The single most important room in the house is the kitchen. This is the place where the day begins, where bread is broken at meals, and where guests gather. Many new house designs are removing the traditional “dining room” area in favor of a large eat-in kitchen. In today’s post we will review the work triangle, island designs, and color schemes.
When laying out a new kitchen or considering a renovation to an existing one, the traffic pattern throughout the space and work triangle within it are the major factors to consider. I have seen large kitchens that were very awkward to maneuver through because the design was not well-thought-out. You must take into consideration where people will be passing through the space to another room, as well as any traffic coming through an exterior door. If at all possible, avoid having traffic go past the dishwasher, sink, and stove; it poses a safety hazard and cuts down on the effectiveness of the layout. Additionally, too many entrances and exits will clutter and ruin the work area. Keep traffic to the outside of the island whenever possible, and avoid breaks in the cabinetry or doorways inside the work triangle that can interrupt the flow.
The “work triange” is the spatial relationship between the sink, stove, and refrigerator. Ideally, this is a triangular shape so that when you’re at one “station,” you can easily access the other two. We generally try to design the sink on one wall and the stove on the adjacent wall at a right angle. The refrigerator can then be placed at the end of the cabinet run past the stove. If the kitchen is large enough for an island, consider adding stools for sitting with a 12-18″ overhang over the countertop. The large the island, the better, as this will become a catchall place for preparing/serving food, doing homework, sitting to talk, and as a general gathering area. A sink can also be worked in, as can a range top; however, I always try to avoid designs with a cooking surface placed near a seating area as there is too much risk of injury.
Islands are wonderfully flexible and can be designed with a countertop “table” at one end that is dropped down; as an alternate option, the shape can be angled to the most effective use of the space and act as “functional art.” Pendant lights above add a bit of charm and comfort to the space. Some clients want an all-white kitchen, while other prefer bold colors for the island or base cabinets and the upper cabinets. The eclectic kitchen look is thriving right now, and there is really no limit to the creativity you can express via your kitchen’s design. Not only do you have various color schemes to choose from, but you can also add flair with glass cabinets and/or colorful backsplashes. You don’t need to “go crazy” – but a strategically placed pop of color will give your space the “wow” factor when friends and family walk in. A dark-colored island with lighter main cabinets act as a nice anchor, and you can even change the countertop colors so that they’re different from the main counters.
Armed with these ideas, be sure to explore Houzz, Pinterest, and Google Images for ideas. If you’re so inclined, sketch ideas of what you’d like and dream of the possibilities for your next project! Above all, don’t be influenced by boring people. Do what you want, as you will be the one living in your space!