The layout of the kitchen is the most complicated part of the design process but ultimately the one aspect that will ensure a fully functional space that really works for those using it. When we design kitchens at H|M there is a huge list of things that will be going through the minds of our designers as they work, and we thought it would be helpful to set these out to assist with the planning of projects…
1 / C L I E N T W I S H L I S T
It is the client that will determine how they want the space to work, for example, if it’s an open plan space and the clients love to entertain up to 8-10 guests for dinner, then the correct size dining table will need to be incorporated into the design from the get-go. Working with clients in a collaborative way is so important to us at H|M and a great working relationship is at the heart of every project we undertake.
As with all aspects of design, planning a kitchen requires careful consideration and prioritisation to make it work properly for a client. Using the example above, the 8-10 seater dining table may mean that the design of the space is compromised in other ways and it’s an ongoing dialogue to achieve the right balance between the designer and the client.
2 / I N T E R I O R A R C H I T E C T U R E
The room itself will determine the layout to some degree, although it’s often possible to maximise a design with careful interior reconfiguration.
At H|M we are fortunate to have specialist designers who are able to reconfigure the interior architecture of a project to optimise the integrity of the design.
The Weybridge project above was re-designed to incorporate the walk in pantry behind the main cooking run. This is an essential space for this open plan room design and takes a huge amount of weight off the main kitchen.
3 / S T R U C T U R A L S U P P O R T
It sounds like an obvious one, but structural supports can really impact the layout of the kitchen design. It really depends on the design, the room and the brief as to how the support can be incorporated into the design.
The beauty of bespoke furniture is that you can usually find a way to disguise the structural support so it is incorporated into the design from the beginning.
We worked with the architectural team appointed for the Tudor Manor House project to design around two structural supports that had to be included in the kitchen (this open plan room was previously 4 separate rooms). Peter Humphrey, the Design Director and Founder of H|M, had the idea to create two peninsulas either side of the room to provide a scullery on one side and a work station on the other.
This is the scullery area with butler sink, integrated bin to the left and integrated dishwasher to the right.
Above is the desk area on the opposite side. To ensure that every last drop of the space was utilised, we created a hot drinks station within the pillar that includes an integrated Miele coffee machine. And because of this we added an integrated Fisher & Paykel CoolDrawer on the back of the island.
Obstructions to design also include things like chimneys, soil vent pipes and underfloor heating manifolds. In the Norfolk project pictured above we built around an existing chimney to create this usable storage area.
4 / W A L K W A Y S
As a general rule we allow around a metre as a walkway in a kitchen – i.e. the distance from counter to counter, or counter to wall. It’s so important to the flow of the room to allow a generous amount of space to move around in easily. Kitchens will nearly always need to scale up and down depending on the number of people in the space.
Considering how you like to cook, and if there are two people cooking at the same time, can affect how much space you like to have between the cooking run and the island for example.
In this beautiful rustic farmhouse kitchen in East Sussex (pictured above), the clients particularly wanted a lot of space between the cooking run and the island. This is a kitchen for cooking in and they love to host guests for long weekends as well as the teenagers who naturally gravitate towards the AGA. With the AGA on the main cooking run, and back up Gaggenau appliances on the island, the clients knew there would be times when both sides were being used so it was important to allow extra space here.
At H|M our designers are problem solvers who provide a service above and beyond the high street ‘drag-and-drop’ design that creates run of the mill replica kitchens. All our cabinetry is bespoke, and anything is possible – there are no set sizes so balance, proportion and scale are all factored into the design to ensure every space is 100% spot on. If you’d like to get in touch about a project, please give us a call on 01371 821300 or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.