6 Key Elements to Designing a Functional Kitchen

Functional Kitchen Design

Kitchens are arguably the most important room in any home. After all, we spend hours preparing meals for ourselves and our loved ones in our kitchens every day. Because of this, a kitchen should always be designed with proper care.

If you are planning an upcoming kitchen renovation, then no doubt, you have given aesthetics a good amount of thought. While aesthetics will play an important role in the design of a kitchen, functionality also needs to be considered in the design process. Your kitchen won’t be efficient if the functionality is overlooked. Without functionality, it doesn’t matter how good your kitchen looks – it will be meaningless when it comes to preparing meals.

According to Houzz’s 2017 Kitchen Trends Study, 60% of homeowners who renovated their kitchen chose to change the layout, with 59% making it more open to the indoors. This is just one example of how a kitchen can become more functional, but there are many others too. All of these are factors that must be considered before you finalise your new design

As the head of purchasing at Ross’s Discount Home Centre, I meet customers looking to renovate kitchens in Perth on a daily basis. And over the years, I’ve amassed a lot of knowledge on what makes a kitchen design functional. Today, I will share with you some of the key elements of designing a functional kitchen. Make sure to include all of these in your kitchen design, and I assure you that your space will be a pleasure to work.

1. Layout

The most important factor which determines how functional a kitchen is, is its layout. Some of the most common types of kitchen layouts include one-wall kitchens, galley kitchens, L-shaped kitchens, horseshoe or U-shaped kitchens and island kitchens, among others.

In one-wall kitchens, the benchtops, cooking and storage areas are all located along a single wall of the kitchen. Such layouts are suitable for studio spaces and lofts, where space is a major constraint.

Galley kitchens are another space-saving kitchen layout. Also known as walk-through kitchens, galley kitchens consist of two benchtops located along opposite walls with a walkway in between. As with one-wall kitchens, galley kitchens make use of every available inch of space.

L-shaped kitchens consist of two benchtops which are located along adjacent walls. This layout is considered to be the best choice for small and medium-sized kitchens. There is no possibility of kitchen traffic with an L-shaped layout, and you can easily create multiple work zones.

U-shaped kitchens include three benchtops along different kitchen walls. This layout is an extension of the L-shaped layout, and it is ideally suited for larger sized kitchens. U-shaped kitchens allow for excellent traffic flow and workflow.

Finally, island kitchens consist of a working island benchtop located away from the kitchen walls. The island benchtop can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from storage to meal preparation and even dining. Island kitchens are suitable for use in large kitchens where space is not a concern at all.

See my earlier post, ‘How to choose the right kitchen layout shape’, for more information on kitchen layouts.

Depending on the space available in your kitchen, choose a kitchen layout accordingly. While you may be tempted to choose a particular layout, remember that a layout will only be suitable depending on space available.

2. The Work Triangle

Another important factor to consider when designing a functional kitchen is the work triangle. If you are not aware of it, the work triangle includes three major points of contact in a kitchen, namely the stove, the sink and the refrigerator. The work triangle is based on the idea that a person should be able to access these points of contact with ease.

Make sure to consider the work triangle when you are designing your kitchen for improved functionality. All you need to do is to ensure that the path along the work triangle is free from clutter. If space is not a constraint, incorporating an island can help you create a functional work triangle in your kitchen.

3. Benchtop

Finally, the benchtop is another important factor that can make or break a functional kitchen design. You should always look to include as much benchtop space as possible in your kitchen. The layout of your kitchen will also play a role in determining how your benchtop will be positioned.

When it comes to choosing a material for kitchen benchtops, you have several options to choose. Some of the most popular materials include granite, marble, quartz, laminate, stainless steel, wood and even concrete. Of all these options, I recommend you to stick to laminate, granite, quartz or marble as they are the most hygienic and the easiest to clean and maintain. You’ll also find plenty of colour and style options with these materials.

Ross’s Discount Home Centre offers a range of benchtop options for kitchens in Perth. Whether you’re looking for a laminate benchtop or a stone benchtop, you can count on finding it with us. Moreover, we also offer a range of wall tiles, feature tiles and mosaics that will complement the look and feel of your benchtop. With us around, you simply don’t need to look elsewhere for anything related to kitchens in Perth.

4. Storage

Storage is an extremely important factor to consider when it comes to functional kitchen design. Remember – there’s no such thing as excess storage, so you should look to add as many storage options in your space as possible.

For storage, consider adding pull out cabinets, drawers, racks and shelves to your kitchen. You can add base cabinets under your benchtops and wall cabinets and shelves over your benchtops. Make sure to also include a concealed storage space for your disposables and trash.

Think of how you will use your space and include all necessary storage options. Depending on your needs, you may want to include a pantry cabinet, a pull-out waste bin, or other specialty cabinets in your design. And when it comes to finding storage options for kitchens in Perth, look no further than us at Ross’s Discount Home Centre. We offer a full range of base cabinets, wall cabinets and pantry cabinets in different sizes and configurations. With the help of our storage cabinets, you’ll be able to design a functional as well as a good-looking space.

5. Appliances

No kitchen can be functional without functional appliances. To design a functional kitchen, you want to include appliances that are useful, will last you a long time and offer you your money’s worth.

Some essential appliances that must be included in any functional kitchen include a cooktop, a microwave oven, a refrigerator, a dishwasher and a rangehood. Make sure to include all of these in your kitchen design. In addition to these, you can also consider other appliances like freestanding ovens and wine fridges depending on your personal needs.

Here, at Ross’s Discount Home Centre, we offer a massive selection of kitchen appliances. From ovens to cooktops, freestanding ovens to microwave ovens, range-hoods to dishwashers and refrigerators to wine fridges, we offer it all! Regardless of what kitchen appliance you’re looking for, you are sure to find it with us!

6. Lighting

Lighting is something which many homeowners tend to overlook when designing their kitchen. Don’t make this mistake – lighting is a very important factor in functional kitchen design. Regardless of how large or small your kitchen is, you must always ensure that it receives plenty of natural light as well as artificial light.

For proper lighting, make sure to include bright, illuminated lights above all your benchtops, the stove and any other surface on which you’ll be preparing food. Under-cabinet lighting is another thing to consider if you’re looking to create a highly functional kitchen.


When designing a kitchen, you should always consider functionality first. While aesthetics will play a role, it is really functionality that will make your kitchen a pleasure to work in.

There are many factors that play a role in determining the functionality of a kitchen.

First and foremost is the layout of a kitchen, which determines the positioning of benchtops in your space. Next is the work triangle, which is based on the concept that the stove, the sink and the refrigerator should be easily accessible from a single point. Storage is another important factor that contributes to the functionality of a kitchen. Always make sure to include as much natural light and artificial light as possible to make your kitchen more functional. Adding functional appliances in your kitchen will also contribute towards making your space more efficient and practical. Finally, the choice of your benchtop material will also play a role in determining the functionality of your kitchen.

And, for everything that you need to design functional kitchens in Perth, look nowhere else but our store, Ross’s Discount Home Centre. From storage cabinets to benchtops, sinks, tapware, tiles, appliances, packing and finishing panels and kitchen accessories, we offer it all! To take a look at a range of our kitchen products in Perth, visit us in Guildford.

Buy high-quality products for kitchens in Perth at the most competitive prices from our online store today!

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