Sense check my kitchen plans

4 months ago
last modified: 4 months ago

We are moving into our first ever non-rented apartment, so this is the first time we are doing up a kitchen, which is being installed from scratch. I would appreciate any ideas or suggestions or sense-checks while we can still change our minds, as we are really inexperienced at this, and can’t afford a designer. (Imperial measurements are given below the plan)

This is the layout of our new kitchen (excuse and ignore the electrical plan notations). It is It’s quite small (280x236 cm / 9 feet 2 inches by 7 feet 8 inches), and the window is large and comes to below the level of the counter. We are making the window smaller and raising it to above counter level to by filling it in with glass bricks. The window does not really have a view or much light as it opens into a ventilation shaft.

Behind the hob is a very large niche that is built into the brick wall. The hob will not be in the dead centre, but we can close part of it off to fit.

The ceiling is over 3 metres (about 10 feet) high but it is not flat (it has a sort of scalloped arch, hard to describe). The door is barn-style and outside the kitchen so it doesn’t interfere.

Floor: We have ordered cement tiles for the kitchen and outside in the hallway in this pattern and colour. The blue is fairly accurate; the other colours are creamy white, pale grey and dark grey.

Cabinets: We are ordering white kitchen cabinets from Ikea. We are also getting the doors from Ikea as getting custom-made doors is not an option where we are. The doors we have chosen are the plain flat white - glossy but not high gloss. We are either getting them without handles or with these black metal handles (though would welcome other design ideas too). We are not getting toe-kicks and instead plan to use stainless legs to raise the bottom cabinets as our Roomba will fit underneath, and to keep a lighter feel to the kitchen.

Layout: Anti-clockwise from the right of the door:

Side 1 to the right of the door): Below: built-in dishwasher, white single-bowl apron-front farmhouse sink from Ikea with drawer containing rubbish bin and a spray faucet in brushed nickel, small stack of drawers, corner base cabinet. Above: shelves, window, shelves (if space allows)

Side 2 (directly opposite the door): Below: the rest of the corner cabinet, gas hob (black glass) and oven (stainless steel), narrow pullout cabinet, corner cabinet. Above: shelves (if space allows), stainless steel or black chimney vent, combi boiler (probably white).

Side 3 (to the left of the door): Below: the rest of the corner cabinet, a base cabinet, tall counter-depth pantry cupboard, stainless steel fridge. Above: 1 top cabinet, continuation of the pantry cupboard, small cabinet above the fridge.

Side 4 (where the door is): Nothing at the moment, there is not a lot of space. We might continue the shelves from side 1 to the right of the door and put a small wheeled table with a dispenser for bottled water in front of the dishwasher (our tap water is not potable).

Countertop: Our two options are black granite (as unpatterned as we can find) and stainless steel. We definitely don’t want engineered materials so the only options available where we are granite, steel, Ikea butcher block and marble.

Backsplash: We are not sure at all, for either of the countertops. Perhaps plain white subway tiles? We really like zellige tiles (eg the two below) but perhaps they are the wrong texture or will seem too busy with a patterned floor. We are not afraid of colour, but don’t want the kitchen to feel cramped since it is small and doesn’t get direct sunlight.


1. For those of you with more experience, how does this layout look? Any ideas on how it can be improved, especially from an aesthetic point of view?

2. There is not a lot of storage space, but it is a small city flat, and we prefer to reduce our belongings than to feel cluttered or overstuffed. But, given the lack of storage space, we are resigned to using the niche behind the hob for some stuff. But what would you actually store there?

3. I am unhappy with the pull-out cabinet next to the oven but that is the only Ikea thing that fits in that space. Have you successfully tried any way to insulate it, so that you can keep oils and spices there without deterioration?

4. What do you think of the stainless steel countertop from an aesthetic and a practical point of view? How would you approach the backsplash? Where would you end the backsplash, given that the walls are all different (window and shelves on one wall, niche and vent on the second, top cabinet on the third)

5. How would you do the shelves? We are thinking black painted wood or stainless steel, depending on whether the countertop is black granite or steel.

Edited to add imperial measurements.

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