Kitchen is defined as, “a place equipped for cooking.” This may be a good technical definition, but that definition just doesn’t fully capture what most of us think of when we hear the word kitchen. A kitchen is much more than that, it is a place to gather, cook, eat, and to simply visit. It is said the kitchen is typically the most used room in any house.
If you are in the design process of your new home there is a good chance you will spend more time on the kitchen layout than that of the rest of the house. You have to be honest with yourself when you think about how you will use the space. If you cook and entertain for lots of people then you will need work space. If you don’t, then you can keep it cozy. The most important thing to think about in the design of the kitchen is how you will actually use the space.
There are lots of formal dining rooms that I know of that are currently not being occupied. I would dare to guess that more people eat in front of the television than in a formal dining room. For this reason people are seeking opening designs that allow people in the kitchen to be able to talk and visit with people in the living room. This helps to do away with the feeling of isolation while in the kitchen. You can have the space open but still divided. If you are cooking you don’t need lots of traffic and people moving through the kitchen. This can be done by adding an island or extending a peninsula to give a defined space for the kitchen and living room, but keeping it all open.
Something to keep in mind while designing your kitchen space is the work triangle. The “work triangle” is defined by the National Kitchen and Bath Association as an imaginary straight line drawn from the center of the sink, to the center of the cook top, to the center of the refrigerator and finally back to the sink. Each leg of the triangle should be between 4 and 9 feet with the total of all three legs between 12 and 26 feet. No obstructions (cabinets, islands, etc.) should intersect a leg of the work triangle. Household traffic should not flow through the work triangle. This will help give you a good usable work area in the kitchen.
Todd and Kim Hickey designed their kitchen with the utility room connected. This gave them the space to add a walk in pantry with lots of storage next to the kitchen. This helped to keep the kitchen area less cluttered and gave them more usable counter space by having a place to keep small appliances. They also added a bay window to the kitchen area to give them more natural light.
Think about how you will use your kitchen space and plan accordingly. With a little bit of creativity combined with practicality, you can make the kitchen a place to enjoy for years to come.
Article by: Dan Smith, Salesperson for Honest Abe Log Homes