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February 16, 2014

Achieving the Perfect Kitchen Work Triangle

kitchen-work-triangleIn many families, the kitchen is the epicenter for social life and togetherness; the day may start with a cup of coffee and then continue to revolve around the kitchen with lunch making, after-school snacks, homework at the counter top, and finally slapping those thieving hands as they attempt to snag a taste of what’s for dinner before it’s ready. The kitchen, unlike many other rooms in your home, serves a distinct purpose for nurturing the body, but should also feed your heart and soul as well. The design of the kitchen can, effect not only the efficiency for food preparation, but also lead to headaches with crowded spaces and poor design.

A poorly designed kitchen can cause you to feel badly about your home, therefore you should conduct careful planning when considering ideas for a renovation. Beyond choosing counter-top material, there are many other factors that lead to the most impact for efficiency and make your kitchen space an everyday treat.

Kitchen Triangle Basics

Each family has different needs for their kitchen design, but each revolves around the same three areas; refrigerator, stove/oven/cooktop, and sink/dishwasher. First, if your kitchen is lacking the type of feature or amenity that you wish to have in your remodel then you need to consider how it will be added to the existing space and what is feasible for your overall budget. You also must understand the type of space that you are working with in order to best plan. “Do you need space-saving items?” “Are you a culinary master or a simple everyday cook?” are only a few questions to consider when discussing your renovation and determining how best to set up your kitchen for your personal needs and overall optimization.

Layouts to Consider for Best Kitchen Efficiency

HGTV discusses 6 different layouts to consider for increasing your work zone efficiency and planning your kitchen remodel to best suit the needs for your house and your lifestyle.

  1. The “One-Wall” is a space-saving option that puts all of the features onto one wall. This option can be modernized by adding in an island. Best for: lofts, apartments, and small kitchens needing more space.
  2. Galley Kitchen is also good for small spaces. This layout is characterized by the long and narrow “one-cook” kitchen style. Often these kitchens utilize each inch of space the best way possible and leave no space unturned. Best for: long, narrow spaces, great space-saving option.
  3. L-Shaped kitchen is best for high traffic kitchens that are in need for maximizing space and is very easy to incorporate into many existing designs because of popular layout. More design features can be added to this design easily because the appliances and cabinets are against each wall, leaving space for a potential dining space or another work area. Best for: small to medium sized kitchens with one primary cook.L-Shape Kitchen Layout
  4. Horseshoe is a three-wall layout where each wall has cabinets and appliances. This layout is best for floor plans and kitchen renovations that may have an existing L-shape design but are large enough to incorporate an island to provide another work station and accommodate more traffic (or cooks). Best for: larger kitchens with more than one primary cook.
  5. An Island is a feature that, when utilized correctly, can provide more work space, storage and a better flow for the optimization and efficiency in your remodel. It can transform the way you work within your kitchen and give you extra features, such as a countertop range or extra seating. However, without the necessary space that is needed for the island size and flow, the island can become a hindrance and obstruction to the efficient kitchen layout. Best for: L-shaped kitchens, galley kitchens or open floor plan with appropriate room to accommodate island dimension. 
  6. The Peninsula layout can give more counter space to an existing layout by adding an extra area that is attached to the counter top to make an “L-shape” design. This can transform a space that does not have the appropriate square footage to accommodate a true island, or it can add in much needed workspace counter top. Also consider the peninsula to be used with seating as a dining area as well. Best for: smaller kitchens with existing horseshoe or L-shaped layouts in need of extra storage or workspace. 

Choosing the Best Option

While each of these designs has benefits and downfalls, it is important to consider your individual needs, the existing space you are working with, as well as the overall design of your home. It is best to consider all of the options when planning your remodel and explore all of the options before jumping into a renovation. With a few simple steps and a careful plan to optimize your work space, a space that was once considered a work area, can quickly become the heart of your home!

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Kitchen Renovation