Kitchen Design Software – A Quick, Fun and Easy Way to Design a Kitchen

Kitchen design software is a breakthrough for anyone who is considering planning and building a new kitchen. The software provides a quick, easy and fun way for homeowners to design their dream kitchen.

Even if you’ve never done it before, you will be guided through the simple steps.

Your kitchen design software provides some essential basic layouts you can use as a starting point. A blessing for the DIY kitchen designer, these layouts will help you avoid creating the chaotic distribution and layout of units you’ve no doubt seen in other homes.

The software also allows you to input your measurements, allowing you to accurately calculate room size and how appliances and other furnishings will fit.

While it explains the essential basic layouts that every kitchen builder must know, the software also teaches you how to look at your kitchen design as a professional designer would. You will not only learn how to create an effective working triangle, but also how to arrange your appliances safely and for optimum convenience and accessibility within your kitchen workspace.

A detailed guide that takes you by the hand, this kitchen design software provides a step by step way of planning your kitchen.

No matter whether you are a complete novice or an experienced kitchen designer, this software will help you create stunning, functional kitchen layouts that will add real value to your home.

The software is simple, fun to use, and a great way for you to create accurate and professional kitchen design plans. You don’t even have to have any prior training to operate and use this awesome and user-friendly software.

Designing your own kitchen is a great way to save money. Contracting the whole job out to an overpriced local company may be tempting, as you can ‘let them deal with it’. However outsourcing everything is generally the most expensive option and the one over which you often have least control in terms of installation and design.

If you’ve ever had to face several encounters with foot-in-the-door salesmen who don’t seem to understand or take the word “No”, then you’ll surely welcome an option that allows you to cost-effectively specify every single component of your installation without being tied to a contract or forced to the styles and design manufacturers offer.

This software allows you to design your kitchen with complete freedom of choice and value for money. Doing it yourself gives you the power to choose whether you self-fit, call and contract out to your own tradesman, or ask the suppliers or manufacturers for their recommended fitters.

Another advantage if you are trying to save money is that using the software to manage your own kitchen design will allow you to source your units and appliances from independent suppliers, which is generally also the most cost effective option.

Did you know that the kitchen is usually the single room in your home that has the most influence on its resale value? Whether you are remodeling because you plan to sell your home, or building a new home – having a well thought-out kitchen design matters not only in terms of productivity and functionality, but also to the potential capital value of your home.

If you have ever thought of making some changes in your old kitchen but couldn’t face dealing with hours and hours of sales pitch from pushy salesmen, foot-in-the-door kitchen planners and manufacturers, now is the time to create a professional kitchen plan yourself using this fantastic software.

Don’t just leave the design of the best feature of your home to someone else when you can do it so much better yourself! Take the time to consider and design what might work in your environment yourself. After all, it’s your home, and you who’s going to be living in it.

The most highly qualified person to design your new kitchen, using kitchen design software which makes the process easy, is you!

Planning Kitchen Design Within Budget

If you are thinking of redesigning your current kitchen or are putting a new kitchen in a new property, then the planning and kitchen design stage are critically important. If you want to bring in the kitchen on budget, then thinking through the process and finding the right resources will be key to success. Luxury kitchens can be achieved on a smaller budget if you have the right know-how.

Modern kitchens really are more than just somewhere to cook food. They have become central points of the house, a place to meet and talk, and a place to create wonderful food to enjoy with friends and family. So now is the time to really create something special.

There are many ways to go about designing your kitchen and you can choose something off the plan or an architects design. You may not really know exactly what you want but you do have an idea of the style you like and what your budget is. This is where you now need to do some planning and start to define your likes and dislikes. If your kitchen is an unusual shape, or particularly large or small, then there may be some unique design elements to consider.

Ideas Brainstorm

The best approach to begin with is to look around, take note of what you like in your current kitchen, what you do not like and look at other kitchens. You can visit show rooms, flick through magazines, and visit other peoples homes or research online. Gather as much information as you can, and search for as many ideas as you can. Start a scrapbook or spreadsheet and start a budget too. Do not be afraid to really challenge your ideas and expectations. After all, the kitchen is such an important part of the house and you also want to make sure you use your money wisely.

Design The Detail

Modern design technology has come a long way and as well as visiting show rooms you can also utilise 3D modelling and virtual tours. The design element of the kitchen can be carried out by a kitchen designer who understands your needs. You may already have your dream kitchen design in which case the design team can fit that hopefully within your budget. Get the design right, and you’ll have your dream kitchen before you know it.

