Category Archives: Kitchens

Designing And Planning Eating Areas

Wherever you eat (and let’s face it, dining rooms are dying out), although it should be near the cooking area, you will want it to be relaxed and comfortable. The table should be your focal point, and the lighting not too harsh.


When buying tables and chairs there are two things to consider: what you will do with them when they’re not in use, and if they will be practical and comfortable with enough knee/leg room.

People need a surprising amount of space, and if your space is very limited, a built-in counter with stools or wall benches may be the answer. The counter can double as a work top, but must be at least 20 cm (8 in)wide. Stools should be 25-30 cm (10 in – 12 in) lower. A bench will seat more people, but in that case the table must not be supported from the edges or your eaters will find it difficult to get in and out. Wall seating usually has to be tailor made, but it is quite simple to construct. Stacking or folding chairs look quite good nowadays, though you should have a cupboard or other space to put them in when they’re not needed. Chairs with arms or struts may not fit if you want to push them under the table.

A table that folds right away, or an expanding table (with wings or leaves) can be a godsend in a small space. A table should be at least 75 cm (2 ft 6 in) wide if you are using both sides. Each person will need about 60 x 37.5 cm(24 in x 15 in) for their plates, cutlery, glass, etc. So, to seat six people, around table should be 1.35 m (4 ft 6 in) in diameter, and a square table should be 1.35 m (4 ft 6 in) square. To allow people to push back chairs, and to have space for serving, you’ll need at least 90 cm (3 ft) between the table and the wall.


If you are eating in the same area as your kitchen, and want to divide it off, there are various possibilities. A curtain to hide kitchen clutter is the cheapest solution.

Units built out into the room will provide a partial wall, and louvred doors right across the room will provide a complete one. If the kitchen and eating area are adjacent, a wall ‘hatch’ (a ‘window’ between the rooms) is a useful idea, especially if you have two people preparing the meal. In an existing door frame you could fit swing doors (but only if you have plenty of space on both sides) or a ‘stable’ door, made of two sections, the bottom one remaining closed. If there’s often something else happening in the dining area — the kids’ homework or grandfather’s stamp collecting — there must be adequate storage for that too, to reduce the grumbles when they’re forced to clear for tea.

Practical Kitchens And how They Operate

Possibly the most complex, expensive and problematical area in the house, many kitchens were planned and built before there was much more than a deep sink and a bulky cooker to think about. Even in modern houses the kitchen is usually one of the smallest rooms, yet it often has to accommodate more work andContinue Reading

Good and Bad Kitchen Layout

Kitchen Planning Modern kitchens are designed with equipment and working surfaces lining two adjacent walls, the third being occupied by a table that can be folded against that wall when not in use, so leaving uninterrupted walking space. The fourth wall can then comprise an opening to the dining-room and, maybe, a serving hatch —Continue Reading

Positioning A Kitchen Sink

The Kitchen Sink The position of the sink will normally be determined by existing pipes and drainage system, but these may be awkwardly placed in some converted houses. Even if it costs a lot of money it is worth having the pipe layout altered so that the sink comes under the window. Then the monotonyContinue Reading

Self-Assembly Kitchen Units

Fitted kitchens make the most of available space and facilitate cleaning. Ready-made units are expensive, but there are self-assembly units which you can buy at considerably less cost. All components are factory-made and supplied pre-drilled complete with fixing screws and any other items needed for assembly. The units are packed flat in boxes for easyContinue Reading

Kitchen Worktops, Ventilation And Flooring

At very least you need a continuous run of worktop starting at the side of the refrigerator, linking the refrigerator with the cooker, the cooker with the sink unit and extending to the other side of the sink. The worktop should be one level, not stepped up or down. Ideally the run should continue beyondContinue Reading

Choosing Kitchen units

Ranges of kitchen units generally comprise three elements: 1. Base cupboards go below worktops and sinks for storage and to house built-in appliances; 2. Tall floor-to-ceiling cupboards serve a similar dual purpose; 3. For storage alone shallow wall cupboards are wall-hung above work-top level. Ready-to-assemble ranges of kitchen units are made by several manufacturers. These,Continue Reading

Choosing Kitchen Appliances

Appliances and equipment basic to the kitchen are a cooker, sink and refrigerator. In addition there may be a dishwasher, a freezer (either integral with the refrigerator or separate) and, if the kitchen also serves as utility room, a washing machine and dryer. What may be termed “secondary” appliances (e.g. food mixers, dispensers, waste-disposers) helpContinue Reading

Designing The Kitchen

Even in these days of near-automatic appliances and convenience foods, research statistics show that the average housewife spends something over 31 hours a day in the kitchen. If you are intending to move into a newly built house on an estate, the size and potential of the kitchen will be predetermined. In that case, theContinue Reading

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