Five Essential Kitchen Design Tips

June 12, 2019

By Cheryl Kees Clendenon, In Detail Interiors

The numbers are so important in a kitchen design. I get asked about the following information quite often, and I sometimes take it for granted because I deal with it every day. Here are some of my top tips for getting the measurements right in the kitchen:

Tip #1Kitchen passageway between cabinets or other obstacles

Kitchen aisles should be 42 inches wide. You can fudge this a bit, but shoot for 42 inches. If you want more room, 48 inches is good too, but beware of getting too much space; it can make it awkward to move about from one area to another.

Kitchen Tip #2– Kitchen islands

Make your kitchen prep island 38 inches high if your client is average to above-average height. This height is much more comfortable for most people to prep foods. The standard height for a kitchen island is 36 inches. How big? It depends on how much room you have in the aisles, but do not make it less than 30 inches wide if you want your clients to not feel cramped! If there is not a ton of room, a moveable island is an option.

This island has 44 inches around both sides because of the larger refrigerator and ovens. Design by In Detail Interiors

Kitchen Tip #3– Lighting fixture height

Hang dining light fixtures approximately 36 inches off the table to the bottom of the fixture. This can be varied depending on the light fixture, but this is good rule of thumb. What size light to install in a room can be determined by the diameter of the room. Over an island, consider hanging height based on the size of the pendants and the view available out of the kitchen windows, but 36 to 40 inches is usually good. If your client’s ceilings are taller than 8 to 9 feet, then you have to reconsider; typically we go up another 3 inches for every foot of ceiling height.

These are 10-ft. ceilings, and the pendants are 38 inches off the high bar. Design by In Detail Interiors

Kitchen Tip #4– Microwave height in a kitchen

Be careful of microwave height when you are installing above a wall oven. You want to look at how high your clients will be reaching to take hot foods out. I like somewhere between 48 to 54 inches to the bottom of the microwave. Of course, this one is very dependent on the height of the users and the microwave and oven specs.

Kitchen Tip #5– Pot filler height

Pot filler height should be determined by several factors: the height of tallest pot you want to go under it, the drop of the spout and the height of the burner grates. This is very different for many jobs. I would say it usually falls between 54 and 57 inches off the floor, but again this depends on how the pot filler is designed. Be sure to pay attention, and do not let plumber decide for you!

This is a beautiful pot filler in a soft brass. Note how the pipe goes up, then the spout goes down again – this is critical – as the plumber wants to know where the water comes out of the wall, but you need to factor where the spout is located. Design by In Detail Interiors