The kitchen is the most used and appreciated room of most homes. It’s where family, friends, and guests gather, not just to cook and eat, but to socialize and bond.
A kitchen is a little bit of everything: a place to learn life lessons from burnt dinner and the location to perfect the art of listening during a spouses’ workday winddown. It’s the pass-through place for a glass of water, a long stare into the fridge, and the meeting spot on most mornings.
“Good food and a warm kitchen is what makes a house a home.” – Rachael Ray
If you want to ensure your new home kitchen lives up to its billing, remember these five key design considerations.
You can never have enough storage
Regardless of your plans for large kitchen cabinets and pantries, chances are they will be filled. An ignored luxury of building a new home is planning a place for everything, from food storage, cookware, little-used gadgets, all the way to that catch-all drawer every kitchen has.
Plan your storage to be both convenient and inconspicuous. You want it there when you need it but overlooked when you don’t.
Use storage to provide utility (storage of food, pots, pans, dishes, and such) and accent and define. A tall wall cabinet can add height. Islands can create shared space for kitchen guests without bar seating and also provide small appliance storage.
“Our kitchen had too much storage,” said no one ever.
A small space can feel large with proper planning
If your home plans don’t include a large kitchen space, you can take steps to make it feel bigger. The right of color (think light), open floor space, and cabinet selection all play a part in the illusion of a large kitchen.
Even reflective surfaces on appliances and countertops can give the impression of a much larger space.
Your kitchen may be small, but it doesn’t have to feel that way.
Lighting makes the space
Kitchen lighting is an important detail that deserves consideration. Different light fixtures, shapes, and locations can make a world of difference. Consider what lighting you’d like for casual kitchen time – say morning coffee or an evening glass of wine. That lighting may be different from when you are in the throes of dinner preparation and reading recipes or thermometers.
Think also about how natural light impacts your kitchen space. This is highly dependent on your home's orientation, with many people preferring eastern facing kitchens for morning light and warming and cooler light and temps in the evening.
Workspaces are essential
Every home cook, be they inexperienced newlyweds or Top Chef-watching fine food connoisseurs, knows that adequate and well laid out workspaces reduces stress and make kitchen time better. This is especially true if you have multiple cooks working together and multiplied if those cooks are young ones, like your kids or grandkids.
Counter space becomes premium real estate in a crowded kitchen with prime workspaces being repeatedly used. Equal consideration should be given to the location and type of sink – a kitchen location where we spend a lot of time but yet is often neglected in kitchen design.
Imagine your kitchen time. Think about how you cook and your plans for the future. Ensure you create plenty of workspace in your home kitchen.
Appliances location is key
Cooks of all levels of experience and sophistication know that appliance location is critical.
For example, your cooktop shouldn’t be too far away from a water source. You’d be surprised how many times a pot of water has to be walked across a kitchen when the sink and the stove are on opposite ends. Cleanup on aisle 1!
Another example of an appliance location: your oven should be adjacent to counter space. This reduces the time and effort of putting something in the oven or swapping dishes. Think about how you use your appliances and ensure they are placed in the optimal locations.
Plan your kitchen carefully
Putting extra thought and planning into your kitchen design will ensure you have many years of culinary cheer and memorable moments.
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We are a small Design-Centered Practice Studio that promotes cost effective Green Building technologies.
We provide a wide range of services, and no job is too big or too small for our experience. With over 15 years of commercial experience, we can design a wide variety of architectural styles that can fit most needs or tastes.