In a previous post on the kitchen “Zones” or “Work Centers” concept we talked about the basic zones (cleanup, cooking, prep, and storage) and some less basic zones that you may or may not need in your kitchen. Here are a few more optional zones that might make sense for your kitchen. Even if you don’t need a complete zone for any of these activities, perhaps you can include features elsewhere in the kitchen which will make activities easier without needing extra space or equipment.
Most of us have guests in our kitchen at some point, whether we want to or not! Think ahead to how you will deal with them. First, do you want visitors in your kitchen at all? If not, how will you keep them out? If you do want them, where do you want them – helping out (where will they work?) or just keeping you company (where can you park them out of your way?).
For the last decade or more, a desk has been shoehorned in to almost every kitchen designed. Now they are less “in fashion”, so you have more of a choice. Got a home office elsewhere in the house? Then a full-scale kitchen desk may be overkill, but you probably still need space for a phone, notepad and pen. If you prefer to do household paperwork in the kitchen, then a desk area of some kind may be of real use to you. Computer? How will you keep the flying gunk and sticky fingers off it? Standing or sitting at the desk? Could the desk surface be used for something else as well, eg serving food or drinks at parties?
Crafts and hobbies often need water: some need the use of an oven. In that case, making hobby or craft space in the kitchen may make perfect sense. If the hobby or craft doesn’t mix well with food (like, say, potting up seedlings for the garden) then an isolated or easily cleaned area may make sense. A separate laundry or mud room may also be a better location than the kitchen.
If you’ve got small kids, then you often want them under your eye. Arranging the kitchen so they can safely play within reach without getting dangerously under your feet can mean anything from a dedicated base cabinet full of “grown up kitchen stuff” they can pull out and play with, to a gated play area, to a breakfast nook with toy storage. What will work for your family and kitchen? How long will it be needed for, and how can it be adapted as the kids grow?
Different countries and cultures have different views on whether it’s normal or even OK to have laundry facilities in the kitchen. It can be a very convenient and step-saving (and space-saving too!) setup depending on your laundry volume: if you do a dozen loads a week then it would probably clog up the kitchen far too much, but a couple of loads every 10 days or so might work just fine. Placing a set of stacking apartment size appliances at the far end of the kitchen behind doors that match the rest of the cabinets is one appealing option.