Are you having a new kitchen ? Know the measurements when designing your kitchen! Read this article to make sure you tick off the five essential kitchen design criteria. While the living room may be the social hub of the home, many of us spend a lot of time in our kitchens which makes it all the more important to make sure your kitchen works practically before you make any other decisions.



When redesigning a kitchen plan for the sink, fridge and cooktop to form a triangle.

 To begin designing your kitchen, take exact measurements of available floor space, then place the basic elements. Use these guidelines:

Form a triangle

The work triangle is an important design concept that improves a kitchen’s functionality by minimizing walking distance between the sink, refrigerator, and primary cooking surface. For comfort and safety, the sum of the three distances should be no more than 26 feet, and each stretch of the triangle should measure between 4 and 9 feet.

Sink and dishwasher

Flank any sink with landing areas of at least 24 inches on one side and at least 18 inches on the other. Place the nearest edge of the dishwasher within 36 inches of the nearest edge of your sink. Also, leave at least 21 inches between the dishwasher and any adjacent appliances, cabinets, or other obstacles.


When a countertop doubles as a seating area, a 28-30-inch-wide space per diner is most comfortable. Also plan for 18-inch-deep knee space for 30-inch-high counters, 15 inches for 36-inch counters, and 12 inches for 42-inch counters. Allow a 36-inch clearance behind chairs or stools, measured from counter/table edge to the wall or obstruction. If there is a walkway behind the diner, allow 44-60 inches for comfortable passages.



Under-cabinet lights shine directly on counter tops and prevent the light casting a shadow from behind you.

Glass kitchen cabinets

If you want storage that feels like furniture, not cabinetry a glass case provides the solution. Light shines through it, opening up the small room and glinting off the glasses and dishes inside.

Kitchen lighting

  • In addition to tall windows, you could opt for a glass-paned kitchen door. Translucent, lightweight blinds can be lowered for some privacy, while still letting daylight through.
  • Countertops are often hidden in shadows, under cabinet or under shelf lighting brightens those areas.
  • Dimmers on fixtures let you control the amount of light and increase energy efficiency.

Kitchen sink

When you’re designing your kitchen, make it a priority to put a window over the sink. It will vastly improve your outlook on washing dishes.



Plan enough with cabinets that reach right up to the ceiling. Deep drawers give easier access to pots and pans to keep countertops unclutter.


Cabinets that reach the ceiling of your kitchen are an excellent idea as there is no room for dust to collect above the cabinets.


The alternative is shelving in place of upper cabinets to make your kitchen look lighter and airier. If you are using everything in your kitchen regularly, then shelves make it all accessible. They will put underused space to work. A combination of shelving and cabinets makes sense if you don’t want everything on display. Open up and use every inch is the best philosophy to follow when thing about your kitchen storage.

Shelving supports

If your kitchen is of a smaller size you should consider every corner of her kitchen, right down to the shelving supports. Bird Beak supports are a great idea; an old carpentry style with notches that let shelves slide in and out. No holes, no hardware. The look is streamlined.

Tea towel hooks

Mounted hooks put towels on the sides of the islands just where you always want them and give purpose to an unused space. Now, wiping up a spill or grabbing a hot handle are quick and easy tasks.



There’s no such thing as too much counter space! Choose a surface that’s easy to work on and care for.  Allow 15 inches of countertop on each side of a cooktop and refrigerator.


We recommend that a kitchen include at least 158 total inches of usable countertop, which is considered any span, including islands that are at least 24 inches deep and has at least 15 inches of clearance above. We recommended you include at least a 24-inch-wide span of countertop next to a sink for prep work. Plan for at least 15 inches of countertop beside the handle side of the refrigerator or on either side of a side-by-side refrigerator. Allow at least 12 inches of countertop on one side of a cooking surface and 15 inches on the other.

Time-saving stations

If you’re a time-saving fanatic, an idea is to have all your needs for a perfect cup of coffee or tea is all in one place: have the espresso machine on the counter; assorted cups, French presses, and teapots on the shelves above; and everyday flatware and teas in the drawers below. Fresh coffee beans stored in electric grinders next to the espresso machine.

Kitchen Islands

An island must be at least 4 feet long and 2 1/2 feet wide; clearance of at least 3 feet all around is essential. An island provides a central spot to work and eat. You could double the functionality and flexibility with a pair of marble-topped islands, one on wheels and one stationary. You could use one for prep work and the other to seat guests for an informal meal.



Paths throughout a kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide. Paths within the cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook.

Doorways and walkways

Any doorway into the kitchen must be at least 32 inches wide, and swinging doors shouldn’t interfere with appliances, or cabinets. In a small kitchen, hang doors so they swing out, rather than in, to avoid clearance problems.


We hope these tips have been helpful in making sure your kitchen is the kitchen you want. And remember, whatever your budget, we’re here to help you create a kitchen you’ll love.

This article was brought to you by JMI Bathrooms and Kitchens of Bristol. Find out about our complete bespoke kitchen design and installation service.