Renovating a Kitchen, Think like a designer!

CottrellandLagerTerraCottaDownload 011Renovating a Kitchen, Think like a designer!

Part 2- Layouts

Designing a layout is the single most important element of the kitchen process. Consider how your existing floor plan is being used or underused and never perpetuate an existing mistake.

Who’s cooking in the kitchen?

The kitchen is no longer only a one person domain. More and more partners love to cook together and homes have become multi-generational, you have to determine who will be helping out at any one time and allow the appropriate space.

Multi-Tasking Multi Use

When preparing dinner do you have to multi task; watch children, or help them with homework? When company drops by, do you prefer to have them in the same room yet not in your work space? People love an area with bar fridge and sink, which by day is a breakfast area, and by night the entertainment hub.

Is the Kitchen Work Triangle Valid today?

The work triangle should be considered as a guideline only. In the 1940’s when this concept was developed we had closed in small kitchens, little counter space and only one cook. We now have more than one sink in a kitchen, micro /convection cooking ovens, lots of different fridge styles from drawers to under counter appliances. No longer do we have only 3 main functions (stove, sink, and fridge). A better way to organize a kitchen layout today is to design the kitchen into workstations with all accessories for that function close at hand.

CottrellandLagerTerraCottaHelpful Hints when designing a layout.

  1. Four feet between counters is minimum, this allows for dishwasher or oven door to open while maintaining a walkway
  2. Keep the stove/cook top out of the major traffic pattern.
  3. If you like to cook while family and company is there, then locate the cooking space facing your company.
  4. Stagger the work areas so nobody is back to back or interfering with the other while they work.
  5. Workstations should have the necessary equipment close at hand
  6. Bar sinks can also be prep sinks which is great when two are working in the kitchen
  7. The clean- up sink should be away from the entertaining area- nobody likes to look a dirty pots
  8. All spices should be below counter height, not above as heat and moisture ruins your spices.
  9. Kitchen sinks don’t always have to be under the window.

Safety Hints:

  1. In small kitchens maintain a minimum of 18 inches of counter beside one side of the stove for pot handles, the other side should be as generous as space will allow.
  2. Keep stoves away from doorways where kids may run by.
  3. Only put cook top on the island, when you have ample counter space behind it, so people sitting at the counter don’t get steam in their face and the morning newspaper isn’t near a flame.

Nest Issue: Cabinet Quality 101

Think outside the box…… Think like a designer!