Avoid these all too common mistakes when designing a kitchen layout
Kitchen layout and design have always been part art, part science. While there are plenty of aesthetic choices to make when designing a kitchen, the actual functionality comes down to some hard and fast rules. Every professional designer and design build contractor have at some point had to deal with poor design. Whether it’s due to the home owner’s unwillingness to compromise, or simply an oversight on their part, they’ve pretty much all “been there, done that.”
Think about it for a minute. The kitchen is the one room in the house that truly has multiple functions. We cook, eat, clean, drink and socialize in the kitchen. It’s where we share meals with our families, and where the kids sit after school to do their homework. That’s why it’s the heart of your home and the one room that needs to be beautiful as well as functional.
Regardless of your design style, proper kitchen layout and organization are essential. Avoid these common mistakes to achieve a functional, elegant, and practical kitchen design!
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Obstructing “The Triangle” in Your Kitchen Layout
When designers refer to the kitchen triangle, they are speaking of the relationship and placement of the sink, stove, and refrigerator. This is the area of greatest activity in the kitchen, and it requires careful planning and unobstructed access. The sink sees the most action, and you should have easy access to the refrigerator and stove as well as counter space for chopping and preparing food.
The placement of your sink is somewhat dependent upon your plumbing. If your sink is in an inconvenient location, it’s worth the expense to move it for functionality. No matter what size your kitchen or what shape (L-shape, galley, etc.To) the sum of all three sides of the triangle should not be less than 10 feet or more than 25. If it’s too small, it can be cramped for more than one person. Too large and food prep can be a tedious task.
Inefficient or Wasted Storage Space
Kitchens are usually chock full of stuff! Pots and pans, appliances, dishes, plates, silverware, dry goods and more. It all requires storage and some items like food processors or stand mixers can require a lot of space. Because built-ins can be expensive and overall space may be limited, one major design flaw is not planning for enough storage space. Every kitchen layout has some wasted space, but with a little planning, it can be minimized.
If your kitchen is smaller, consider using extra tall upper cabinets with molding. You can place lighting or plants along the molding to create a focal point. Always include cabinets above the refrigerator. Not including cabinets here is a waste of space. It’s the perfect place to store those large platters that only come when you’re entertaining.
Not Enough Counter Space
One major complaint among many homeowners is a lack of counter space. Considering everything that takes place in the kitchen from food prep, to eating, to homework, plus all of the appliances that live there like the coffee maker and toaster, you’ll need plenty of counter space. Whenever possible, consider a kitchen layout that incorporates an L-shaped counter, or if you have the room, an island.
Lighting is an essential element in every kitchen. It’s not only about design and ambiance, but you’ll be preparing food using sharp knives and other kitchen utensils. There are three types of lighting you should add when designing your kitchen layout, task, decorative and accent lighting.
Task lighting provides general lighting and should be bright enough to work by. Overhead lights on a dimmer can function as both task lighting and accent or ambient lighting. Accent lighting light pendants or mini pendants over the island or counters can add a pleasant ambiance. Pendants on dimmers can act as both task and decorative lighting. Under-cabinet lighting can not only add a wonderful design element to your kitchen, but it can also illuminate countertops providing additional lighting when working in the kitchen.
Skipping The Back Splash
A backsplash is often a place that homeowners choose to skip to save a little money. Sometimes it’s left out of the planning altogether. This might save you a few bucks in the short term, but in the long-run, it will cost you a lot of time.
The kitchen is full of steam, water, and grease. Putting a backsplash above the cooktop and counters can save you a lot of clean up time and keep your kitchen looking fresh. It’s a lot easier to clean grease off of a backsplash than it is to clean it off a painted or wallpapered surface.
Work With Professionals When Designing Your Kitchen Layout
The best way to avoid these common problems is to work with a professional design build firm. They can assist you with every aspect of your project from the initial design to creating the budget through construction. The designers at Joseph & Berry are on top of all of the latest trends and information available. We work with our clients to understand their lifestyle, needs, and creative vision and then create a plan to help them get there. If you’re planning a kitchen remodel or would like more information, give us a call. We’re always ready to help you achieve your dream!
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If live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and you’re planning a kitchen remodel, give the professionals at Joseph & Berry a call! We’re here to help you design a home that will meet your needs for years to come.