The most common kitchen problem that we encounter would be lack of space. Smaller kitchens most certainly have it worse, and smaller kitchens are becoming the norm in many areas. The lack of space becomes even more of an issue around the holidays. If two or more people are preparing a festive meal, they are prone to bumping into each other, resulting in any number of undesirable outcomes. Big kitchens are not necessarily spared from this problem either, especially if there are a number of bulky appliances or if the space needs to accommodate a larger family. If you’re looking to address your space problem during your next remodel, check out these seven design tips for an easy-to-navigate kitchen:
- Improve the kitchen layout. It all starts with your layout. Think of how your kitchen can give you ample space to walk around. Be sure to take into account the number of people who usually move around in your kitchen, especially when there are events being hosted at your place. If two or more people usually prepare food, try to imagine that many people walking in your kitchen and assess how to prevent them from bumping into each other while they prep or cook.
- Work with your designer. Once you have thought of the ideal layout for your kitchen, ask your designer if it will actually work. Professionals will know how to best deal with this since they have dealt with space issues countless times throughout their careers. So, it is always good to consult them first. You might have overlooked certain angles that are of utmost importance when giving space to walk around and your designer should be able to see what you may have missed or forgotten to take into account.
- Keep appliances that need a lot of space open. There are certain appliances and parts of your kitchen that require a lot of open space whenever you operate them, such as your refrigerator. For refrigerators, you have to consider its door – how wide will the door swing when you open it? Make sure there is enough clear space to ensure comfortable access to your fridge. The same goes with your oven or dishwasher. Take note of the vertical and horizontal clearances of your appliances so they aren’t cramped in their area, and to make sure that when you use them, you will not be uncomfortable in the space. Also consider putting them in a kitchen cabinet for storage until needed.
- Give allowances for walkways. When preparing food, you probably end up walking the entire length of your kitchen a number of times to get to your tools and ingredients. Considering this, make sure your walkways are given ample consideration in your layout. If possible, make sure the walkways are wide enough to accommodate you and any other cooks that may simultaneously use the kitchen.
- Avoid blocking entry points. There should always be enough space for easy entrance and exit into and out of the kitchen. This is a safety issue, particularly if you have a large family with small kids or pets. During family dinners and get togethers, blocked doorways may cause unintended accidents. When planning your kitchen design, avoid placing your refrigerator or other appliances too close to main entry points.
- Put a sitting area in your kitchen. If you’re big into socializing, you may have frequent small chit chats with your friends in the kitchen. Or, if you’re a parent, you may have kids that like to linger around while you prepare food. To make your life much easier, make sure you have an area where your guest or family members can sit and stay in one place so that you are free to move in your kitchen. This can be in the form of a nook or an island with comfortable seating.
- Store appliances when not in use. This is important especially if your kitchen is small. Proper storage of small appliances and kitchen tools are essential so as not create unnecessary obstacles or cause unintended accidents. The key here is to make your kitchen as clear and open as possible to prevent accidents.
Though avoiding a clogged kitchen can be a difficult task, it is not an impossible problem to solve. There are various ways to keep your kitchen open and traffic-free, you just have to be very mindful about your space. Hopefully these seven tips will turn your meal prep and cooking into more comfortable and efficient tasks.