If you ever do a search online to determine the best way to design a kitchen, you may be overwhelmed with the results. There are rules. There are guidelines. And there are probably details you have never even considered (and may not apply to you anyway). The list is long – all to figure out how to design your kitchen with its appliances.
The professionals know how to design a kitchen – but what do you do if you want to design it yourself? After all, it is your kitchen, right? You should not have to leave this decision up to others.
No one ever said you “have to” always follow the rules. And this is especially true when it comes to designing your own kitchen. You can place your appliances in any manner you wish – as long as they are functional and keep your kitchen flowing. But, if you’d like some ideas of how the pros would do it – just as a guideline, of course – we’ve got some ideas and tips for you.
Understand the Zones
You may have not ever considered it, but your kitchen has a few zones within it.
About five in total, such as:
- The food prep area, where you will be preparing your meals and cooking them. This area will include your oven, your stove, and your microwave.
- Your food storage area, which includes cold and frozen foods. You will find your refrigerator and freezer in this zone.
- The pots and pans storage area, that is big enough to contain these larger, hefty items.
- The cleaning and waste area where most of the cleaning up will take place after cooking. If you choose to have a dishwasher in your kitchen, this is the area you will find it.
- The storage area for cutlery
Once you know the zones of your kitchen, you can more easily assemble it. This helps with the flow and convenience of the space. For instance, you will want your pots and pans storage area to be near your food prep and cooking area. This gives you easy access to the tools you need for completing the meal. You will also want your food prep area to be close to the food storage zone. Cleanup is good when waste and cleaning are in their own zone – away from the food preparation area.
Keep these different zones in mind when determining where you will put your appliances.
Design It with An Open Flow
Kitchens are typically designed with a triangle in mind. This generally refers to the refrigerator, stove, and sink – the area of greatest activity. You want this area to be unobstructed at all costs.
The goal should be to allow you free, open-flow access to the main appliances in your kitchen. There should not be anything that gets in the way of you moving from the refrigerator to the stove, for example. And, if you have many doors or entryways, you will want to be sure to not have the flow of traffic disrupt your major kitchen zones. This will be crucial in the design of the space.
Depending on the size of your kitchen, it is best to keep your working area on one side and leave the other side for those who are either eating or just keeping the cook company.
Keep Appliances Proportionate
It’s best to have your appliances be proportionate to one another – and to the space. Be honest about the size of your kitchen. If you know that you don’t have space for a full dishwasher, then don’t get one. If you go for an oversized refrigerator, don’t opt for a small range.
These types of details can make or break the look of a kitchen. The key is to make it look well put-together and uniform. When you don’t buy appliances in matching sizes or buy something that is either too small or too big for the space, it is going to be noticeable.
Consider the Details
The details about your appliances are important. Those with doors and drawers will require space for you to utilize them. However, if you don’t take the time to measure and research which appliances will best fit your space, you may find yourself with something that just won’t work.
For instance, most professional ranges will need ample space so you can open the door and work comfortably. If you put this appliance in your kitchen directly across from the island, you will want to make sure there is enough room for the door to open. Otherwise, you may find using your stove to be a hassle.
Refrigerators are the same way. Placing one near an entrance way, for example, means that you will want the door to open in just the right manner. You will also want to keep in mind that you will be blocking the entrance every time you choose to open the door.
Final Pro Tips
There are a few final tips from the pros that can help you in your appliance design and arrangement. You will want to take these into consideration if you want to have an easy flowing kitchen:
- Never place your refrigerator directly next to your oven and stove. The heat from a range can require the refrigerator to work harder – thus potentially shortening the life of the refrigerator.
- Measure everything carefully. While some appliances are standard, there are many others that aren’t. This could very easily throw off your space. So, before you buy, measure diligently and know the areas you are designing.
- Keep in mind that the installation requirements for appliances may require additional space. For example, refrigerators usually require space behind them to allow for air to vent. If you find an appliance that fits your space, but you don’t account for the installation requirement, you could find yourself in a sticky situation.
- Whatever you do, don’t disrupt the kitchen triangle.
Designing your own space can make you feel good and accomplished. These tips can hopefully help you discover the best design for your kitchen.