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How to Design a Functional Kitchen Layout

Kitchen Remodeling

Function is the most important element of any kitchen design. It doesn’t matter if you’re making the most of an outdated kitchen or you’re completely gutting and starting from scratch – you need a kitchen that fits your lifestyle. You can make anything functional look pretty later on, but it’s hard to insert function around pretty elements. Read on to learn how to create a functional kitchen layout.

Identify the Features You Need Most

What do you hate about your current kitchen or wish was different? Do you need more storage, more counterspace, more drawers, more walking room…? Start by writing out a list of priorities you need for a functional kitchen layout. You may have to make sacrifices in other areas, but these can be the main focuses of the design.

Establish Where the “Kitchen Triangle” Will Go

In a truly functional kitchen layout, you’re going to have a work triangle. This refers to the positioning of the cooktop, fridge and sink. Those three elements should be positioned in a some type of triangle, ideally somewhat close together. If you have a long wall of cabinets and an island, put the sink or stove in the island. Don’t push all three of those features onto the same wall unless there is no other option available.

Provide Two Points of Entry, If Possible

For an ideal traffic pattern, try to create two points of entry into the kitchen. If you have an island, each side of the island may act as an entry point. If you have a galley kitchen, there is likely a “starting” entrance and some sort of exit on the other side.

The goal here is to not end up with a hallway setup where there isn’t an escape at the end of the kitchen. This can make it tricky to navigate when multiple people are in the kitchen. You may not have an option based on the space available, but try to create a circular traffic flow when you can.

Don’t Sacrifice Storage for Style

A lack of storage is the biggest complaint homeowners have about their kitchens. If you’re thinking of getting rid of upper cabinets in favor of open shelves, don’t! This creates gorgeous photos for the internet, but it’s not realistic for everyday life. You can use shelves selectively to create an open feel or display a focal backsplash, but prioritize storage over style.

To Island or Not to Island? That Is the Question

Kitchen islands offer extra storage and food prep area, but they aren’t fit for all kitchens. At minimum, a kitchen island should be about 4 feet long and two feet wide. If you don’t have enough room to accommodate that, plus ample walking space, plus bar stools (if applicable), skip the island. If you do have the room for it though, consider adding this as a desirable feature in your layout.

Plan for Appliance and Cabinet Door Swings

As you create your kitchen design, don’t forget to plan for door swings. This includes your dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, cabinets, and anything else that may impede the walkway. Think about the direction these swings need to happen, as well as how much space the doors will take up. You may have to move some things around to accommodate for the swings.

Don’t Forget about the Trash Can!

Far too many homeowners forget to plan for trash can placement in their kitchen design. You could hide the trash can in a cabinet or have a designated space that’s out of sight. Just make sure you consider this feature when planning your kitchen.

Get a Quote for Your Redesigned Kitchen

If you’d like a quote for a redesigned kitchen, our pros would love to help! We have kitchen contractors, countertop installers and tile workers in Glen Burnie, Linthicum, Crofton, Pasadena, and other parts of Anne Arundel County MD. Reach out to (443) 635-7964 to schedule a kitchen remodeling estimate.



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