the fridge. I had a previous kitchen this size where the fridge and sink shared one side and the range was on the middle of the other side, with counters on left and right. I found that worked better, with more space for actual cooking.
Here are some more kitchen design pictures for you to compare with your own needs and wants…