Kitchen Renovation: Integrating Your Dishwasher

So you’ve either just bought a house, or you’re deciding to renovate your existing kitchen space; but where do you start? 

From modernising appliances to creating more space, undertaking a kitchen renovation is a daunting task that requires careful planning to get the most out of your budget, without wasting additional time and money. Remodelling your kitchen space is all about striking a balance between design and functionality where family and friends can feel comfortable.

Below you will find a list of key considerations that will make your life easier when planning your kitchen renovation. We will also look at how to integrate a dishwasher into your plans, finding the best dishwasher for your kitchen size and space and style.

Important Kitchen Renovation Considerations:

Firstly decide what you want to achieve from your kitchen renovation. There are 3 paths you can take when remodelling, with each impacting differently on your budget and design choices.

  • Keep the same layout, only updating the aesthetics of fixings like cabinets and work surfaces.
  • Strip out your kitchen to reconfigure a new layout in the existing space.
  • If space is an issue you may need to step out of the existing kitchen footprint to create the functionality and look you crave; taking space from an adjacent room, or creating an open kitchen/ living room.  
  • If you’re planning to renovate a house, how old is it? Older houses may require planning permission from the council before you undertake any renovation work. Additional costs can also mount with an older building as they weren’t built for modern appliances and may require more work.

Get inspired and differentiate between your kitchen needs and wants. It’s easy to get caught up endlessly researching, but never putting pen to paper. Start with putting together the following lists while you seek inspiration. 

  • Start a look book to help piece together your dream kitchen, this can be as basic as collection of links on a word document, or on a highly visual sites like Pinterest & Instagram: browse look books online, search kitchen design inspiration hashtags, follow designers on your favourite social media platforms and go to showrooms / home design exhibitions. Anything that will spark your creativity to get the most out of your space.   
  • Make a list of things you like about your current kitchen and what appliances you use the most.
  • Think about who uses the kitchen the most and their needs. Will there be two people cooking or Are they a keen baker or
  • How you plan on using the space? Entertaining in the kitchen? Or is it strictly a food preparation space? This will affect the seating capacity and the work triangle (more on that below).

Think about ‘The Work Triangle’. Here we focus on the functionality of your new kitchen with a concept used by kitchen designers and architects for over 70 years to determine how efficient the layout is. 

  • The three points of the work triangle are made up of the three most used areas of the kitchen:
    • Cooking (oven, hob, microwave)
    • Cleaning (sink, dishwasher)
    • Food Storage (fridge, freezer, dry food)
    • The idea behind the work triangle is to save you time and energy; space between the three points should be spaced out but not too much as this would mean unnecessary walking between tasks. If the points are too close together you may be too cramped, especially with two people working in the kitchen cooking and cleaning.
  • A good rule is there should be 90cm between each point, and not over 6 metres. No heavy traffic patterns should cut through the triangle so the cook isn’t interrupted. 
  • Some good general tips for the three zones:
    • Cooking – Utensils, pots and pans should be located next to the cooking area for ease of use, and not too far from the sink so you’re not carrying something like a pan of boiling water across the room.
    • Cleaning – Placing your dishwasher next to your sink allows you to stack in the sink and load straight into the dishwasher. Locating your dishwasher next to a pull out kitchen bin means you can scrape and load straight into the dishwasher.
    • Food Storage – High cabinets for dry food and cans should be placed over a work surface so you can unload your shopping a little easier without constantly bending down. 

Choosing the right sized dishwasher for your dream kitchen. It can be a tight squeeze trying to fit in all the appliances. One such appliance is the faithful dishwasher, saving you time and energy taking care of dirty dishes.

  • Tight on space? See our Tiny Kitchens Tour page for an interactive 360 view of kitchen designs and styles, showcasing all sorts of dishwasher placement.
  • Full size dishwashers can typically hold up to 14 place settings and will fit into a 60cm wide cabinet or gap.
  • If you have a galley-style kitchen or there are no 60cm cupboard spaces available a slimline dishwasher could be the answer. Slimline dishwashers can typically hold up to 10 place settings and will fit into a 45cm wide cabinet or gap.
  • Alternatively, take a look at the extremely handy countertop dishwashers. These smaller models sit on top of your counter, making them great for small kitchens, couples and renters. They‘re filled from the tap using an attachment, and empty down the sink drain.
  • Built-in dishwashers are floor standing, attach to the side walls of a cabinet and require a furniture door for the front. As a result, they disappear seamlessly into your kitchen, great for those who appreciate a minimalistic kitchen design. The finishing can tend to be more expensive than if the dishwasher was out in the open and not hidden away so bare that in mind if you are looking to incorporate a minimalistic design across your whole kitchen.    
  • Consider moving the washing machine out of the kitchen in place of a dishwasher. Washing machines are suited to multiple rooms, whereas it can be overly impractical with dishwashers, seeing as you wouldn’t want to be carrying dirty dishes through the house. 

Lastly, how much are you willing to spend? After the fun of collecting the most inspiring kitchens out there, it can be a gruelling task to bring your dream kitchen back to reality and deciding what gets cut from your plans. 

  • Compile everything into a spread sheet and keep track of the costs, make a list of the essentials you want in your kitchen, as some of the finer details (fancy knives/ chrome door handles etc...) can really add up.
  • Do you plan on selling up after a few years? What is the return on investment of your new kitchen?
  • Buy the latest appliances straight away or would it be more financially viable to have your current appliances?  You always have the option of upgrading later, just make sure the dimensions are not restricting your choice of appliance.
  • Functionality doesn’t have to put you over budget and is just as important as style. Look for materials that are easier to clean and less maintenance.
  • What are you willing/ able to DIY? A kitchen remodelling project can last anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks, and when you factor in labour costs, your budget could start to feel restricting. 

Planning your kitchen renovation and perfecting the layout is challenging, but the rewards you reap from everyday use in a kitchen you love is worth the time and effort. Just be sure to pay close attention to each and every measurement when setting up your kitchen workspace – you never know, a few inches could make a big difference, especially in small kitchens