It should be perfect – your own kitchen. But arranging the devices, cabinets and above all the shelves in such a way that they meet your own needs is not that easy in retail.
You don’t buy a new kitchen every day. This makes it all the more important to have a facility that will also fit in the long term. The most important tips for kitchen planning at a glance:
1. The kitchen design: which one suits me?
There are easier questions than this. But it is basically easy to answer: the decision is made by the eye very quickly. Whether playful country house style, natural design from Scandinavia or puristic industrial chic with surfaces made of metal, concrete or stone: “The fronts are the first to catch the eye and shape the overall look of the kitchen,” says Volker Irle from the working group Die Moderne Küche. So they are the number one decision made in retail.
Open floor plans, where the kitchen and living room merge, require that the furnishings appear uniform. Ernst-Martin Schaible from the purchasing company Der Kreis, a group of kitchen specialists, points this out. “The trend is therefore modular kitchens. Here upper and lower cabinets can be flexibly integrated into the living room furnishings,” says the kitchen professional. They then match the living room furniture – or vice versa.
2. The kitchen shape: which one makes the most sense?
Instead of the classic one-liner, the L-shape is often more suitable in small rooms. “It is a space-saving solution that still offers plenty of storage space, for example through a swiveling corner solution in the closet,” explains Irle.
For the U-shape you need at least ten square meters of space and 2.40 meters wide. “This shape creates a large work and storage space,” says Irle. The G-shape is also recommended for families with an area of twelve square meters or more, consisting of a U-shaped kitchen, which can then be expanded to include a counter or dining area.
A kitchen with an island is more spacious. “It can only be implemented with an area of at least 15 square meters,” says Irle. Around the island there must be a radius of at least 120 centimeters to further cupboards for the walkways.
3. The kitchen zones: what is placed where?
Common work processes determine where cupboards, appliances and dishes are located. A zone next to the sink is useful for preparing food, as it is always clean here. “It’s the main work surface. It should be at least three inches wide,” advises Irle. This zone is ideally followed by a stove and oven as well as cupboards for pots and pans.
“A minimum distance of 60 centimeters is recommended between the stove and the sink,” explains Schaible. “On the one hand because of the ease of preparation, on the other hand because of the distance to the water.” At the same time, he advises against placing the stove next to the refrigerator. Because this then uses more electricity for cooling due to the heat that comes from the stove.
4. Ergonomics: What makes kitchen work easier?
Kitchen work is simplified by modern mechanical or even electrical pull-outs for the cabinets. “They are easy to open and close, no matter how many plates or heavy pots and pans are stored there,” explains Irle. This even allows the interior shelves of the wall units to be pulled down a little – for example if you are smaller or have difficulty reaching up.
In order to relieve the back, work surfaces, devices and cupboards should be adjusted to their users. “The height of the worktop should be 10 to 15 centimeters below the elbow,” explains Irle. “When using large pots, it would even make sense to lower the hob by ten centimeters, as that way you can look better into the pots.” The sink, on the other hand, can be installed higher because its floor is used as the working level.
A tip: some manufacturers offer electrically adjustable kitchen islands and work surfaces. “A kitchen also becomes ergonomic when the oven and dishwasher are positioned at working height,” says Schaible. This makes loading and unloading much easier.