Organizing and deciding on the right amount of storage is important to consider when designing your new kitchen. Proper planning will make the main activities easier for cooking, cleaning and entertaining guests!
But how much space do you need exactly? This really depends on the size of the space you have, the type of home you have and how you choose to remodel. Carefully consider what type of appliances you have, how frequently you access them, and their size and shape. Are they easy to transport or do they require a permanent spot on the counter? Poorly designed flow of organization often becomes daily irritations and prevents you from enjoying your home.
When we talk about Kitchen Work Flow, there are 3 main zones that need to be considered for optimal kitchen function.
1. The Refrigerator Zone
This zone is key to receiving and storing food. Think about where you typically enter your kitchen with an arm load of groceries. You want to be able to put them down sooner rather than later, therefore, the optimal location is near the entrance of grocery arrival.
Having near by counter access is also important for putting those heavy bags down and then beginning to put the items away. Being near the fridge ensures that all cold and frozen items are put away promptly. Counters here are also important for beginning food preparations. When we remove items from the fridge, it is crucial to be able to put them down where or close to where you will be prepping your meal.
Having easy access to your staple items ensures that the job goes fast and easy for both putting away and taking out to use. Since your food staples are here it makes perfect sense to allot space for preparation utensils, mixing bowls, graters, measuring spoons, bake ware and small appliances like food processor, coffee maker and can openers. These are items you would use with your dry goods.
Appliance garages are a great idea beside or near the pantry and refrigerator units because it allows the commonly used appliances to be easily accessible without taking up all of your counter space and creating clutter.
If you are a cookbook user then this is also a great place to incorporate a small shelving area to hold those, since you will need the recipe to determine ingredients and tools.
2. The Sink Zone
This zone should be located between the refrigerator and range and oven zones for maximum efficiency. Sinks get the most use and traffic so ensure that your dishwasher is also centered near here. For the typical right handed user, consider placing your dishwasher to the right side of your sink, and if you are left handed, consider placing it to the left.
Your sink space should be planned to have the most uncluttered countertop space. This is because the sink is used for food preparation like washing and cutting as well as cleaning up after meals. Strategically place your trash cans and recycling bins so that this clean up process is easy and effortless.
The storage required here should incorporate your everyday dishes, cutlery and glasses as well as frequently used items like knives, cutting boards and measuring cups. You want space to cook, cut and measure and quick access to the sink and garbage to rinse and dispose.
3. The Range and Oven Zone
The hood range, cook top and ovens make up this zone. Cooking and heating food are the main activities here but don't forget about plating and serving. Planning this zone nearest to the dining area is convenient
The first thing we advise clients is to ensure that the ovens have ample counter space immediately beside to allow for hot items to be quickly and easily set down. After that look at which items are regularly used to cook and serve with, these will need to be closest to the range. Think spices, cooking utensils, pots and pans, as well as small appliances like toasters and grills.
Drawers are great in this area as it can pull it out to reach into the back instead of bending over and trying to haul out the largest pot. Spices can b easily and conveniently stored in a spice pullout which eliminates the amount of searching required for specific items. Upper cabinets are often left for plates and serving dishes, but personal preference will determine what works best for you.