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Which kitchen layouts are best suited to my home and lifestyle?Deciding on a kitchen layout can be tough, but getting it right is crucial to your kitchen design. U-shaped, single wall and galley kitchen designs are popular choices when space is tight. In a galley kitchen, you can have kitchen cabinets on both sides to maximise storage space. Otherwise, you could use one side as a kitchen island bench.
If you want a small kitchen design that will open up to the outdoors, a single-wall kitchen is a great option – but will always be on display, so choose easy-to-clean materials and surfaces.
U-shaped kitchens are highly functional and provide maximum kitchen storage in a tight space, utilising the ‘golden triangle’ so that everything is within easy reach.
Perhaps one of the most popular kitchen layouts, the L-shaped kitchen offers ample space for kitchen cabinets and benchtops, and gives you the option to add a dining zone, but does require more floor space.
Where should I position appliances?The paths between your kitchen sink, stovetop, oven and fridge should be quick, direct and obstacle-free. The classic ‘working triangle’ method – where the fridge, stovetop and sink are arranged in a triangle formation, no more than 2.7 metres apart – is most popular. However, if you have more appliances, you will need an alternative way to zone your kitchen.
Ideally, your fridge should be in close range to your prep space, kitchen island or kitchen benchtop, as well as kitchen cabinets. The kitchen bin should also remain close to the prep zone, so you don’t have to run across the kitchen risking spills on the floor. Your oven, stovetop and range hood should sit adjacent to your prep zone or kitchen benchtop, or otherwise opposite it.
In a galley kitchen or island layout, avoid having your stovetop and sink directly opposite one another, for safety reasons. And finally, keep your kitchen sink and dishwasher close to one another, but separated from the prep and cook zone.
How do I choose the right kitchen sink?Kitchen sinks come in a variety of styles and materials, but choosing the right one should go beyond aesthetics. Stainless steel kitchen sinks are the most popular because they’re durable, hygienic and easy to clean, but they can scratch and do show up streaks.
If you want to add rustic character to a country kitchen or traditional-style kitchen, a farmhouse sink is an increasingly popular choice, but porcelain sinks do show up grime and the hard surface can result in breakages.
How you prep, cook and clean up will determine how many sinks you have. If you do lots of washing up, like to rinse and drain in a separate bowl, or even like to use one to throw scraps when prepping food, two or more will save your sanity. Other things to take into consideration are size, shape and accessories.
What materials and finishes should I use in my kitchen design?The style and era of your home will have a big impact on the materials and finishes for benchtops, cabinets, drawers and your splashback.
Quartz is possibly the most common material for kitchen benchtops, followed by granite and polished concrete, which is becoming increasingly popular. Laminate benchtops, on the other hand, are the most affordable, while marble is the most expensive.
Kitchen cabinets can come in laminate, 2-pack, veneer or solid timber in hi gloss, matt, and semi-gloss finishes. If you want to add a splash of colour to your kitchen, try a mosaic tile. To create more light and open up the space, try a window splashback that has a view to the outside, or, if that’s not an option, a mirror splashback.