Essential Steps when Planning Your Kitchen

November 02, 2016

Essential Steps when Planning Your Kitchen

Planning a new kitchen is very exciting. You get the opportunity to build something new that matches your lifestyle, desires and family habits.

It is generally easier to plan for a smaller kitchen then a larger kitchen but no matter what the size the process is generally the same.

The starting point is to think about all the jobs or activities that you perform in the kitchen and then to lay them out accordingly.

There are tasks that we all perform in the kitchen such as cooking,  washing, food preparation, storage for food and pots and pans, cleaning etc.

Then there are activities that you may do that are special to you, such as cooking with kids, making pasta, cooking pizza, making sauce.

Step 1:  List your main tasks

Here are the general tasks that occur in any kitchen:

Cooking/Oven Use:  Ensure you have flat, bare counter space adjacent to the stove/oven for placing hot food.  Ideally, you’ll have sufficient space for placing your dishes on plates or in serving dishes without having to truck hot pans and pots any distance.

Ensure you have flat, bare counter space adjacent to the stove/oven for placing hot food.  Ideally, you’ll have sufficient space for placing your dishes on plates or in serving dishes without having to truck hot pans and pots any distance.

Ideally, you’ll have sufficient space for placing your dishes on plates or in serving dishes.without having to truck hot pans and pots any distance.

You do not want to have to carry hot pans and pots any distance, as this may lead to spillage or a serious accident.

 

Washing:  This is simple.  Place the main sink close to the dishwasher.  Ensure there is ample counter space next to the sink.  You also want disposal near the sink (which is a long-standing garbage/recycling placement).

Place the main sink close to the dishwasher.  Ensure there is ample counter space next to the sink.  You also want disposal near the sink (which is a long-standing garbage/recycling placement).

Ensure there is ample counter space next to the sink.  You also want disposal near the sink (which is a long-standing garbage/recycling placement).

You also want your rubbish disposal near the sink. 

 

Food Preparation:  If you chop and/or bake, you want counter space close to the refrigerator.  

If you chop, cut, slice bake, you want counter space close to the refrigerator.  

Ideally the preparation area will be close to a sink for rinsing and washing food.  One thing to include in the prep zone is a space for a computer (laptop, tablet or something similar) so you can follow recipes.  

Given the increase in mobile devices and laptops, you may want to think about including in the preparation area a space for a computer (laptop, tablet or something similar) so you can follow recipes.  

Your preparation area should allow for displaying all your ingredients. If you ever watch a cooking show the top chefs always have their ingredients set up and ready before they start cooking.

This makes the cooking process a lot easier, gets you prepared and is a good habit to get into when you are cooking.

Storing:  

You should include sufficient storage so that the tools you require are only an arm’s length away.  

For example, if you have a baking zone, have nearby storage for your baking appliances and implements.  

The refrigerator/freezer is a storage unit.  Their use is enhanced with counter space adjacent to them when pulling out a lot of food or putting in a lot of food (i.e. grocery shopping day).

You may have unique storage requirements such as wine, recipe books, small kitchen appliances, etc.  

List out your storage requirements and apply to the applicable zone(s).

Additional tasks unique to your home and kitchen operations:

Guest/family zone:  

This is big if you like cooking with guests and/or your family around.  A simple solution is a counter or island bar.  You might even consider a sofa off to the side.

Specialty food preparation:  Do you routinely prepare types of foods that have a unique process?  If so, plan accordingly.

Kitchen appliances:  It doesn’t take too many small kitchen appliances to clutter up a kitchen.  

Be realistic about which ones you want on the counter (only those you use regularly) and those you can store.  

If you use an appliance regularly, plan a zone around it.  For example, if you’re into juicing, creating a small juicing zone near the refrigerator with a sink nearby.

Computers:  It’s handy having a computer or iPad in your kitchen for online recipes.  

If you’re designing a kitchen, seriously consider creating a space for your computer.

Generally, the food preparation zone is best.

Step 2:  List everything you need for each task and plan the task zone accordingly.

This refers to appliances, implements and anything else you might need for each zone.

 Don’t forget counter space, storage, floor space and complementary zone access.

Planning your kitchen may require some specialized advice, but planning out your kitchen zones requires careful thought and planning.  

Be thorough because proper zone planning can radically enhance your kitchen for you.

Additional kitchen layout suggestions:

Islands: If you have the luxury to do so, create kitchen islands.  This is a terrific convenience when two or more people are in the kitchen.  

Bench space is a premium:  You can never have too much bench space.  One universal requirement with pretty much every kitchen task.  This is a huge benefit to large kitchen spaces.  While storage is great, more bench space is often better.

One universal requirement with pretty much every kitchen task.  This is a huge benefit to large kitchen spaces.  While storage is great, more counter space is often better.

This is a huge benefit to large kitchen spaces.  While storage is great, more counter space is often better.

While storage is great, more counter space is often better. With storage, if you have too much you will collect a number of tools and appliances that you may only use once and it will not see the light of day again.

With bench space, you will always find a use for it.

Your kitchen’s users’ height:  Are you or anyone in your family tall?  

If so, pay attention to overhead cabinet placement, island height, counter height and lighting.

Doors and openings:  With every door, cabinets, kitchen, refrigerators take into account the arc of the door and how it swings in your kitchen. 




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