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how to design a kitchen layout

How To Design a Kitchen Layout Like a Pro

How long do you tend to spend in your kitchen each week? According to a study by OnePoll for Bosch Home Appliances, the average American spends 67 minutes in the kitchen per day. That’s around eight hours per week, accumulating to 400 hours per year.

With so much time spent in your kitchen, movement through it ought to flow in the best ways for your habits. If you don’t know how to design a kitchen layout, you can rely on Kitchen Concepts for a professional kitchen remodel in Danville, CA. This blog explains a few details you should know as you draw a good kitchen floor plan.

Setting Your Priorities for Your Kitchen Design

Before designing your kitchen, you need to set your budget and kitchen goals. For example, what is the most important quality you want in your kitchen? How do you expect the new design to accommodate your wants?

Many homeowners redesign their spaces to add more kitchen storage. You may also want to update the countertop materials from vinyl to granite or professionally waterproofed wood. You could even expand the area and add a kitchen island.

Your design ideas can go everywhere and nowhere without a stabilizing purpose and budget for your new kitchen. You should determine what about your kitchen dissatisfies you most and look for ways to correct it.

Search online or through magazines for examples of what you’d want in your space. If you need in-person examples of what you can do, visit a kitchen showroom with up-to-date and practical samples.

Keeping a book or portfolio with photos and snippets of your desired kitchen changes can help designers understand your vision. You can also consult a professional designer to help you build the portfolio, especially for a small kitchen. We can help you develop ideas for reduced amounts of space.

Put Kitchen Safety at the Top of the List

While planning a kitchen, you may not consider common kitchen safety tips and how to incorporate them into the kitchen’s structure. Part of learning how to design a kitchen layout that accommodates your needs includes incorporating safety tips into your outline. You can create a kitchen with built-in protective measures to keep you and your other occupants safe.


Slips and falls can happen often in kitchens because of spills and wet flooring surfaces. When you put stone tile or other flooring in your kitchen, ensure you have anti-slip measures in place. You can use coverings like kitchen mats or a matte finish on floor materials that allow for it.


In most homes, the kitchen will be the most significant fire risk on the property. You should have space for a fire extinguisher and possibly sprinklers in the kitchen. Don’t put the extinguisher near cooktops or ranges; instead, store it away from cooking equipment so you can access it in an emergency.


You should have several light sources in your kitchen to provide ample visibility. Overhead, under cabinet, and hanging lights can suit different cooking moods without hindering your vision. The lights should not produce shadows or lighting glare on your workspace. You may also considering pairing your kitchen and dining lights for maximum aesthetic appeal.


Too much clutter in your kitchen can cause potentially dangerous accidents. Plan enough storage space for your new kitchen, preferably within arm’s reach of the adults in the household.


Sharp countertop corners can harm someone if they knock into them. Use a countertop material that manufacturers can easily round out to reduce the chance of hurting anyone.


A person should be able to enter and exit the kitchen without too much trouble. Provide paths to reduce kitchen traffic near cooking areas. For example, put the stove tops and range further into the space while providing more access to the pantry and refrigerator.


Keep electrical plugs and switches away from water sources to reduce the chances of accidental shocks. You should also check with your designers to make sure all electrical receptacles have ground-fault circuit interrupters. Any plugs and switches also need to be at least 15 inches above the finished flooring.


Scalding hot water can cause painful skin burns, especially in curious children. You can install temperature regulators in your sink, like anti-scald devices and pressure-balanced valves.

Kitchen Metrics for a Comfortable Space

To learn how to design a kitchen layout efficiently, you need to know a few basics. Many designers follow these rules to increase the flow and ease of moving around your kitchen. If you work around these basics, you can have a kitchen that suits your aesthetics and provides a comfortable space to work in.

Don’t Shrink Your Doors

Doors and walkways need a certain amount of space to be comfortable for the general American. Unless otherwise specified, you should keep them around 36 to 48 inches wide for adequate walking space. 

For those using assistive devices like wheelchairs or walkers, walkways may be more comfortable, with a minimum of 38 inches. You may also consider using wider cabinet doors in homes for those with mobility issues.

Use the Kitchen Triangle Rule

This rule defines how you space the three most used appliances in the kitchen: your sink, stove, and refrigerator. The triangle rule began in the 1940s as a way of saving space. Years later, the comfort and utility of the triangle rule still produce some of the most time-efficient and relaxed kitchens.

Each side of the triangle – the distance between each appliance – should generally measure from 4 to 9 feet, no more or less. Therefore, the triangle’s perimeter shouldn’t exceed 27 feet or be under 12 feet. While professionals know additional details, like allowable interruptions between each appliance, you can start designing with these rules in mind.

Reduce Your Sink-to-Dishwasher Distance

Many homeowners use their sinks and dishwashers often, sometimes using one right after the other. As such, you should pair your sink and dishwasher in the same area, usually beside each other.

Also, you will generally need about 24 inches of space on at least one side of your countertop beside your sink. You can install the dishwasher under that side, then leave 15 to 18 inches on the other side of the sink for utility space. In most cases, the 24-inch side should be on your right, though lefthanded homeowners may prefer it on the left.

Good Island Seating for Comfortable Space

You can have additional seating on the end of your island or out-facing countertops. If you want island or countertop seating, you need an overhang of at least 12 inches for occupants to have leg room. For multiple seats, ensure each person has between 24 and 30 inches of space to their sides.

Work with your design team to ensure the overhang has adequate support. Without support, the countertop could be too heavy and have stability issues, potentially hurting anyone sitting near it. Larger overhangs may need stability poles to prevent countertop damage.

How To Design the Best Kitchen for You

We’ve only skimmed the surface of how to design a kitchen layout like a professional floorplan designer. You’ll need to answer many questions, like how many light sources you want, how much space around a kitchen island works for you, and more.

The Kitchen Concepts team has over a decade of experience bringing out the best in Californian kitchens. We can handle all parts of your redesign development, from electrical installation to painting and sanding countertop materials.

Bay Area residents can call Kitchen Concepts at 925-915-3307 or visit our contact page to schedule your free consultation today.

Tyler Fraser

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