Essential Kitchen Design Tips For The Wanna-Be Chef!

I stood in my client’s kitchen staring at her incredibly small kitchen area.  She had called me in requesting a change to her layout. She hoped to start entertaining friends and showing off her “fabulous” culinary skills.  Considering the limited space, I felt there was no room for error, and didn’t want to shoot from the hip.  So, I began researching the kitchen rules, and here’s some of things I learned throughout my “kitchen remodel” journey:

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  • The “Work Triangle” will help your kitchen work flow.  The work triangle is an imaginary triangle in the kitchen between your work areas. The Work triangle states that there shouldn’t be any less than 4 feet between the work spaces, and no more than 9 feet.   The concept of this was developed in the early 20th century and is still used to this day. It doesn’t work in all kitchens (like ones with a single wall) but it does in most. Ideally, there should not be much traffic flow through the work triangle area.

If you fail to consider the work triangle in your design, you better work on your throwing and catching skills like in the following video:-)

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  • Don’t put big objects such as tall pantries, full length cabinets or fridges in the center of the space. Big objects such as those I just listed work best and look best at the ends of the workspaces meaning if you break the counter space it’ll be an awkward feeling when you’ll have to move around a big bulky object.
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  • When lifting a microwave up above the counter space, put it 3” below primary user’s shoulder. It’ll be out of the way but accessible to the primary user. This doesn’t apply to the microwaves built into the islands.  Of course, you’ll want to consider the visual element of how it looks against the cabinets.
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  • Have your countertops “clipped” or “rounded”. If you’ve ever ran into the corner of a sharp table you’ll understand why I added this part. Running into a sharp corner can be hip piercing, that’s why you should always choose to have them rounded or clipped.  This becomes an especially important safety consideration if you have young children running around the house.  Remember that even if you don’t have young kids, the future buyer of your home may have to take this into consideration, and you never know when you get guests with children.
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  • Lighting, lighting, lighting. Make sure you have plenty of lighting! Lighting is an essential element of kitchen design, and home decor in general.  Lighting under shelving, over islands and even in cabinets (with glass doors) will add a nice touch.  Stylish light fixtures and lamps not only create the right ambiance in your home, but also helps you modify styles like transitioning from traditional to modern, or vice-versa.   Besides, you want to be able to see your food that you’re creating right?
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  • Make sure you have enough space to open things.  By this, I’m not referring to that can of ravioli, I mean make sure that when you open the cabinets, dishwasher, oven, or fridge, make sure you won’t be hitting anything like entry doors or the island.  Even better, if space permits, ensure there is adequate room for a person to walk through the kitchen when an appliance door is open.

These are just a few key guidelines to follow when starting to design your dream kitchen, it’ll help you so much and your family will thank you for years.  Just remember these tips and you’ll be on your way to preparing top culinary masterpieces in your newly designed kitchen!

Do you have any additional ideas on kitchen design?  Please share them with our community by posting a comment below!


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