Kitchen Remodeling The Right Way
A beautiful kitchen is more than just a new sink, stunning back splash and gorgeous cabinets. If you want to upgrade your kitchen, integrate a few of these tips when planning your kitchen remodel for a space that is functional and easy to work and live in.
"A kitchen remodel can be a big undertaking, but has big rewards. A well-designed kitchen increases happiness and efficiency, and can make some of the laborious tasks of creating meals enjoyable again. Create a kitchen that works for the way you work, but keep in mind features that are important for resale."Eric Rafalik, Owner/Partner
Find A Focal Point
Create a focal point in your kitchen design, and complement that area with a few other quieter, eye-pleasing details. Splashy tile, interesting flooring, a large pot-rack, sizable range hoods, bright kitchen cabinets, and busy countertop patterns give the eye too much to look at. Keep the general look clean and simple.
Eliminate Wasted Steps
Efficiency creates happiness. Think about how and where you use kitchen items. Store breakfast foods and bowls near the breakfast table. Keep plastic wrap and containers in one handy spot near a work surface where you’ll be wrapping up leftovers. Locate dish ware and flatware near the dishwasher to ease the process of unloading.
Create Wide Walkways
Walking paths throughout a kitchen really need to be at least 36 inches wide. Paths within the “cooking zone” should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide for a two-cook configuration. When planning, adjust kitchen islands and peninsulas accordingly.
For kid-friendly kitchen designs, keep the cook top out of traffic areas so children don't catch handles and cause spills when running through. Also, make the refrigerator accessible to both passersby and people working in cooking and cleanup areas.
Determine the Right Height for the Microwave
The best height and location for a microwave oven depends on the chef and the degree of kid-friendliness desired in the kitchen. For adults, 15 inches above the countertop level is a good microwave height. For kids, a below-countertop setup might be safer and more suitable.
What To Do With Corners
To make cabinet and appliance doors fully functional, plan space for the door's clearance and swing direction in your kitchen design. Keep appliances away from corners, and make sure doors won't bang into each other if doors need to be opened at the same time.
Determine Your Island's Function
When designing kitchen islands, form follows function. If you want to cook and eat on kitchen islands, plan enough space so the cook top is safely separated from the dining area.
Create "Landing Space"
When designing your kitchen, it is best to allow 15 inches of countertop on each side of a cook top and refrigerator. Landing space is also important near the microwave.
Consider The Countertops
Those who cook frequently require more counter space, ideally between the range and sink, than those who cook infrequently or who prepare simple meals. Incorporating two countertop heights makes baking easy and helps kids who are involved in meal preparation.
A second microwave oven and a mini refrigerator or refrigerator drawer positioned at the edge of the work center can keep guests and family members in the kitchen but out of the cook's way. A bar with stools doubles as an after-school spot for kids to snack and do homework while you’re cooking dinner and as a gathering spot for dinner/party guests.
It’s great to create a shelf beside or behind the range to keep cooking oils, utensils and spices handy. Placing a pot rack or even a bar with “S” hooks on the side of the range hood to hang frequently used pots and pans works well too.
Tired of lugging water-filled pots from the sink to the cook top? A swing-out tap -- also called a pot filler -- installed near the cook top fills pots near where you heat them. Or you can install an extra-long hose attachment on your main faucet to fill pots on the cooktop.
Keep It Within Reach
Put kids' favorite dishes and snack foods on shelves, in baskets, or in drawers they can reach.
Reduce Cleaning Time
Careful design decisions make cleaning easy. Glass refrigerator shelves catch spills that wire shelves let through. Flush-set, farm or under-mount sinks don't have a crumb-catching rim to worry about. Also, matte finishes don't show dirt as much as glossy ones do.
Break Up Cabinetry Blocks
Avoid boring, heavy blocks of doors and drawers by adding interesting details such as glass doors and display shelving. Varying the height or running the cabinets to the ceiling can add interest. Or add wine storage or lighting to cabinets with windows.
Brighten Up Small Spaces
Dark color schemes shrink an already small space and often make it less inviting. Use soft shades on kitchen cabinets and natural light to visually expand a small room.