Layout Ideas

During the design stage, think about practicality too. A common idea often talked about when it comes to kitchen design is the triangle. You want the three main things that you use to be nearby. So the sink, the fridge and the cooker need to be in this triangle. Also consider how many plug sockets you need and where they should be placed. The kitchen should be as easy to navigate as possible and a good set up means getting around will be easy.

Accessorise

Do not forget the accessories. Whether you choose artwork or prints for the walls, or funky utensils to place in and around the kitchen, thinking about accessories is crucial for the overall look and feel of the kitchen. Using colours or shapes, you can make the kitchen feel very dramatic, or soft depending upon the look you are after.

You will also want to consider what type of lighting you need. You can choose from so many different lights, bulbs and so on. Look at how much natural light your kitchen area gets. If it is very dark or alternatively gets a lot of sun light, then the lighting installed will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Change It Up

Do not be afraid to change things up if you need to. For example, you can divert from the standard bench height if you are very tall. If you want a very unique style or a particular appliance, then discuss with your design team about how to make this possible. It is a design for the luxury kitchens of the customer, not the designer, and as long as it works for the customer they should go for it. Kitchen design experts can help you achieve your dream kitchen, no matter how big or small your budget or space. Your next kitchen design could be just around the corner. Kitchens for sale in your area are worth a look.

Kitchen Design 101 – Getting Started

Section 1 – The Beginning

Once you have made the decision to build a new facility with a commercial kitchen, or remodel/expand the existing kitchen facility in your building, you will need to take one of the following steps to begin:

1. You go directly to the Architect to develop the location and preliminary design for the facility.

2. You request that several Architectural firms provide information on their firms and requests information on the Subtrades (i.e., Electrical/Plumbing/ Mechanical Engineers, Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer),etc.) to evaluate and select a firm to assist you with the project.

3. You hire an Architect or Project Control firm to develop the location and the preliminary design of the facility and prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP) for other Architectural firms to provide the Architectural services for the design of your new facility.

Request for Proposal

The Architect developing the RFP may or may not be requested to provide a proposal for this work. The RFP should provide basic information on the project by the owner or architect as to type and size of building, etc. and generally requires information on all of the team members; the architect needs to provide information on:

• Personnel to be assigned to the project and their resumes

• Finances to ensure that the company is financially capable of handling the project

• Firm history

• Similar projects, with examples and pictures

• Methods of operations, explain how they do business

• Resumes and information on Consultants, i.e., Engineers, Landscaping, IT, Foodservice, etc.

Foodservice Consultant

The Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) should also be brought in as early as possible in the planning process to ensure there is adequate space provided to meet your vision of the foodservice area. This does not always happen, and by the time the Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) is brought,in most of the floor spaces have been designed or allocated for other purposes.

Section 2 – Kitchen Design 101 – Concept

Architect plus a Kitchen Designer (Foodservice Consultant)

You may have already done a preliminary programming exercise with either an architect or programming firm to develop a location and a preliminary concept for the building. You may have done some of the concept for the facility and foodservice areas (kitchen and servery) but this is just the beginning.

Once you have selected the architectural firm to work with you on the project, they will have further meetings with you to develop and finalize the program for the building that will include the kitchen design. During these meetings, they will assist you with the continuing development of the required areas within the building and the overall footprint of the building.

The Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) is normally not included in the design and programming of the facility at this point. We feel that this is an error in the design process!

Why a Foodservice Consultant?

We believe that the Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) should be part of this early design process. We will work with you and the Architect to identify the number of potential customers and operational functions, which will significantly impact the design process.

We will work with you and/or the chef/operator to develop the type of service and food products that will be provided.

We will do preliminary block plans and a sketch of the necessary functional area(s) to allow for the proper amount of square footage. This will allow the square footage required for the kitchen design to be programmed into the project as part of early planning, not as an afterthought.

The information gathered during this stage will be further developed and expanded during the Design Development phase.

Section 3 – Kitchen Design 101 – Program

Foodservice Consultant

Five Oaks Kitchen Design’s approach to a project is to address all planning issues during the pre-design or Concept Development portion of the project.

Five Oaks Kitchen Design will provide the Owner and Architect a “Foodservice Program Questionnaire Form” designed for your facility. (See Appendix)

The program questionnaire will include statements of planning facts, goals, special owner/operator requests, operational characteristics and assumptions, area allocations, and cost estimates.

