How to Plan a Kitchen (Tips for Maximum Use of Space)

Beautiful kitchens are not only achieved by how pleasing to the eye the whole room is, but by how well they work for users, and how functional they are whilst in use. And being that a kitchen still remains the heart of most family homes no matter what age, it's a room (or space) in a home that need special attention design-wise.

Having a successful kitchen that works effectively is fairly easy as long as its planner takes into account the fact that a kitchen activity flow must follow a triangular path. This is what kitchen designers refer to as the 'work triangle'.

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Work Triangle in a Kitchen Layout

The work triangle in a kitchen plan is the distance between the sink, refrigerator and the cooker.

  1. The path of a kitchen's work triangle begins at the food storage area (refrigerator). This path's distance can range between 42" (1m) to 60" (1.5m) to both the kitchen sink and the cooker.
  2. The next point of the triangular path is the food cleaning and processing area (sink). The area and the counter-surface around it is where foods are cleaned, cut, mixed, stuffed, etc..., and set in readiness for cooking. Of course,it sometimes depends on the type of dish being prepared for instance, salads require no cooking while beef stroganoff does.
  3. The last path of movement and point of the work triangle is the cooking area and this is the location where the oven, the stove, and microwave is installed. This is where the processed and mixed foods are cooked.

This triangular path works well for efficient activity flow and though kitchen designs should be (to some degree) adaptable to homeowners ways of life, certain things will still remain constant. Nonetheless, the best kitchen planning involves following a flow pattern (whilst working) that heightens efficiency and saves both time and expended physical energy.

Kitchens Showing The Work Triangle
Kitchens Showing The Work Triangle

Efficient Kitchen Work Triangle. Why It's Best to Have One

Kitchen Planning and Counter-Tops

The standard requirement for a kitchen counter-top's width is 60cm (24") but in some regions of the world, you'll find lesser countertop widths of 50cm (20") and 55cm (22"). The lengths of these work surfaces will always depend on a kitchen's size (area) and it's length and breadth.

Backs-plashes, a vertical addition to counters, are an essential part of kitchen cabinet surfaces though today's backsplash offers more that protection from splatters of food and splashes of liquid. Modern kitchen planners now use them in a wide number of ways to add beauty to their kitchen design ideas. You'll find them in materials ranging from colourful PVC based strips, to glass, stainless steel, ceramics, and wood.

Counter-tops that end in dead-end corners can serve as surfaces to place containers or food items that's going to be used or stored away.

Counter-tops and Backsplashes

Proper Planning Ensures Design Success

Asides all the technicalities involved in planning a great kitchen, this room, being the hub area for the whole family, should be as spacious as is possible; it must be warm and welcoming, have ample storage in terms of open and/or closed cabinets, a walk-in larder if space permits (or one built into the cabinetry), and a serving counter-top and/or a breakfast counter.

A waste disposal unit in the kitchen sink, central island cookers with down draft extraction fans , an intercom system, telephone and double ovens, built in warming trays and microwaves is good to consider during kitchen planning, adds to the ease of cooking and affords forms of entertainment.

Many homeowners plan that their kitchen is in close proximity to a utility room. Well positioned utility rooms could provide spaces for deep freezers, washing machines, dryers, folding tables, (for laundry), ironing boards, and sinks (or half baths).

This room which is best as an appendage to a kitchen should have counter-tops, cabinets and open shelves

A kitchen planned with an accessible garage should not only have space for just parked cars, there must also be extra space for storage and if possible, a tiny workshop.

For the newly liberated empty nesters, now that there is more space per square foot (metre) available for just the two people, its advisable to consider your kitchen planning to include wider doorways and easy-to-reach kitchen furniture. This will be a practical factor in the years to come because of easy access and movement around the kitchen either with a wheelchair, or just for the ease of maneuvering.

© 2011 viryabo

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