If you’re a keen cook, it’s all about the range cooker. It’s a dream piece that physically and aesthetically makes a statement. Of course, the layout of your appliances can make or break your kitchen. So how do you plan the rest of your kitchen around this cooking star? We show you how.
You may fantasise about a seven burner range cooker, but is that realistic for your space? They’re bulky customers. Research the different sizes and options available. Range cookers come in standard widths of 90, 100 and 110cm - so consider the shape and size of your kitchen and whether you’re just cooking for the family or entertaining on a large scale. You’ve also got multiple grills, double ovens and different finishes to consider. If you want to create the best Sunday roast ever, then a double oven is the way to go. Do you know if you want gas or electric? Gas tends to be the cheapest to run, but It makes sense to get the fuel you’re already set up for. Or you can go dual fuel. Make sure you’ve got enough work surface on either side of your cooker, so that cooking is easy and streamlined. A final thing to check is that you have a suitable power source. You need at least a 32amp outlet for this whopper of an appliance.
If you do plump for a lot of burners, then remember to allow space for a big hood to match. Your hood should ideally be a little larger than your hob. You can choose a chimney hood, which tends to be a little bit cheaper. Or you can have a mantle that bridges the gap above your range cooker. The underside of your mantle will be hollow, to allow for the addition of a mantle hood extractor. If you’re looking for a more integrated look with your units, then you can choose to have a top box above your range cooker. Whichever you choose, it’s important to allow plenty of space above your range for it to be safe.
Remember to factor in the Hot Zone when planning. This is the space between your hob and hood and it needs to be 75cm tall for a gas hob (65cm for electric, ceramic or induction) and clear of any flammable materials. Each extractor hood will list how many cubic litres of air it can clean per hour – so it’s easy to find the right one for you. Also, if you can get a ducted extractor, you’ll know the air is fresh and not just recirculated. You don’t want to smell last night’s fish throughout the house – nor do you want your glasses steaming up when you’re stirring the soup.
Your range cooker will take centre stage between cabinetry or other appliances – obviously! But think about how you integrate it. You can use end panels on the units that butt up to the range, giving you a nice smooth finish as the plinth has something to sit against. Or you can set the range off a little more and use radius feature ends instead of end panels. These jut the range forward a little more and create more of a feature. Remember to add the width of these panels into your kitchen plan if you use them. End panels are around 18-20mm thick, depending on your range and radius feature ends are 50mm wide.
With a big range and a big hood, space may be at a premium. We know the cooker is the star of the show, but you need room for your pans and food to cook on it! Make sure you plan carefully to use every inch of the space you have. There are lots of clever storage options available that use narrow spaces with pull out trays or clever use of corners. You may not need cupboards – open shelves look great. Plus pans look really cool hung up on an industrial-style ceiling rack. Mugs can be hung by their handles on hooks under shelves. Use risers in cupboards to use every inch of your vertical space. Don’t forget to declutter too so you’re not storing things you don’t need.
There are lots of styles to choose from whether you’re going for a traditional rustic feel to your kitchen and range cooker or a more urban industrial feel. Traditional doesn’t have to mean twee. A farmhouse look is timeless and can work in both a country or a more modern setting. Think about your existing kitchen units. Are they traditional Shaker style or a sleeker contemporary look? You can get a hood to match your cooker if you like. Try a sleek, monochrome design or instantly Instagrammable pastel shade. Try to look at the space as a whole. You don’t have to have everything in exactly the same design if you don’t want to. Some things may contrast and look great.
A range is a big investment. But a small kitchen or budget needn’t stop you from dreaming big. You can still get the look and feel of a range with a more traditional cooker. Try the Rangemaster cooker, which has plenty of character but comes in at a very space-friendly 60cm width. Or the Belling farmhouse cooker which has that traditional range look that lots of people love, along with a double oven but the same petite 60cm dimensions.
Image credits: @frenchforpineapple, @spire.cottage, @holly_homestyle, @firstsenseinteriors, @northumberland_family_home, @the_arbery