When planning a functional kitchen layout, it's important to consider the major functions your kitchen should perform. These include meal preparation, cleaning, and storage. Let’s look at each of these in more detail:
As you design your kitchen layout, it's important that you address this function early on. You’ll want to consider how much countertop space you’ll need to prepare meals as well as the relationship between the counters and your stove, sink, and refrigerator.
The is a useful design principle to make sure you’re setting yourself up for optimal productivity. The rule of the kitchen work triangle is that the distances between your sink refrigerator and stove should be no less than four feet and no more than nine feet, so that you can quickly move between each area but still have enough space so that you don’t feel cramped.
Also, don’t forget to keep in mind the flow through the kitchen. You will want to create a natural flow in and out of the kitchen as well as around the various stations. Open floor layouts have become popular in recent years precisely because they make it easy to move through and around the kitchen area.
When it comes to planning your kitchen for meal preparation, one element that is often overlooked is lighting. Good lighting not only makes your prep tasks easier it also makes your space more visually appealing. When it comes to lighting, first you need overhead lighting and ideally big windows so the kitchen can get plenty of atmospheric natural light. You will also want under cabinet lighting or track lighting to get the full spectrum of light you might need for different tasks. Track lighting can be especially valuable because it can be positioned where you need it most without taking up too much space.
The next aspect of functional kitchen layout is taking stock of your cleaning needs. Kitchens get messy! It’s unavoidable in a room used for cooking and eating. So, you want to make sure it will be as easy as possible to keep your kitchen clean.
A large sink is useful to make sure you will have adequate room for all the cleaning you will need to do. While certain single bowl sinks have become popular – for example large farm sinks – many people find that a double-bowl sink is actually more practical because you can separate dirty dishes from clean dishes that are left to dry, or vegetables that need to be washed from those that already have been washed.
Lastly, when designing a functional kitchen layout, don’t forget to plan for adequate storage. Ideally, you want to maximize the space you have available for storage options so that you can easily create a designated spot for every item you want to keep in your kitchen.
When planning for storage, don’t forget to think “outside of the box” of traditional cabinets and get creative with your storage options. For example, you might want to add hooks to the wall that you can use to hang cast iron pans. Or a magnetic knife bar to store your knives within easy reach.
That said, the cabinets will be the most significant part of your storage plans Make sure you measure your kitchen dimensions accurately to determine how much cabinetry you can incorporate. Best of all cabinets not only add storage, they can also be a striking decorative element in your kitchen design.
Hopefully this short article has given you some basic tips and ideas for designing a functional kitchen layout. If you’re curious how you can maximize the layout for your particular kitchen, our design experts here at RTA Wood Cabinets will be happy to offer you a FREE customized kitchen layout based on your kitchen dimensions and uses. Learn more by giving us a call at: 1-800-788-7575.