Planning a new kitchen? When it comes to positioning your appliances, there are plenty of potential pitfalls. Luckily, I’ve got some clever ideas to help maximise your space. You’re welcome!
1. GET THEM OFF THE FLOOR So your dishwasher will sit under your worktops, right? Not necessarily. Consider raising it a bit higher, and you’ll find loading and unloading it so much easier.The height of your oven is also crucial – site it too low or too high and you might struggle to retrieve heavy casserole dishes, or pull out a tray of meat for basting.
2. BUILD THE ULTIMATE ‘WALL OF TECHNOLOGY’…This is a favourite approach of kitchen designer Michael Wright: ‘It adds wow factor,’ he says, ‘and because the wiring is concentrated in one area, it’s an easier job for your electrician and delivers a cleaner, smarter looking room.
‘You can incorporate everything from a fridge freezer to a wine cooler, oven, grill, microwave, coffee machine, steam oven and warmer drawer – and yes, some kitchens will have all of those!’
3. …OR CREATE A BANK OF OVENS Obviously, having ALL your appliances in one bank relies on you having a space large enough. If you don’t, cluster them by type – putting ‘hot’ appliances, such as your oven, hob and microwave, together.
If you do this, stick with one brand of appliance. Manufactures like Whirlpool, Miele and Baumatic invest heavily in making sure that the control panels, control knobs, badges, handles, displays and doors all align, so that they look symmetrical and elegant in any configuration.
Baumatic’s Premium Line appliances cost from around £350 for a warming darwer and £650 for a multifunction single oven
‘Just remember that they’ll all have digital displays with clocks,’ says Michael Wright. ‘Synchronising them will be a labour of love, but if you don’t, that minute’s difference can prove very distracting!’
4. HAVE A WET ZONE‘Ideally, position your dishwasher and washing machine either side of your sink,’ says Chris Mossop, kitchen designer at Harvey Jones.
Having your plumbing in one place will make life easier both when you’re having your kitchen fitted and if any issues develop down the line.
5. MAKE THE COOKER A FOCAL POINT‘Make the cooker the central focus of the room, if possible,’ advises Harvey Jones’ Matthew Payne. ‘The primary function of the kitchen is to cook; the other appliances are all there to support this.’
6. ‘FLOAT’ YOUR EXTRACTOR
Another trick used by Michael Wright, this involves setting your extractor into a wall panel, possibly in a contrasting colour or timber to rest of your units. ‘This is an easy way to hide away any wiring, and the panel doubles as a giant splashback,’ he explains.
Floating or not, the extractor needs to be positioned directly above the hob and ideally should be wider than the hob for the best efficiency.
Speaking of efficiency, a ducted extractor that vents directly outside will perform far better than a recirculation one, therefore try to position it on an external wall of your house, as you’ll need less ugly ducting.
7. MOVE YOUR WASHING MACHINE ELSEWHERE
If space is tight in the kitchen, take a tip from the Europeans and site your washing machine in the bathroom. There are tough rules on this, however, so we asked Steve Corbett, marketing manager at CDA, for advice.
‘To comply with British Standard regulations, the washing machine has to be at least 3m away from the bath or shower,’ he says. ‘You’ll also need an electrician to check that its plug socket is properly RCD protected.’
In other words – you’ll need a BIG bathroom.
Alternatively, Steve suggests that if you have a separate toilet, you could move the loo into the bathroom and turn the space into a mini utility room. Or put the washing machine into a garage, spare bedroom or hall (see above).
8. YOUR FRIDGE AND OVENS CAN BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINKTraditionally, designers advised against putting the fridge next to the oven as it would have to work extra hard to hold its temperature, wasting energy. But things are changing, which is good news if you have a very awkward space.
‘I’d say this is now only an issue if you’re into Feng Shui,’ says Matthew Payne. ‘Technology has improved and today, all good appliances tend to be self-contained and well insulated, and shouldn’t omit much heat or coolness.
‘However, if you position your fridge next to an oven stack, I’d ensure you include a small 50mm filler just to be safe,’ Matthew adds. Also, I’d still be wary if you’re installing low-budget appliances, where such technology is limited. AmyTweet