For many homes, the kitchen is a focal point, a gathering place, and the heart of the home. It is a place that has to function with peak efficiency. For those that look at their house as an investment, functional kitchen plans are crucial when considering the re-sale of the home.
Whether it is new construction or a remodeling project, when considering kitchen layout ideas there are some key concepts that you should consider. Many people will start with details like cabinets or countertops, but you need to start looking at the key functions of the kitchen which are cooking and food preparation.
You want to consider a kitchen design these functions first and foremost. In most kitchens, the traffic pattern or workflow usually works in a triangle with the focus being on the cooking area, the preparation area (including the sink), and the refrigerator. You’ll want to design your kitchen to reduce distances between these keys areas without making your space seemed cramped.
Space will be your biggest consideration when pondering kitchen plans. If you have an expansive area, you will have more options, but even with small space, you have options along with challenges. With the small spaces, you have to examine kitchen plans that work well with small layouts and find ways to maximize the space you have to work with.
With kitchen planning, you’ll want to answer some basic questions like:
- How large a food preparation area do I need?
- What is the longest distance I want to move hot items from the stove to the table or the sink?
- Will I have enough space to store common cooking items like pots, pans, and cooking ingredients?
- How important is it to have eat-in space in the kitchen?
- How much counter space do I need?
- How many people might be in the kitchen at one time?
After looking at the key functions of your kitchen plans and answering a few primer questions about the new kitchen layout, then you can start looking at specifics such as electric, cabinets and countertops. With a remodeling project, you need to take into account how many out outlets you have and how much power you will need in your new space? With a new space, you will want to make sure that outlets are placed in convenient and easy to access places.
When factoring cabinets into your kitchen planning, you should pick a design that is both functional and consistent with your aesthetic sense and style. Functionally, cabinets should be placed at a height somewhere between 15″ and 48″ for access by people of different heights. To make the cabinets easy to open, you should limit the cabinet doors size to 18 inches and also consider touch latch cabinets. Having an ample assortment of drawers is also a good idea.
When it comes to the counter top, you will want to make sure that you not only get something that compliments that cabinets and fits your sense of style, but also get something that is easy to clean and maintain along with being easily repaired. Some of the most attractive surfaces are difficult to clean and maintain and can be very expensive to repair. Take the long view when it comes to countertops.
Successful kitchen plans start with balancing out many factors including space, function, practicality, and, of course, budget. Finding the right balance takes some planning, but a well planned kitchen helps the heart of the home function smoothly and also provides an attractive place for your family to gather and enjoy for years to come.