Whether you are looking for a new home, or considering updating your kitchen, or simply thinking of ways to improve your current setup, read our suggestions below for design and planning ideas.
- Eliminate Wasted Steps – Having all your essential items in one place with ease of access is the key here. Think about how and where you use your items. Are your dishes and flatware located near the sink for ease of access when unloading the dishwasher? Are your mugs near the coffeemaker? Simple reorganizations go a long way in overall kitchen functionality and user experience.
- Design Wide Walkways – Typically, paths throughout a kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide. Roads within the cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide for a two-cook setup. If your current kitchen space has less than this because of islands or chairs, try to adjust your surroundings to gain a larger working space in essential areas.
- Direct Traffic – When considering layouts and appliance setup, think about how and where your traffic comes and goes. Try to keep the cooktop out of high traffic areas, so children do not catch handles and cause spills when running through. Position the refrigerator accessible to both the passerby and people working in cooking areas.
- Stay Clear of Corners – Planning for a cabinet or drawer’s clearance and swing will make them more functional and allow for more breathing room. Try to keep appliances away from corners, and make sure doors will not bang into each other if open at the same time.
- Optimizing Your Microwave Height – Typically, 15 inches above the countertop is the proper microwave height, although this varies depending on the chef or if you’re trying to be kid-friendly. If children are a factor, a below countertop layout may be safer and more appropriate.
- Determine the Island’s Function – In the case of kitchen islands, form follows function, and less is more. Ideally, just having one centerpiece (such as a vase or decorative bowl), is more than enough for décor. Keeping this space clear and open allows for an inviting atmosphere that your guests will feel comfortable in. On the contrary, when you have clutter on an island, it can make the entire kitchen seem cramped.
- Appropriate Landing Space – You should allow 14 inches of countertop on each side of a cooktop, microwave, and refrigerator. Having a landing space near the oven and other kitchen must-haves provides a temporary rest stop for items during prep.
- Double Up – A second microwave oven, a mini-refrigerator, or a refrigerator drawer placed at the edge of a kitchen work center helps to keep snackers out of the cook’s way. Add a countertop bar with stools for an after-school spot for the kids to snack and do homework.
- Arrange the Range – Placing a shelf beside or behind the cooktop range keeps cooking oils, utensils, and spices handy. Place S-hooks on the side of the range hood to hang regularly used items like pots and pans.
- Fill it Up – Installing a swing-out tap, also known as a pot-filler, can solve the issue of lugging pots around. Or, you can install an extra-long hose attachment on your main faucet to fill pots.
These are just a few ways to make your kitchen more functional and comfortable to spend your time in. If you’re considering remodeling your kitchen, keep these tips in mind; you’ll be glad you did. For more ideas about remodeling your kitchen, click here.