One thing you can't always do when kitchen renovating
is increase the square metres you have to work with. This doesn't mean you can't get more out of the space you've got, though. Your kitchen designer
will be able to give you invaluable assistance, but as the one who uses the kitchen, you are in the best position to make sure your new kitchen is customised to suit your needs. Here are some kitchen space-saving ideas to get you started in the right direction.
Identify Your Needs
Before you sit down and work out a kitchen design, consciously watch yourself at work in your existing kitchen and take note of its strengths and weaknesses. Do you:
- Have to walk across the room from the kitchen pantry or fridge to your food preparation area?
- Have too much or too little benchtop space?
- Have to rummage around to find what you need in your drawers?
- Have to bend down or reach up to access your most frequently used small appliances and cooking vessels?
All of these common complaints can easily be addressed without having to take drastic measures:
- If you have to take more than a few steps from your pantry or fridge to your work area, you may be able to install a kitchen island.
- If there is bench space you rarely use, consider filling it with a benchtop roller door storage area. This may be perfect for those small appliances you frequently use, but don't want to have on display.
- If you have too little bench space, replace your wall oven with an under-bench oven and include an elevated microwave cabinet in your new kitchen.
- If your drawers are not organised, ask your kitchen supplier about drawer inserts and organisers.
- Identify your most frequently used pots and pans and replace some of your under-bench cabinets with pot drawers.
Draw a Plan Before You Build
Thanks to all the great flat pack kitchens
available today, it is possible to get professional results on a DIY budget. The catch is in getting the design right, though. There are great kitchen CAD programs available to help you with this, but even seasoned kitchen designers start off with a scale drawing. This is not as hard to do as it may sound. All you need is a tape measure, a pencil, a few sheets of paper and a scale ruler. Then follow these steps:
- Measure the kitchen perimeter: Start with your sink wall and work your way around the room, taking note of where windows, electrical outlets, plumbing and door openings are located.
- Fill in the areas where the floor cabinets will be placed. These are usually 60 centimetres deep. If you're including an island, the cabinets will be 60cm deep, but you may want to include a 90cm wide benchtop, to provide space for seating.
- Fill in areas where tall cabinets, such as the pantry, the fridge surround and, if desired, the wall oven cabinet will be located.
- Fill in areas where wall cabinets will go. The standard depth for these is 30 centimetres.
- Mark where the major kitchen appliances will go.
- Take special note of the kitchen sink. With so many new designs on the market, you will be able to find one with a perfect combination of sinks and drainers. You may be amazed by how much bench space you can save just by carefully choosing the right sink.
Take your rough drawing with you to the flat pack or custom kitchen showroom. The staff will be happy to help you work out the details and suggest even more space saving ideas. Even if a professional kitchen cabinetmaker
comes to your home to give you a measure-and-quote, the effort you've gone to won't be wasted, because you'll have a much better understanding of the process of kitchen design. This will ensure that your new kitchen is exactly as you want it to be.