Design Tips for a Functional KitchenBlogAdmin2Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018
From the household hub to an entertaining oasis, every kitchen functions differently. To get the most efficient design for your space, start by defining how you want to use your new kitchen and set goals for your planned layout. Thinking big-picture now will not only help you avoid costly design mistakes later, but it will also give you a space that’s both functional and beautiful.
Think Open Concept
An open-concept kitchen design is both efficient and eye-appealing – it’s also one of the most popular layout choices for Home Reno Direct clients, says founder and CEO Remon Hanoun. Kitchens without walls and fixed restrictions lend more space for cabinetry and also allow an island feature to be integrated into the design, making the space that much more functional. When designing for clients, Remon first considers the space and, depending on the square footage of the kitchen, incorporates the largest island possible. Although there’s no magic formula when designing the perfect kitchen, Remon suggests planning at least 40 inches around the island to keep the space functional and allow enough room for foot traffic.
Get Creative with Cabinetry
From vertical drawers that use up awkward gaps to garage-door style cabinets that conceal small appliances, today’s smart cabinetry designs allow every kitchen to feel organized and uncluttered. Installing top cabinetry up to the ceiling is one great way to maximize every square inch of above space, says Remon. In older homes, his team at Home Reno Direct removes bulkheads – a common feature used to house ductwork or piping – to gain extra space. The previously designated dead-space zone is fitted with cabinetry or shelving, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing and storage-solving design solution.
For a more streamlined and sophisticated look, Remon also recommends housing larger appliances within built-ins. They’re a hallmark for high-end kitchens and eliminate gaps or spaces that are sometimes unavoidable with free-standing units. Added bonus: since built-ins are backed right against the wall, you’ll gain a few more inches of precious kitchen floor space.
Integrating microwaves into the kitchen island also helps save countertop space. A microwave takes up a lot of space within the wall, so we usually install it within the lower cabinets of the island, says Remon. If you’re set on having your microwave installed into your main cabinetry, it’s important to check that you have enough depth within the wall, since the appliance is quite deep. Otherwise, the microwave may not be flush with your cabinets and look even more bulky in the space.
Strategize Appliance Placement
Plan your appliances within a work triangle for the best flow. This shape helps keep everything within an arm’s reach when you’re cooking and keeps a clear route for your prep, cook and cleanup zones. You basically want your cooktop, dishwasher and fridge to be within two to three steps maximum from one another – that’s when the design becomes most functional, says Remon. Less-frequently used appliances can be integrated away from the main work zone, so they’re not in the way. For example, if you’re planning on using your new gas cooktop frequently, but know you’ll only use your wall ovens when entertaining, place the cooktop within your work triangle and integrate the wall ovens into cabinetry away from your high-traffic zones.
Keeping your appliances in proportion with one another will also help with traffic flow. An oversized fridge may look overwhelming next to a smaller cooktop, especially if the fridge sticks out beyond your countertops.
For more information on functional design principles, contact our design centre.