Unless these items are discussed early and resolved, unspoken assumptions could result in problems as the project develops.

Questionnaire

The Foodservice Program Questionnaire approach gives the Owner, Architect, and the design team the opportunity to understand, in detail, how the foodservice facility will operate and is the basis for the design assumptions. This program is reaction-oriented and we ask all of the team members to review the program, to confirm, refine or expand on any part of the program.

For a design to be effective in the early planning stages, it is important to explicitly state what the directives and proprieties are, so a well coordinated and approved program can be the basis for developing the most successful design.

Foodservice/Planning Considerations

• Corporate Goals & Policies (Operational Objectives/directives)

  • Has the owner pre-established foodservice guidelines, operational profile, or specific financial targets.

• Demand Requirements (Who/How Many we feed)

  • We need to analyze populations by employee categories, location within the facility, and likely participation.

• Serving/Dining Format (How are we serving the employees)

  • Do we need multiple, complementary-format foodservice entities? What are the serving requirements, training/conference center, private dining, executive dining, employee cafeterias, patient feeding, school/institutional feeding, etc?

• Operational Characteristics (How are we going to prepare the food)

  • Should there be an in-house bakery, meat/vegetable preparation area, etc.?
  • Do we need an ingredient control room?
  • Staging areas for remote feeding areas or transport equipment, etc.?
  • How do we encourage self-bussing?

• Functional Relationships (Proximity and adjacency relationships, process flow workstation organization)

  • How can process flow be shortened and streamlined for food preparation, service, warewash, and trash.
  • How can cross-flows or flow restrictions be eliminated or minimized?
  • Have we met all the program objectives?

• Equipment Costs (Capital initial cost)

  • What is the initial foodservice equipment budget and what is the basis for the estimate?
  • How can it be reduced and if necessary, still maintain the design of the project?
  • Long term quality equipment vs less expensive short life equipment.

• Operational Efficiency (Equipment life cycle & labor/staffing costs)

  • In most applications, a 10+ year life cycle is an appropriate factor. Can the facility be designed to use fewer workers, can one person work two stations easily?

• Project Schedule (Planning and Construction management)

  • An early assessment of the project milestones needs to be done to see if there are any constraints on the foodservice planning, bidding, or construction schedules.

• Growth Considerations ( Future Employee Growth)

  • Do we need to develop “soft” spaces for future growth in certain foodservice component areas?
  • Should we size the cold storage assemblies for future growth?

Section 4 – Kitchen Design -101 Schematic Design

Bubble Diagrams

During the schematic design phase, the Foodservice Consultant (Kitchen Designer) will work with you, and the chef or operator, as well as the architectural team, to develop a floor plan layout using bubble diagrams, of the major functional areas and work stations:

• Receiving

• Storage (Dry, Refrigerator, Freezer, Non-Food, Disposable Paper Goods Storage)

• Preparation Area, dry, vegetable and meat

• Production Area (s) (hot & cold), a la carte cooking/grille

• Waiter pick-up/beverage area (s)

• Serving counters/serving lines

• Warewashing / Potwashing / Pulping

• Other/Specialty Areas

  • Office (s)
  • Toilets/Lockers
  • Bakery
  • Service Bar
  • Service Pantries
  • Executive Kitchens
  • Banquet Kitchen, Dish-up, Staging
  • Tray assembly area
  • Cart Wash

• Seating Areas

By reorganizing the bubble diagram, as necessary, and relocating the relationships of the work areas and flow from one work area to another (with minimal counter flow of product or crossing traffic), we can create a bubble diagram that works.

Block Plans

Once the bubble diagram is completed, we will create a block plan which shows the required square footage for each functional space. This will also further define the space requirements; we will reorganize blocks, as necessary, to incorporate the ideas and fit within the overall plan.

Keep in mind that gross square feet (the sum of all areas on all floors of a building included within the outside faces of its exterior walls, including all vertical penetration areas, for circulation and shaft areas that connect one floor to another.) is larger than net square feet (Net square feet is computed by physically measuring or scaling measurements from the inside faces of surfaces that form the boundaries of the designated areas. Areas defined as building service, circulation, mechanical, and structural should not be included).

Once we have an approved block plan we will create a schematic plan (a drawing intended to explain how something works; a drawing showing the relation between the parts) for your review and approval. We will provide a budget estimate for review based on the estimated cost per square foot.

After the schematic plan is approved, we will move on to laying out the basic equipment as part of the Kitchen Design Development.

To be continued.