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How to plan a good washing up area

How to plan a good washing up area

The washing up area is used more intensively than any other activity zone in the kitchen, so apply careful thought to its arrangement. There are several ergonomic aspects of resolving: the height of the sink; the depth of the Washing bowl; the amount of space given over to draining; the proximity of china and cutlery storage; and the position of the sink cabinet to ensure an interesting viewpoint.

Washing up by hand

Tailor your sink to your washing needs. If you cater for a large family on a regular basis, opt for a heavy - duty sink with long draining boards that is large enough for soaking big pots, oven pans, and chopping boards. A more compact unit will suit those who wash up one or two light meals a day.

Belfast sink

This old-fashioned design has the advantage of being wide, deep, and also robust. It is installed without a frame, which means that the porcelain is visible and there is only a short distance to reach over into the sink. For it to function as a double sink for rinsing and washing, place a small plastic bowl inside the porcelain one.

Angled washing up unit

In a small kitchen, a wedge-shaped unit with a compact draining area contains this kitchen activity while freeing up space for a greater expanse of the worktop.


Try to keep the distance between the sink, hob, and worktop areas to a minimum as food preparation and cooking involves constant rinsing and cleaning of used utensils.

Consider the variety of tasks you wish to perform at the sink before deciding whether one large sink bowl or two or three smaller bowls would best suit your needs. Is the sink to be used solely for pans and oven trays, or for hand-washing crockery and glasses as well?

Arrange the sink cabinet so that there is enough space for draining boards on either side and so that it has a pleasant aspect, perhaps a garden view.

If you intend to have a dishwasher, consider installing the appliance at a raised height, to avoid constant stooping down to load the machine.