Before any work commences, the homeowner must first make a detailed plan. Some homeowners find it easier to work with a professional interior designer. Designers that specialize in kitchens and bathrooms can provide a number of ideas that fit within any personal preferences, will draw up plans, and will work with any contractors that might be hired.
However, they can also be somewhat expensive. You can reasonably expect to pay up to 20 percent of the total cost of the kitchen remodel if an interior designer is hired. Those who choose to work without the aid of a designer must be able to make an accurate cabinet installation plan. Using design software can help homeowners to visualize the plan and aid them in making the best decisions for the use of their existing space. A simple Internet search can provide a number of inexpensive or free kitchen design tools.
Even with the aid of kitchen-design software, planning a kitchen will only be successful if measurements are precise and organization is taken into consideration. Measure all walls, appliances, and do not forget to make allowances for opening the dishwasher, oven, and refrigerator doors. Measure any windows and entryways as well.
With measurements completed, next consider the organization of the kitchen. There are five basic kitchen designs, the choice of which largely depends on the amount of space the kitchen contains:
- One Wall – Kitchens with the smallest amount of space will have one wall dedicated to cabinets and large appliances.
- Galley – A galley kitchen utilizes a small amount of room by maximizing the workspace. A galley kitchen has two parallel walls of cabinetry with a walkway in between. Kitchens can be installed in any formation to fit any kitchen space. (Photo courtest of Matthew Hale)
- U-shape – The U-shape kitchen has three walls of cabinets and appliances. The U shape kitchen is often seen in smaller areas, but can work in a large kitchen space as well. Often, homeowners who choose the U shape will incorporate an island, if there is adequate floor space.
- G-shape – The G-shape is similar to the U shape, but allows for a fourth workspace that is generally a peninsula. This workspace functions similarly to an island, but is often used instead of an island due to limitations of floor space.
- L-shape – L shaped kitchens are one of the most popular designs. Two perpendicular walls of kitchen workspace permit for a more open, roomier kitchen. Eat in kitchens often employ the L shape design, and this design also often allows for the additional workspace that an island provides.
Whichever design works best in each kitchen, it is most important to remember the basic kitchen triangle. The kitchen triangle is a designer’s term for the space between those items most often used in the kitchen: the refrigerator, the sink, and the stove.
These items should be placed near enough to each other as to allow easy access, but with countertop workspace in between. Also take into consideration locations for items that are used most often. New cabinets have special features such as built-in spice racks, swing-out racks, or lazy Susans. If you choose to employ one or more of these features, make sure they are in the most convenient location.
This article originally appeared on Angie’s List.