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Kitchen Design, Renovating, Updating, and Remodeling

"Often times the homeowner overlooks the importance of the design or layout when updating, remodeling or renovating their kitchen."

Creating A Kitchen Design That Works

Website: Editor- The Home Improvement Web

When designing your kitchen and choosing the cabinetry and components there are certain aspects to consider.

Often times the homeowner overlooks the importance of the design or layout when updating, remodeling or renovating their kitchen.  The usual cause is they are used to living with the kitchen layout or design and often update the cabinetry and appliances confined within their current design or layout.

The current kitchen design is often the original layout, which was done at the time of the construction.  In older homes this was often done with very little thought given to the actual usability of the kitchen.  Updating the kitchen with a new layout can often provide a workable kitchen with greater appeal, more storage, and a pleasant cooking experience.

Often homeowners visit their nearest building mega-store with their current kitchen layout and measurements in hand only to have the "Kitchen Design Center" transfer this layout to their computer program and spit out an exact duplicate albeit neater and with full cabinetry specifications.  In most cases this is not the approach to use when renovating, updating, or remodeling your kitchen. 

This is the time to rethink your kitchen layout.  What is it missing?  What features do you like most when working within your current design?  What features do you dislike?  Try to imagine your kitchen space void of all cabinetry and appliances and design from there, which is the approach taken by most professional kitchen designers.  Try not to bog yourself down with the current appliance hook-up locations whether they be gas, electric, or plumbing.  In the grand scheme of things (and cost) these should be irrelevant.  Electric, plumbing, gas lines, exhaust vents, and HVAC ducting can be moved at very reasonable costs and should not hinder the design of your kitchen. Remember that stock sizes of kitchen cabinets start at 9-inches wide and are sized in 3-inch increments (12, 15, etcetera).

Tips When Designing Your Kitchen

Start with the very basic "desired" appliance and fixture location.

Sinks - can be located just about anywhere and are often located so the user is facing a window to the outside.  If an outside window does not exist the homeowner may want to install one or choose a sink location in which the user is facing a desirable open area of the kitchen or adjacent room. 
Prep sinks should be located similarly with counter space to each side.

Dishwashers - are usually located in the adjacent cabinet to the right or left of the sink base cabinet.  This allows for initial rinsing of large food particles and a convenient loading location afterwards. 

Ranges, Stoves, & Cooktops - should have counter space to both the right and left of the appliance. The counter space will provide a convenient load/off load area when cooking and baking.

Refrigerators - should have counter space to both the right and left or counter space directly across from the appliance.  The counter space will provide a convenient load/off load area when loading groceries or removing items.

Once you have the basic appliance locations into your layout/design you will want to start choosing the cabinetry to compliment the items to be stored in proximity to the appliances.

Sinks - should have draws for dishtowels, vegetable brushes, and other items used near the sink.

Dishwashers - The most often used cookware, glassware, dinnerware, and silverware should be located in adjacent cabinetry surrounding the dishwasher.  This allows for easy unloading of the appliance.

Ranges, Stoves, & Cooktops - adjacent cabinetry should include drawers and cabinetry to hold pots, pans, cooking utensils, hot pan holders, and spices used at cooking time.

Prep Area - for those having the space required for a separate prep area you will want to include adjacent cabinetry to hold the staples, ingredients, and food items along with the proper utensils and cutlery used for food preparation.  For those in a more restricted kitchen, the area between the cooking and sink area is a good place to designate as a prep area.

Lighting - Please see Kitchen Lighting

Given a little thought and imagination almost any kitchen can be transformed into a user friendly design making your cooking and baking a more pleasant and efficient experience.  Think about your kitchens potential before hastily turning over your measurements to the mega-store "Kitchen Design Center".

We will be writing follow-up articles in the near future on choosing a kitchen designer if needed, choosing and buying your kitchen cabinetry and appliances, finding the right kitchen contractor, and comparing kitchen renovation estimates.

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