Johnny Grey's top 10 tips for kitchen design

 

•  Face into the room when you cook. Cooking is a sociable activity, but you must be able to see people's faces. Elizabeth David did most of her prepping sitting down at a table.

If you went for a meal with her she would have one course already prepared, or in the oven. Then she would ask you to help and you worked together over a glass of wine. A meal could last several hours.

• Avoid long work surfaces. Provide too many and they become shelves. This prevents you having space for a dresser or a sofa - both ingredients that make for a friendly kitchen.

• Try to have a central island when space permits. This allows for a multiple-use piece of furniture and for good eye contact.

• Make sure your table is near or in natural light and has a view.

• A sense of order is vital. Define an activity and build a piece of furniture around the function. We describe this sense of order in practical terms as "dedicated work areas".

• Low- or high-level work surfaces help to define activity, and so does the choice of surface material, for example wood, stone, stainless steel or composite.

• Have tools at hand to back up work surface use. This makes it more likely that you will always go to that place for its appropriate task.

• Measure height of work benches to your flexed elbow. This is more accurate than measuring your height. Any storage opportunity between your knee and eyes is the most useful and should be utilised for the most regularly used objects.

• Consider having an appliance garage for hidden storage of small appliances. They can be accessed by pulling up roller shutters and the appliances can be plugged in permanently.

• If your kitchen is big enough, have a second table. With the tendency now for kitchens to be living rooms, the table is always going to be in high demand, especially if you have kids. This avoids having to clear the table of homework, newspapers, bicycle spare parts and laptops every time you eat.