Aside from aesthetics, considering your personal cooking and entertaining lifestyle is essential when it comes to planning your optimal kitchen layout. There are several different things you need to consider about the way you live and the way you’re planning to use your kitchen. These things will help the designers and builders who are working on your kitchen create the ideal one for your personal needs.
1. The way you want to use the kitchen
The kitchen can be a space that is used for both cooking and entertainment, or it can be a purely functional space. If you’re someone who considers the kitchen to be the heart of the home, and you’re planning to use it as an entertainment are of the home, there are several things that you may want to incorporate into the design. A kitchen island will most likely be a must for you, and you may want to incorporate a sink or stovetop as part of the actual island which will have an effect on the other work areas of the kitchen.
If you’re someone who would prefer a kitchen table over an island, you need to take into account the additional storage space and circulations paths that will need to be integrated into the kitchen. Many people choose to connect their kitchens with the living and dining areas. This can be done by using an open-concept kitchen plan. If the open-concept doesn’t appeal to you, you can still connect the rooms by having larger entryways, while still keeping in mind exactly how much of the kitchen will be visible from the other areas.
For people who prefer privacy while they cook, a kitchen than has a tighter work triangle is preferred. In fact, you may opt for a smaller kitchen altogether.
If you live alone, or with one other person, a dining room may be a too large and formal setting for everyday meals. Instead, you can create a smaller and cozier spot in the kitchen. If you like sitting down to pay bills and do other tasks not related to cooking in the kitchen, a banquette with comfortable seating can provide the perfect work area.
2. How many people will be using the kitchen at the same time
In order to create the optimal layout, you need to consider how many people are likely to be in the kitchen at the same time. For larger families, it’s common for several family members to prepare meals and clean up together. Consider a typical situation and determine how many workspaces there will need to be, and the best way to place them so that there’s no bumping into each other.
If your family tends to all have breakfast or dinner together in the kitchen, you need to figure out the best way for everyone to be seated without anyone being squished, and in a way that still allows movement around the seating area. It doesn’t matter if you’d prefer an island or a kitchen table; for both options you need to consider the size, shape and optimal placement that will cater to everyone.
Younger people, and especially bachelors may want to consider incorporating a bar setup into the kitchen, complete with a built-in ice maker, wine chiller or cocktail station.
3. Your cooking habits
The way you most commonly prepare food will have a tremendous influence on the overall kitchen design that suit you best.
If fresh foods are a staple in your diet, you already know that they need to be consumed much faster than packages foods. This means that you may want to consider adding more countertop surfaces and prep stations rather than storage spaces. Another option is having two full size sinks, one near the wall with enough counter space surrounding it for multiple chopping boards, and a second one on an island with enough work space.
On the other hand, if you tend to eat mainly frozen and prepackaged meals, and often have a lot of snacks around, you will need plenty of fridge, freezer and pantry storage. For larger families, a walk-in pantry could be the perfect way of handling your storage needs.
Avid bakers should think about the best ways to use the space that will suit their hobby. Some may choose to create an entire station designated for baking, including a baking pantry and an extendable stand-mixer shelf in addition to plenty of counter space.
4. What do you want to be visible on your countertops
Storage isn’t only for food and dinnerware. If you’re someone who hates countertop clutter, you will need to consider the best ways to store all of your countertop appliances and gadgets. With the help of your designer, map out where everything will be placed. This will help you gain a better idea of how much space will need to be devoted to storage.