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  • Writer's pictureMike Fishpen

A Personal Chef Explains The Importance of a Good Kitchen Layout

personal chef kitchen design

As a personal chef, Mike visits lots of peoples’ homes and experiences a multitude of different kitchen layouts. Mike sometimes jokes that he should start a kitchen design business as he knows which layouts are best for the smooth running of a kitchen. Sometimes the smallest galley kitchen can be easier for a private chef to work in versus a large and stylish kitchen, if the layout is all wrong.

Here are Mike’s Personal Chef Top tips for the Layout of a Kitchen

The kitchen is often the busiest area of the house, with a lot of through traffic. When Mike comes to cook in your home he can get a real feel for this and has learnt a lot about what makes a great kitchen layout over the years of cooking in clients homes.

The first thing when planning a kitchen is to think about all the different routes through the kitchen and what it is used for. Make sure that an area of the room doesn’t turn into a dumping ground by including lots of general storage for bags, shoes, keys and anything else that makes its way into your home. This might mean hiving off space for a utility room, but think very carefully on the positioning of this. Your key aim to keep a primary pathway through the kitchen that is hazard free. You should also consider where doors are opening, especially the fridge.

The next tip is to assign stations in the kitchen for all the things that you do; cleaning, storage, prepping, cooking, putting food away etc. This can give you a clear picture of what is needed in your kitchen. Create clear zones for circulating, meal preparation and cooking. When planning a kitchen keep these main tasks in mind, including how you would clean up after a meal. Keep a clear relationship between the stove, fridge and sink. Draw out a plan showing these key areas and how you would move around the kitchen.

Often, the sink is the starting point for the design of a kitchen. This is often the place where we spend the most time, and often is placed looking out of a window with good light so that you can see what you are doing. Then place the oven and fridge from there. You could also consider putting your sink in the island, so that it is easily accessible from anywhere in the kitchen.

When cooking in your kitchen, your aim to move around the least amount as possible. Keep the dishes and cutlery near the sink/dishwasher, saucepans and oven trays near the oven. Knives and chopping boards near the prep area. There’s bound to be some equipment that you use rarely or bought on a whim (ice cream maker anyone?), so allow and out of the way place to keep all these items. Then if you haven’t used them for a while maybe they can be passed on to leave space in your kitchen.

The best place for your oven is always on an external wall. This allows for easy access for external ventilation. This can be done on internal walls, but is more expensive and the quality of ventilation is not as good.

If you are lucky to have enough space for a kitchen island, ensure that you do have the space for it and that it doesn’t block key areas. For example, if the fridge door is still open, can you still easily move around the kitchen. But don’t make the mistake of moving it too far away, it should be an integral and useful part of your kitchen.

The next most important thing in your kitchen is storage. Don’t just focus on how much you can squeeze in, think about the aesthetic too. Could you have shelves or hooks for easy access for your key items. Think about the items that you use the most and have them the closest. A great innovation is the storage wall as a replacement for the pantry. Looks like a series of cupboards, but actually slides back to easily show everything in your cupboards. This also helps you not to over order on groceries and cut down on food waste. Make it easy to find items, arrange by size or if hard to find maybe move to labelled cannisters.

When looking for a kitchen designer, make sure that they offer a good selection of different design solutions including 2D and 3D, some may even offer a virtual reality presentation.

Mike loves coming and cooking in any kitchen, but the better they are laid out the happier he is. If you want to talk to Mike about coming and cooking in your kitchen, why not contact him today?


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