When remodeling your kitchen layout, there are key elements to consider to improve workflow. You will want to ensure ample prep space. Be sure to include counters on either side of the sink, either side of the range, and around the refrigerator as well. This provides space for doing dishes, preparing meals, and putting away groceries or simply raiding the refrigerator for snacks.
Walkways are also huge for improving flow. You will want to ensure you have enough space to work and maneuver through the kitchen. If you have a galley kitchen or an island, try to get 42 inches of space for walkways. If you have a multiple-cook kitchen, aim for four feet of space. Be sure not to place appliances directly across from each other to maintain flow.
If you have an L-shaped kitchen layout or any other style of kitchen with one-sided workspaces, try to keep three feet of room for your walkways. You will need to consider sensible exits as well. Traffic jams cause irritation and reduce the usability of a kitchen. Aim for two to three exits.
Let Function Be Your Guide
How you want your kitchen to function will determine the layout. Open floor plans are incredibly popular, but they do not function for all kitchens. If you do not cook often or you prize storage space over sight lines, then a closed kitchen layout may work better for you. Closed kitchens provide more walls to attach cabinets to as well.
However, if you cook frequently then an open layout with an island will work best for you. This will allow you to socialize as you prepare meals. This socialization factor can also influence where you place your range. If you wish to be a part of the conversation while cooking, then putting the range in the island itself is your best option. If you desire maximum meal prep space, then leave your island as a smooth surface.
Determine Your Work Zones
Lastly, when redesigning your kitchen layout, always keep the work triangle in mind. The traditional work triangle was the area between the sink, range, and refrigerator. However, modern layouts have modified the work triangle into multiple work zones. The National Kitchen and Bath Association provides basic guidelines to ensure a fully functional work zone.
- All sides of the triangle should not be more than 26 feet in total. Each individual side should measure between four and nine feet.
- Your island should not encroach on the work triangle by more than 12 inches.
- In one-sink kitchens, the sink should be directly across from the range, meal prep area, or refrigerator.
- Major walkways should not pass through the work triangle.
By keeping your work triangle tight and with minimal obstacles you can achieve maximum workflow. If your work triangle elements are too far apart, it will impede functionality. The same holds true for work triangles that are obstructed by kitchen islands.
Sensible and spacious walkways, kitchen functionality, and proper work zone layout are vital to maximizing workflow in your kitchen. Make sure to organize these elements during your kitchen remodel to ensure the best workflow possible.