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Get your kitchen questions answered in this Q&A with Matt Prall and Stephen Garland of Papilio

Matt and Stephen of Papilio answer difficult kitchen questions


What's a good starting point for planning a kitchen?

Establish what you want from the space, decide upon key requirements and start collecting ideas from magazines and websites. Then start to look at which kitchen designers can cater for your requirements - many kitchen design companies have a limited portfolio of options, whereas bespoke designers like us here at Papilio have a limitless range.

What sort of layout options are there to consider and what the pros and cons of some of the most popular?

Matt: From a technical point of view the layout options range from galley kitchen, to L-shaped kitchens and U- shaped kitchens, to Island kitchens. Galley kitchens usually have limited space so a social area is often disconnected from the kitchen space whereas an island kitchen offers the potential of a seating area in way of a breakfast bar. An L-shape kitchen is often located in the corner of a room which means the chef is generally facing a wall. However, it does allow for plenty of movement within the space which is good for social cooking – our favourite kind.

Stephen: The primary tasks in a home kitchen are carried out between the cooktop, sink and refrigerator. These three points and the imaginary lines between them make up what kitchen experts call the ‘work’ or ‘golden’ triangle. The concept is that when these three elements are in close, but not too close, proximity to one other, the kitchen will be easy and efficient to use, cutting down on wasted steps.


What do you need to consider when planning a layout and why?

The first consideration when planning a consideration is always extraction and waste. This can have a huge impact on the layout if proximity is restricted. After this there are various other factors that come into play, including the distance travelled between the key kitchen zones - cooking, washing and refrigeration. Papilio are a design led kitchen manufacturer so the look and feel of the kitchen are very high on the list of priorities, but we will always advise a client if the design moves away from functionality. It’s important for us to understand how the kitchen will be used. Is this a family kitchen, a kitchen for entertaining or a keen chef? These will derive a different design and different requirements.

What do you need to consider on a practical level?

If moving services can enhance the kitchen we would always advise doing it. The first consideration is always ventilation, this is biggest restriction and often overlooked. It is generally best to locate any extraction on an external wall. We are currently seeing an increased demand for downdraft extraction on islands as this is then hidden. However, this generally requires invasive work to the floor structure to facilitate, unless you use the less popular option of a recirculating extractor unit. We’d always advise getting designers in at the same stage as the architect so that you can ensure layout is considered before it’s too late.

What are the biggest mistakes people make when planning a kitchen layout?

The biggest mistake is not considering availability of services, in particular the waste from sinks and dishwashers are larger width pipes and require a gentle fall in the direction of flow. The location of the hob also needs to be well thought out as external extraction requires access to an external wall, although modern recycling extraction methods are very effective.

First published date: 07 February 2018

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