Kitchen & Bathroom Design Standards

Design Standards

Design standards are a common topic of conversation when planning a kitchen or bathroom.
Typically, the standard measurements of cabinetry and fittings are determined in discussion between client & designer and in accordance with the Australian Standards. The height of bench tops, shower heads, cabinets and fittings are largely dependent on the individual and how they wish to utilise the space.
Below we have compiled a list of Retreat Design’s standard measurements for you to consider for your next kitchen or bathroom project:



The kitchen is very much the heart of the home. We cook, eat and socialise in this space and spend a lot of time here in our day to day lives, so it makes sense to have a well-designed and properly thought out kitchen.

The recommended standard bench top height is between 900mm – 960mm H. Our range of Italian cabinetry comes in two sizes: 820mmH and 750mmH. Overall working height is then customised by adjusting the height of the kick board and the thickness of the bench top. Your cabinets (Including kick board) will normally be 900mm from the floor and stone approximately 20mm thick, taking you to a comfortable working height of 920mmH.

In a standard kitchen, range hoods and overhead cabinets sit 650mm – 750mm above bench height.
Always check the manufacturer’s installation instructions as some range hoods will specify a height above the cook top (for example Miele have a minimum 750mm gap). If not, there are a few things you have to consider. How tall do I want my overhead cabinets? (Taking into account your personal height) and do I want an exposed, integrated or under mount range hood?

Circulation space is a huge consideration when planning a workable kitchen layout. Cabinet doors, drawers and appliance doors all encroach on the walkways and can reduce circulation space. Whether it is a U-shape, galley or island bench kitchen we ensure there is a minimum of 900mm – 1300mm walking space. The time-honoured ‘kitchen triangle’ principle is also used for designing ergonomic, functional kitchens. This takes into account the three working areas of the kitchen:
-The place where you clean and prepare (the sink)
-The place where you’re likely to store food (the fridge), and
-The place where you cook (the stove top).

Alternatively, ‘Dynamic Space’ is a different concept coined by Blum and is more prevalent in today’s kitchen planning. It is based on FIVE different work zones within the kitchen which allows for good ergonomics and work flow. Basically, every kitchen can be divided into five work zones – regardless of size or shape. For right-handed people, the consumables, non-consumables, cleaning, preparation and cooking zones are arranged clockwise. If you’re left-handed, it’s the other way around. For more information and layout examples based on this concept, please see link here.



The bathroom should be a place of sanctuary and ‘retreat’. Often one of the smallest rooms in the house, it is important to make this a well planned and efficient space.

Ideally, the shower footprint is a minimum size of 900mm x 900mmW for a comfortable space. Alternatively, 1200mm x 900mm is sufficient for a glass shower blade space (no door).

Again, this is agreed upon in consultation with the client however we usually set the shower head at between 2000mmH and 2300mmH. This also depends on the shower head fixture and is set as high as possible in the case of rain shower fittings to give a waterfall effect.

Towel rails are generally 1050-1100mmH, hooks at 1800mmH and toilet roll holders at 800-900mmH.

The standard height for wall mounted basin mixers and a shower mixer is 1050mmH.

Bathroom bench height is at a standard 875-900mmH. If you have a top mounted bowl, subtract the height of the basin to determine your vanity height. So this means if you have a 100mmH top mounted sink bowl, the bench height would be approx 775mmH.

This is dependent on the size and style of mirror, however we would normally set the top of the mirror at between 2100 – 2400mmH (taking into account the ceiling height and clients line of vision).


Retreat Design prides itself on the design consultation service we provide and we work hard to translate the clients’ wishes into our designs. The above mentioned standards are a guide only and we can advise you on how best to design your space to suit your individual needs.



Please see some of our project images below for layout variations:




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About the Design Blog

Welcome to the Design Blog. Here we're sharing the latest kitchen and bathroom products from our Italian manufacturers. We'll also bring you inspiring kitchen renovations and beautiful bathrooms. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.