Before you get to the fun and creative task of selecting cabinets and countertops for your kitchen remodel, you’ll want to nail down some big picture decisions first. These will help insure your remodel addresses your unique needs and wishes for an ideal kitchen space. We’ve gathered tips from a few top remodeling blogs and compiled 5 key ideas here for you.
1. Consider your goals and uses for your kitchen
Spend some time making a list of the everyday tasks you perform in your kitchen, and the kinds of social gatherings for which you might use your kitchen space. Questions to consider include the frequency with which you cook, the types of meals you prepare and their level of complexity, the amount of prep space you typically need, how many cooks are frequently working at once in your kitchen, and an ideal, workable height for key items you’ll use.
2. Determine your space limitations
Certain things, like refrigerators, are limited to only a few locations in your kitchen. An element like a center island needs a fair amount of space around it. Think about how the layout will interact with the windows and doors in the room. Consider rules of thumb for counter space next to the sink, stove, and refrigerator. For example, it is recommended to leave 18 inches of open countertop on either side of your sink.
3. Direct traffic through your kitchen
Think about how to create a workable walkway or circulation flow through the kitchen. Designers often try to create dedicated cooking space that is protected from the walkway in and out of the kitchen. Sometimes a center island can provide such a marker, guiding traffic flow through the kitchen outside of the work area.
4. Decide on your sink location first
It is often said that we spend more time at our sink than we do at the oven––so it is a high priority location that you will want to put in front of a nice view and/or within close proximity to a gathering space. After determining the location of your sink, you’ll want to leave 18 inches or more of open counter space on each side.
5. Think about the work triangle, or designated work zones
A traditional rule of kitchen design is to focus on the proximity of three locations that make up the “work triangle”: the sink, the stove, and the refrigerator. A good guideline is to keep these within 4’ and 9’ of each other, without any major obstacles in between. That will make the cooking process more efficient and enjoyable and leave a good amount of room for moving about the work space.
There is a newer design theory that has evolved from the work triangle: work zones. This takes into account the great variety in kitchen design depending on individual needs, and the growing number of appliances. Work zones also acknowledge that there are many more than three tasks performed in a kitchen. To determine the zones that make sense for your kitchen, brainstorm all of the different tasks you conduct in the kitchen (prepping, cooking, serving, storing, cleaning, coffeemaking, eating). Then consider how you might group all materials, appliances, and workspace for those tasks in the designated zone.