Explore Your Kitchen

Go with the Flow: Kitchen Layout Considerations

For many families, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. So if you’re thinking about renovating, remodeling, adding on or starting from scratch, there are a few things you should keep in mind.  Your kitchen should have an efficiency of use and ease of accessibility. (Not necessarily handicapped accessibility mind you, but accessibility for everyone.)

Because the kitchen is generally where food is prepared (unless you have some odd ritual, like "bedroom cooking") lets focus on three important areas regarding the utility of your cooking space: 1. the Range, 2. the Sink, and 3. the Refrigerator.  Between these three areas, you must consider the distance between them, as well as the flow of travel. In most homes, distance is not an issue and neither is flow. However, if you have a little extra space to consider some interesting and unique design options, you need to remember some basic guidelines to make your kitchen not only look great but, work efficiently.

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Lets consider some issues that may influence your design:

First off, know how you use your kitchen. The paths between the 3 areas listed above should be free flowing and obstruction free. You move in and out of these areas a lot when you cook, so creating a easy flowing pattern between them is ideal and efficient.

Second, consider your workspace. Often, people need ample counter space for food preperation. Depending on appliances and other items people put on their counter tops (such as decor, televisions, etc.) make sure there is still a good amount of workspace.  You do not want to constantly rearrange your kitchen every time you prepare a meal.

Third, consider the social aspects of your kitchen. If people (family and/or random wanderers off the street) tend to gather in your kitchen, its beneficial to have a defined work area, and a defined seating area. Breakfast Bars and Kitchen Islands can alleviate the clutter of people…You sit there, and I’ll cook here…see, simple. But keeping the room a social gathering place is great if the room is open and defined.

Fourth, pay attention to natural light and ventilation. Cooking often results in smells and sometimes smoke (what? you’ve never burnt a pizza in the oven) permeating the house. Having good ventilation, both mechanical and natural is important.  For the purposes of natural light, consider a southeast facing kitchen.  If you have the ability to direct the windows in your kitchen towards the southeast, you can wash your kitchen with sunlight in the morning.  If you can’t change the orientation of your kitchen, you might be able to explore skylights for natural lighting.  A sun drenched kitchen in the morning just feels good.  Sit down, have your coffee…read the paper.  Its nice!

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