The kitchen is the most active room in the house. It ought to be, because it is not only a work space, but also a place for gathering together in the evening or getting fuelled up for the day ahead. No matter what other features you put in your home design, don’t skimp when it comes to designing and planning your kitchen. Here are several tips to consider when you’re designing your new kitchen.
When designing your kitchen layout, here are several thoughts to keep in mind:
- Think about work flow. The optimum design is to have your sink, prep counter, cook top and refrigerator in the shape a “U.” By designing the layout in that manner, whoever is preparing a meal is taking fewer steps and using the least amount of movement possible.
- Think about preparation and counter space. It’s better not to have to move regularly used appliances in order to prep your meals. Plan for sufficient counter space so that you’re not moving your appliances around.
- Design your cabinetry where cooking utensils are also in easy reach while you’re working. You’ll thank yourself later.
Plan for High Quality Materials and Hardware
Don’t skimp on the quality of the materials that you use in the kitchen. Because the kitchen is a work space, it is going to see more wear than any other area of the house. Use high quality materials for:
- Cabinets. Go hardwood on the parts that are used the most. Not only are they more attractive, they last longer.
- Countertops. Marble or cultured marble is best, especially near sinks and cook tops. If you go laminate, make sure the job is very well done.
- Back splashes. Backsplashes usually match the countertop material, but you might consider covering the entire wall behind your sink and cook top with ceramic tile just to help with maintenance.
- Hardware. Use quality hardware for hinges, drawer glides and cabinet pulls. These working parts need to function smoothly and do so for a long time. Choose the best you can get.
- Flooring. High quality easily maintained flooring is a must as well. Properly installed 12” to 24” ceramic tile is probably your best bet.
Plan for High Quality Appliances and Plumbing Fixtures
Again, this is a work space that is going to be used several times a day. Your refrigerator, dishwasher, cook top, oven or range needs to be durable and require as little maintenance as possible. You might have gotten along okay with the appliances at your old house, but with your new house, you get to start all over again. Start out with the best and most energy efficient appliances you can get.
Make certain that your sink is of high quality material that is easy to maintain and make certain that it drains properly and it is easy to get to if it becomes clogged. More importantly, have the best fixture you can find installed. You will turn the water in your sink on and off dozens of times every day, so do yourself a favor and place a high quality, durable fixture there.
Lighting and Power
Just as lighting and power are important in other work spaces, make sure that you provide your kitchen work space with plenty of it as well. Here are a few things to consider with this element of your kitchen:
- Natural light in a kitchen is ideal for morning and day time. Provide as much of it as you can.
- Counter lighting is an important part of food preparation. Place either recessed fixtures directly above your counters or opt for under cabinet lighting in order to help avoid casting your shadow over your work.
- We are a world that is dependent upon electrical appliances. Consequently, where electrical outlets are concerned, put as many above counter outlets as you can along the splash behind your counter and provide plenty of spaces to plug in along your island or bar as well.
When it comes to electrical and plumbing codes for your local area, make certain that you consult a professional and follow his advice with your kitchen design. Additionally, if you aren’t sure which appliances, hardware and materials are the best, don’t be afraid to ask. In the long run, it will save you money.
Because the kitchen is a very active working space, planning and designing a kitchen requires special consideration. Make sure that you provide yourself not only with sufficient space in which to work, but that the layout saves you steps. Additionally, plan to use materials, appliance, fixtures and hardware that require the least amount of maintenance possible.