Unless you’re living alone, having enough space to move around and not be restricted by anything in front of you is an important aspect of any room inside a home. And, if there’s any room that gets the most traffic and activity out of them all, it’s the kitchen. From all the late-night dinner preparations to that early morning rush to get coffee and pancakes ready, it’s no surprise that the kitchen gets a lot of movement every single day.
However, one issue that a lot of traditional kitchens often face is having ample space but not putting them to good use. Sure, they look good, but in terms of functionality, the kitchen has a lot of areas that need improvement in order to bring the traffic and workflow up to a reasonable standard. So, today we’ll be going over some of the details that you might’ve overlooked and how you can change things up to get the most value out of your kitchen.
#1 Locating Your Work Zones
Work zones are defined as areas in the kitchen that you generally associate with certain activities like food preparation, cooking the meals, taking out the necessary ingredients, and all the little quirky things you do get food on the table. For example, the traditional kitchen triangle consists of the refrigerator, stove, and kitchen island. You’d get your ingredients out from the refrigerator, take them to the stove to get cooking, move to the kitchen island to prepare other ingredients, and go back to the refrigerator to repeat it all again.
- Food & Meal Preparation: Your food & meal preparation zone is either the island or a default countertop, and one common problem in most households is having way too many niche appliances and kitchen equipment just lying around everywhere. As a result, you can hardly get any work done because there’s a lot of “noise” distracting you from working properly. You might even lose track of your cooking time and end up overcooking the roast beef for quite too long.
- Main Cooking Area: Your main cooking area usually belongs to your stove and oven. Luckily, there’s not a lot of things that could potentially break up your kitchen work triangle except for one thing, not enough space. The counters that surround your stove might have stuff that’s preventing you from exercising full-range of motion or getting in the way of your saucepans and frying pans.
- Pantry And Refrigerator: Last but not least, we have the pantry and refrigerator. Some people find success in having multiple pantries, and others see it best to have them right beside the fridge. We suggest experimenting with both and finding out which design you find most comfortable. As for the refrigerator, there’s not a lot we can do apart from understanding the different types. You might be using a side-by-side model where other doors swing open, but you might find it more appealing for your kitchen space to have a top-freezer model.
#2 Kitchen Island and Dining Area
Apart from work zones, the two most responsible for dictating how well the kitchen manages foot traffic are the kitchen island and dedicated dining area. Typically, a traditional home would have no worries about the two, but in recent trends, the kitchen island is either doubled or also serves the purpose of additional seating. Furthermore, cramped up spaces tend to leave the dining table far too close to the kitchen area, causing the hips to hit the countertops if you swerve around too much.
- The Aisles Need To Fit: An excellent way to judge whether your kitchen island complements the dining area is if at least two people can walk through and in-between the aisles without much trouble. And, if the test proves otherwise, then you might want to consider contacting a contractor or relocate where you want to place your dining area.
#3 Understanding The Limits Of Your Space
Of course, there’s only so much your space can handle, and you need to understand the limits of your kitchen and know when to start clearing things out. Yes, things may look aesthetically pleasing right now, but we should always put functionality over aesthetics. Plus, there’s always a way to work around your kitchen’s design to make it look better regardless if you don’t have what most magazine cover kitchens like to showcase.
- Consulting An Expert: While you can achieve a good amount of progress with DIY projects, we strongly recommend consulting an expert if you plan to move forward with any kitchen renovation projects. A professional can help evaluate what the kitchen might be missing and help work out the kinks you’re having issues with.
Get The Most Out of Your Kitchen Space
The kitchen is a wonderful place to be in; it’s where you make all the food and some of the best memories too. And, to get the most out of this space means doing a bit of work and knowing what remodeling projects to invest in. So, use the guide above as a benchmark, and feel free to renovate your kitchen to your heart’s content!