Kitchen design can be as simple as a straight countertop with minimalist appliances, or as sophisticated as multiple sinks, dishwashers, cooktops & ovens in islands, under islands, over islands and more. Wine coolers can fit in the space of a dishwasher or be as tall as a pantry. Sinks can be troughs to be filled with ice to cool bottles, little for an entertainment center, double or triple bowls and an infinite variety of materials. Materials vary enormously, you can go green with countertops made of compressed recycled paper, clear glass, concrete, granite, limestone or the old standbys. Even within materials, such as granite, prices vary enormously depending on the exact stone chosen, and you can find some very reasonable and beautiful stone if you look around. There’s an infinite world of possibilities in the kitchen.
First we can start with some design basics. How much room do I need for a kitchen? Well, that depends on what you want in it. At it’s most mini, you could fit a kitchen into a space 5′-4″ x 7′-5″, but there wouldn’t be much beyond some very small appliances without a dishwasher. Let’s look at some standard appliance and fixtures size ranges.
- Sinks: sinks come in many sizes, depths, materials and prices. You can get them as narrow as 11″ wide, but you probably want to plan at least a 30″ – 36″ cabinet, which can accommodate a wide range of standard size kitchen sinks from 25″ to 33″ in a variety of styles (drop-in, undercounter, or exposed front cut out). You will also need to decide if you like a single, double or triple basin sink, as that will impact available sizes. There is also the option of putting the sink in an island, or putting an entertainment sink or trough sink in a secondary location.
- Dishwashers: dishwashers are pretty easy because they are pretty standard at 24″.
- Cooking: again we have multiple choices, but sizes are a little easier. You have a choice of a free-standing or slide-in, in which the unit fits in between two cabinets, which is generally 30″ wide; a cooktop with separate ovens, (either below or in a separate cabinet), which comes standard in 30″ or 36″ sizes and fit into that size cabinet (although you can get professional style rangetops up to 48″); or a professional style range made by companies such as Viking, Wolfe or GE Monogram which range from 24″ all the way up to 60″, and require significant ventilation. If you choose a separate oven in some kind of wall oven arrangement, standard oven widths are generally 27″ and 30″, although they can be found up to 36″.
- Refrigerators: Choices, choices! Refrigerators are kind of two basic style decisions. Do you want one which is shallow (around 2′) and is known as built-in or counter-depth, or do you want the slightly deeper traditional style where some of refrigerator sides are exposed. The shallower built-in’s generally come in 36″, 42″ & 48″, while the deeper styles can be found just below 30″ wide and up.
- Faucets: Kitchen faucets, besides an almost infinite variety of styles, materials and colors, also have evolved. Faucets are now available just to fill the pots on your stove, have a choice of pull-out sprayer heads or separate sprayer, single or multiple handles, they are available with remote two button controls for a prep sink which allows for a quick sink rinse or a more complete cleansing flow, and can fit any decor from ultra modern to renaissance.