Kitchen DesignYour kitchen is a more then just a place to prepare meals. It has become a social environment so design has to encompass the different uses for our kitchens while preserving the #1 use meal prep.

#1  Geometry

There are three places in a kitchen that need to be arranged in a triangle for efficiency they are the stove, refrigerator and sink.  You don’t want to have to take many steps to get from one to the other so design should not obstruct this golden triangle in anyway.

For top efficiency the distance between any two places should be more then 3 feet but not more then 8.  If you add the distance between all 3 places (stove to refrigerator, refrigerator to sink and sink to stove) it should be between 10 to 25 feet. Too small and 2 people will be tripping over each other, too far and you’ll be walking a marathon.

#2  Countertop Space

We all tend to do it, buy several counter top appliances that we use a lot so we don’t want to be putting them away in a all time so, we leave them on the countertop.  When it comes time for food preparation we find we are tight on space.  Design to maximize your horizontal space. Consider kitchen islands and multi-tiered breakfast bars to add additional space.

#3 Storage Space

You can never have too much storage in your kitchen.  Would it be nice to have a walk in pantry that’s convenient to the kitchen that has a second freezer or enough shelves not only for your staple foods but all the different counter top appliances?

If you have a soffit above your upper cabinets, demolish is and get taller upper cabinets.  Check out this link  to get full utility out of a blind corner cabinet.

You can cut open a wall and add shelves between the wall studs. You can add kitchen cabinet doors to these to match your cabinets.  These can be made to order to match your kitchen style.  Here is a handy link to one supplier Custom Cabinet Doors

#4 You Need To See

Your Kitchen is a work area, a social area, and a design statement in your home.  The lighting of your kitchen needs to meet all three needs.  There should be general lighting, task lighting and accent lighting in your kitchen.

With Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights becoming more main stream, as reasonable prices, adding lighting to tight places like under cabinets for task lighting under toe kicks or above upper cabinets for ambiance is a snap. The use of pendant lighting is a great way to add lighting with a design flare.

#5  Backsplash

You can’t watch a DIY TV show about kitchens without seeing tile on the back splash, but design can make it even better. Try not to end your kitchen cabinets on a long flat wall.  You can add design features like an arched wall to separate the space while keeping an open concept. By doing this your tile back splash ends at a wall not just a vertical line below the last cabinet.

The back splash behind your stove or cook top will get dirty and greasy and will need to be steam cleaned from time to time. Tile makes it easier to clean then paint or wall paper, and metal makes it easier then tile, especially the grout lines. You can get sheets of stamped stainless steel that will have an industrial feel but don’t forget copper

#6  Ventilation

Most kitchen ventilation sold at the big box stores is the absolute minimum you need to keep lasts nights fish dinner from lingering the next day. Many systems re-circulate stale dirty air, while a good system will improve your indoor air quality while keeping your kitchen cleaner.

Consider a commercial system as many keep the fan out of the kitchen keeping the noise level down.  There are single blower, and double blower systems with the blower mounted in-line in the attic space or external on the roof or exterior wall.  These systems can range from 400 to 1000 cubic feet per minute, where a moderately priced range hood from a big box store has between 190-250 cfm and the low end does not publish a cfm at all.

#7  Kitchen Islands

To be useful a Kitchen Island’s top should be at least four feet long and two feet deep, and it can not impair the golden triangle (see #1 above).  Additionally if your kitchen is smaller then 8 feet wide and 12 feet long you really don’t have the space for an island.