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By Tomas P Hinton, Founder and Head Designer of Tomas Kitchen Living

In the last ‘Insight #1’ the focus was on the balancing available space and size of kitchen area, so let’s now assume we know the area the actual kitchen will occupy. Even in some of the largest Kitchen Living spaces, there are usually some compromises and certain items will take have to take priority.

SKATE - Poppyfield Leaf - Fisher & Paykell - Built-in bespoke boxCASE

SKATE-Poppyfield Leaf - Fisher & Paykell - Built-in bespoke boxCASE

PRIORITISATION One of the first things to establish is whether or not the kitchen has to accommodate the laundry function or if there is a dedicated utility or laundry room. Ideally the laundry is ‘elsewhere’ – which in some cases may even be upstairs if a laundry room on the ground floor eats too much into ‘prime’ floor space. Whilst taking wet clothes downstairs to hang on an outside washing line is a negative, the clothes are (usually)! taken off and put on upstairs – so an upstairs laundry may in some cases be a great solution.

Where the freezer will be positioned is another one of those topics that requires discussion at an early stage. Will it be a built-under, a tall one, a tall fridge/freezer combined or perhaps a free-standing American-style fridge freezer is desired. Tomas kitchen living are dealers for Siemens, Miele, Fisher and Paykell and Liebherr – who make a super fully integrated freezer with an adjustable ice maker!

American Style Fridge

Likewise, the ovens are really key… if space is limited, perhaps they could go side by side under the hob – leaving space for a tall fridge and more generous pantry storage. If a main oven (usually with activeCLEAN) is placed next to combination compact oven (usually with microwave and/or steam) a warming drawer is often required. Not only is this useful for warming plates and food, it will also ensure the heights are equal… essential for that sense of kitchen karma!

A four zone induction hob over built-under

When it comes to making priorities in the kitchen layout, this extract from the website explains why a tall fridge is usually very high on the list: Many kitchens have limited space for tall elements and there is often a trade-off between maximising countertop surface and tall storage. Top of the list for tall elements is usually the fridge. Maybe a tall fridge is the first choice when it comes to prioritising, as built-under fridges just don’t seem to offer enough space and they are awkward to access. If a freezer can go in another area, or perhaps built under in the kitchen, the tall fridge can be a large larder fridge or have an integral icebox. If space is, tight a split fridge/freezer can be used. The next priority is probably going to be an oven tower, unless side-by-side ovens centred under a hob are preferred. Once the fridge and ovens have been ticked off the list, the remaining space can be for storage. FIXED CONSTRAINTS & SERVICES The location of fixed constraints and services such as a rising water main, a boiler perhaps must also be checked before developing ideas for the layout. At the same time, it’s worth considering if there is any scope for moving doors and window positions – particularly if at a pre-build stage. So first we define and identify the actual area the kitchen will occupy (see Insight #1). Next we must consider the priorities and fixed constraints. Then finally we can set about creating the optimum layout and the journey to creating a fabulous kitchen is truly underway.



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