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Kitchens for Serious Cooks and Entertainers

posted Feb 8, 2018, 12:30 PM by Kathy Marr   [ updated Feb 8, 2018, 12:48 PM ]
The kitchen is the heart and soul of the home...it is the gathering place, the comforting place, the nurturing place. 

Whether you are a foodie family, a gourmet chef or the hostess with the "mostest", all traffic patterns in your house will lead to your kitchen. The kitchen is generally the heart and soul of the home…it is the gathering place, the comforting place, the nurturing place. And today cooking is an interacting activity and a great way for people to spend quality time together. It’s more popular today than ever before. Hello! Food Network, Cooking Channel!

Creating the perfect kitchen space can be a bit tricky as there are a number of potential “pain” points to consider. And regardless of your personal design style, you need to create a space that will work for you on an every day basis as well as during special events and at the holidays.  Often in older homes you will find the kitchen closed off or away from the rest of the house, which isolates the cook (and dishwasher!) from the rest of the family leaving them feeling disconnected. This sense of isolation is often the single biggest “pain” point faced when beginning many kitchen remodels.


Lets take a moment and look at a few of the key items cooks and entertainers will be considering when preparing for the perfect kitchen remodel.


TRAFFIC FLOW

Cooks need to be able to move about the kitchen without bumping into another family member or a guest. A single cook needs to be able move from the refrigerator to sink for prepping and then to the range with fluidity and a feeling of connectedness.

Also, cooking and cleaning areas need to be incorporated in the same space because those two areas are used the most. You need to be able to easily take a hot pan from the stove to the sink to drain it without risking someone else passing through your workspace.

The tried and true work triangle still holds true. Logical distances between stove, refrigerator, and sink and adequate counters will make the traffic flow seamless.



 

COUNTER SPACE

Can you ever have too much? As far as most serious chefs and entertainers are concerned, the answer is, NO! the more the better! By ensuring there is enough counter space between each appliance, you automatically increase the flow of traffic. See the point above! Adding a second sink, say on the island, will also help when there is a second cook in the kitchen.

Today it is very common to see multi-generational families gathered in the kitchen preparing meals. As Baby-boomers live longer and stay in their homes longer, three generations cooking together is common, so extra counter space makes great extra prepping space and allows for additional seating. Speaking of additional seating, raised snack counters on islands are an ideal solution if you are opening the kitchen to the living room or a family room. It incorporates the kitchen to the other room while keeping some of the typical kitchen clutter out of sight.  Quick recommendation: if you use a snack counter, make sure it is deep enough to allow for a full place setting as you will find it much more pleasing as additional seating at mealtime or during dinner parties.

LIGHTING AND OUTLETS

A good kitchen requires good lighting! A well-lit kitchen and proper outlets will keep things safe and efficient. To determine the number of outlets needed, take into consideration how many electrical appliances are used regularly and if they are left of the counter between uses or put away in a cabinet between uses.

Not having enough outlets – or in the right locations – is one of those “pain” points we discussed earlier.  You want your kitchen, actually your whole house, set up in such a way so you can walk through it, work in it, and generally live in it without any discomfort or little annoyances.

STORAGE AND ORGANIZATION

Nearly every kitchen could use more storage and space for organization, especially homes with open living concepts. If you can add a pantry or additional cabinets you can score an easy win with most chefs. With the current trend to open shelving, homeowners need to take a real honest self-evaluation on how neat and organized they really are and ask themselves if open shelves really a good option for them. They look great on Pinterest but in reality most of us would not measure up!

APPLIANCES

When it comes to appliances, the sky’s the limit! From double ovens and stoves, warming drawers, built-in refrigerators, dishwashers, and more, the key to appliances is ensuring each one has enough surrounding space to prep and display food once it’s finished and its location makes sense in the overall kitchen design and traffic flow.

Even smaller kitchens can be improved with the above points taken into consideration – they aren’t just for large gourmet kitchens. It’s all about good layout and efficiency of space – and thinking beforehand!

 

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