3 key kitchen design principles

Young couple choosing new gas stove in home appliances store

When it comes to designing your kitchen, it can be hard to know where to begin. After all, there are a lot of moving parts and things to consider. However, understanding the basics of kitchen design principles can serve as a useful starting point that will guide you towards a functional, and aesthetically pleasing space that you can enjoy for many years to come. Let’s discover how to make that happen.

Why kitchen design is important

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the home so it’s important that it functions the way you need it to. You want to make sure that it fits your lifestyle and is designed with optimal productivity in mind. When everything flows in a logical sequence it can make your day much easier, and even help you shave precious minutes off your morning routine.

How to design a functional kitchen

1. Think carefully about your requirements

One of the things to consider when designing a kitchen is how you use it in the context of your lifestyle. Maybe you need it to entertain at dinner parties and host guests, or maybe you’re seeking something to support the hustle and bustle of family life. Whatever its purpose, identifying this can be helpful to guide elements within your design.

Take the layout for example. An open plan with an island in the centre is perfect for entertaining purposes, while a U shape is great for a family with younger children since it keeps one side closed off. You should also think about your storage needs to help determine the space options you require. Maybe this comes in the form of upper cabinets, open shelving, or drawers within your kitchen island.

Plus, your needs will also go beyond the functional. Think about the style you want and the specific look you imagine for your kitchen. It helps to consider the existing aesthetic of your home and how your new design might complement it.

2. Create an effective work sequence

The secret to a functional kitchen is ensuring tasks can be carried out with maximum efficiency and minimal effort. You can do this by considering the food preparation process, which can be broken down into six stations:

  1. Storing – where you keep your food and cookware.
  2. Washing – the place where you clean, peel and chop food, and wash dishes.
  3. Preparing – a spot to weigh food or spices and mix things for baking.
  4. Cooking – the location of your stovetop, oven, grill and microwave.
  5. Serving – an area to dish up food, keep it warm, and retrieve cutlery, utensils and condiments.
  6. Eating – where you lay out your food and eat.

As you carry out each of these tasks, you want to be able to move between each station fluidly. There will always be some cross circulation, but the less this happens the easier the process will be. A handy tip is to maintain a distance of fewer than 1.8m between stations 2 and 3 so you aren’t carrying heavy pans from the sink to the cooking area for prolonged periods.

3. Remember the working triangle

The working triangle, also known as the golden triangle, is the relationship between the three main appliances in your kitchen – the fridge, the sink, and the stove. Imagine invisible lines that run between the end of each appliance to make up a triangle. Both aesthetic and functional, this kitchen design principle cuts down on wasted steps and allows you to move easily between these points.

For ideal functionality, no leg of the triangle should be less than 1.2m, or exceed 2.7m, and the perimeter should equal between 4-8m. When designing the space around the working triangle, try to keep the major traffic flow of others out of its surface area, and ensure that no cabinets, cupboards drawers or islands intersect a leg by more than 30cm. A working triangle is still considered the best way to design a kitchen, so using it effectively will make a real difference in your design.

Optimise your design with DDK

Understanding these kitchen design considerations will set you down a path to a great kitchen space. Whether you have your design down pat or need a little extra support, the team at DDK can help. It’s our mission to bring dream kitchens into reality and our kitchen designers are here to help you realise your vision.

If you’re happy with your layout, consider our DDK facelift, where we’ll keep much of your existing structure and replace doors, panels, handles, splashbacks and benchtops. Otherwise, we can create a brand new kitchen custom designed to your requirements with our Australian Made High Moisture Resistant materials.

Start the journey today, and get in touch for a free design consult.