Kitchen Planning Standards – Class 101

Photo credit – Melissa Kew Photography

Ever wonder what standards there are for either a new kitchen or a kitchen renovation?

Well, I’m here to help!

These industry standards will help  you work out your plan properly so you don’t run into any unexpected surprises.


Standard oven width – 30 inches

Standard dishwasher width – 24 inches

Standard fridge width – 36 inches. Keep in mind that you should choose and order your appliances before building a new or renovating a kitchen, the cabinetry and countertops will be built around them for the most custom look.


Standard upper cabinet depth – 12 inches

Standard base cabinet depth – 24.5 inches

Standard counter height – 36 inches

Standard counter depth – 25.50 inches

Standard distance between bottom of cabinet and your countertops – 18 inches**.  If you are installing under cabinet lighting, a must in my books, then you’ll have to give some consideration to the extra space needed for them and valances.  Also, if there is a special appliance(s) you would like to store on your countertop, be sure that the 18 inches will accommodate it.

**This height will change if you are putting in a gas cooktop. Please check with your contractor or designer with regards to your building codes and safety requirements for your particular kitchen design.


Minimum distance between two working areas – 39 inches.  48 inches would be ideal but you can get by on the minimum of 39 inches.

Minimum island overhang – 12 inches with no brackets for support (depending on the counter material) or 15-18 inches with supports.

Minimum counter space on either side of the stove – 18 inches.  A stove should never be placed right beside a wall, as this could be a fire hazard.


Bar stool height – 30 inches

Counter stool height – 24 inches

Height for hanging light fixture over a table or island – Standard is 30-36″ from the top of the dining table, however this can and should be adjusted for individuals using the space and for sight lines.  I usually prefer to hang the light lower if it is a statement piece and if the table is large enough to accommodate it.  For an island fixture – standard is 60-66″ from the floor, but again this can and should be adjusted for sight lines and for tall individuals.





Refined Rustic – A kitchen Renovation

So, maybe you remember me talking about the kitchen renovation that I was doing this past spring and summer.  My client wanted a refined rustic look with classic details.

And here’s how it turned out.

The befores –

As you can see storage was a major concern.  The above photo shows the wall that we had partially opened up to the family room.  It makes the light flow through both rooms and makes the entire house feel more spacious.  This area, which used to house the stove and fridge was then repurposed with an integrated counter/table and extra deep bottom cupboards.

On the wish list was –
– lots of storage
– blue/gray finishes
– specialized storage for collections
– more lighting
– an integrated counter/table for casual eating
– double oven
– opening up the wall to the family room
– keeping the window and plumbing in the same area
– easy clean surfaces

For a “Refined Rustic” feel we used –

1.   Beadboard cupboards in the softest gray/white finish. The shaker style says contemporary but the beadboard says country traditional.

2.  A matte finished 12″ x 24″ porcelain floor tile in blue/gray/brown. The brown ties in the hardwood floor in the adjoining rooms, the blue to the granite and the gray to the cupboard.  It was laid in an offset brick pattern to add interest.

3.  The blue pearl granite countertops were chosen by my client for it’s lovely touch of blue.

4.  Tumbled marble backsplash with gray, blue and brown tones coordinates with the matte finish of the floor as well as its’ colours.  Not shown in the photos, the far wall was painted in Benjamin Moore’s Stone House CC-120, which also complements the flooring and the backsplash.

5.  And finally, squared dark bronze hardware and pendants bring a touch of arts and crafts to the space.  The faucet ties in with the dark bronze finish to complete the colour scheme.

My client is absolutely thrilled with his new kitchen, which really is the best feeling in the world!