How To Design Your Kitchen For Optimal Storage & Efficiency

When it comes to designing a kitchen, there’s a lot more to consider than just the aesthetics. The setup of the kitchen must flow in a logical way to create the most ideal kitchen experience. If you’re a home cook, you can understand why this is important. An ill-designed kitchen can create a massive headache each time you attempt to cook a meal for your family. To prevent this, your appliances and storage spaces must be properly placed during the remodel to create the perfect flow. The simplest way to do this is to create three primary storage zones, centered around the three primary work areas: the refrigerator, the sink, and the range.

The Refrigerator Area

This is the first area that you’ll want to set up, as it’s the first area you’ll come across while you’re going through your kitchen routine. When you come home with a ton of groceries, you’ll want to get them where they need to be as quickly and simply as possible. You can do this by positioning your refrigerator close to the entrance of your kitchen. Ideally, you’ll also want to have about 15″ of countertop space directly next to the refrigerator to use as a landing space for groceries and other products.

The storage cabinets in and around the refrigerator area should be for products that you’ll need for food prep. Many homeowners choose to locate their pantry next to their refrigerator in order to store canned and packaged food products. This allows for easy access when gathering the things you’ll need to begin cooking.

This is also a great area for food prep items such as mixing bowls, utensils, and small appliances. If space permits, an appliance garage can store your small appliances out of view. In general, the refrigerator area is the one-stop area where you’ll gather everything you need to begin your cooking process, so all products that pertain to food prep are appropriate to place in this area.

The Sink Area

Next to your refrigerator area should be your sink area. This is the part of the kitchen that tends to see the most traffic, so it should be located in a central area, between your fridge and range areas. This is also the next logical progression from the refrigerator area, as this is where you’ll prep your food.

There should be ample countertop space here as a number of tasks will occur in this area. Not only will you need enough food prep space (an island really comes in handy), but you’ll also need space to clean up any items that you use during the food prep. Because of this, you’ll need to take special care to keep this area free from clutter.

The cabinets within this area should store food prep items such as knives and cutting boards, but they’ll also be storing the items that have been cleaned either by sink or dishwasher. This part of the kitchen will feature glassware, dishes, cutlery, etc. In most kitchens, these items are stored in the wall cabinets, and many homeowners choose to use glass doors for these cabinets to show off fancy china or glassware.

This area is also where you’ll want to locate a pull-out trash bin so that you can quickly and easily discard the garbage that tends to accumulate during the food prep process.

The Range Area

Finally, you’ll want to set up your range area, where the cooking and preparation for serving food will take place. In addition to the range, you’ll also want to locate any ovens, and your microwave in this area. Many homeowners find it convenient to simply locate their microwave right above the range.

The cabinets in this area will be dedicated to the items you’ll need for both cooking and serving food. Cooking items can be separated by stove and oven items. A lazy susan or deep drawer cabinet is great for storing pots and pans. Baking dishes can be stored in a wall cabinet within the range area, while large sheet pans and other oven items can be stored in a large base cabinets.

A drawer with a divider or a simple large container located on the counter can be used to keep cooking utensils within reach while you’re cooking. Serving items, such as trays, platters, and bowls can also be kept in a deep drawer or large base cabinet.

A pertinent storage item to keep nearby is a spice rack. This can be in the form of a pull-out spice rack in the wall or base cabinet, or an on-the-counter spice rack. Keeping your most common spices and seasonings within this area is more convenient than keeping them in the pantry.

This is a great guideline for beginning your kitchen design, as you now have a general idea where storage spaces should be placed and located, based on your main kitchen areas. Precise measurements for appliances, cabinets and countertop space will all vary based on your particular kitchen size.

Of course, changes might have to be made based on where your water line, gas line, and electric outlets are located. For a headache-free process, it is always best to consult with a professional on your kitchen design before beginning your kitchen remodel.

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