Kitchen Design Tips

At Kilfoy Cabinets, we design, make and install all our kitchens ourselves – in Cairns.

Our kitchens feature FULL 15mm exterior hardwood ply kicks and BLUM hinges.  Each cabinet is made from the same materials and with the same local Cairns craftsmanship. 

This helpful guide will assist with the pros and cons of different designs. Don’t forget the physical properties of the space and, of course, your own preferences.

Initial considerations:

  • Be guided by common sense and convenience. Work out what’s annoying about your existing kitchen — lack of light, bench space or power outlets, a single sink, a difficult­ to ­clean stovetop, etc.
  • Don’t be overly constrained by the existing configuration. Pipes, gas lines electrics, walls and windows can be easily repositioned.
  • If our design can't solve a space problems, consider expanding the kitchen via a buffet ­style breakfast bar or island bench.
  • If you enjoy al fresco entertaining, and have the space, how about an outdoor kitchen which is serviced through a servery from your new kitchen?

 Traffic and layout:

  • We’ll plan your kitchen, taking into consideration the natural pattern of movement, allowing a comfortable distance between each of the kitchen's functions: storage, cooking, workspace, waste handling and washing up.
  • Kilfoy Cabinets adhere to the “work triangle” principles, meaning your sink, fridge and cook top form a “work triangle”. The oven (or hotplate), sink and refrigerator should be no more than 7m apart in total and should be in the shape of a triangle.
  • Note that left or right­handedness affects layout: for a good right­ handed flow, position in this order (R to L): dishwasher/dish drainer/sink, workspace, cooking unit, utility storage.
  • Position the sink, drainage and dishwasher first as this is biggest single unit in your kitchen.
  • Sinks are usually placed against an outside wall under a window for convenient drainage and good natural lighting.
  • The dishwasher should be close to the crockery and cutlery. It should also be away from doorways and stove so it can be loaded easily.
  • Locate the food preparation areas between the stove and the sink.
  • Ensure appliances, sinks, bench tops and cabinetry all fit, allowing for the ‘sweep’ of doors, the opening of drawers and normal movement. Allow 200mm clearance from the wall adjacent to the hinge of a fridge door and, if installing a wall oven, allow 200mm from any adjacent wall for elbow clearance.
  • A minimum of 120cm is required between combinations in a double ­sided kitchen so two people can work comfortably without getting in each other's way.
  • The same distance is recommended between kitchen unit and dining table so that a person can sit comfortably at the table while another works by the kitchen counter.
  • Most kitchens will already have service points for major appliances. Changing these points can vary in cost, so if you don't have an unlimited budget, your design choices may be somewhat predetermined.
  • If you're gutting your kitchen, consider installing extra power points at the time, as it is very expensive to get new ones put in when all the other work has been completed.

Work surfaces:

  • Provide ample work surfaces in key areas: next to the refrigerator and oven and on both sides of the cook top and sink.
  • For safety and efficiency, allow adequate bench space for preparation
  • Set benches at varying heights to accommodate different tasks and user.  A good height  is 800-950mm