Planning on remodeling any room in your house can be a big undertaking, and there are several important things to consider when designing the kitchen of your dreams. The kitchen is used more than any other room in the house, therefore an inviting and well laid-out kitchen is instrumental in reducing stress and streamlining your life.
It’s imperative to answer some questions in order to plan an efficient layout in your new kitchen. Do you want to be able to socialize there? Will you be cooking for frequent dinner parties or large family gatherings? Is there more than one cook in the household? Does someone in the family like to bake? Are quickie meals for family members a frequent consideration? How many of these activities are likely to happen simultaneously?
Most kitchens are designed around work centers. The Cleanup Center is generally located around the kitchen sink. It should have at least 18” to 30” on one side and 48” to 54 “ on the other, to allow enough room to stack dishes, pans and utensils. Always plan for at least 12” between the sink and the nearest corner, measured from the front of the counter.
The Cooking Center is typically located around the range. It requires 12 inches minimum on one side of the range, and 15 to 24 inches on the other side, again with 12" inches minimum to the nearest corner. Microwaves and built-in ovens should have at least 15 to 18 inches of counter space on the right side (assuming the door is hinged on the left side).
The Storage Center is located around the refrigerator. It needs 15 to 18 inches on the handle side of the refrigerator, to set food.
The Mixing/Preparation Center should be handy to pans, bowls, and utensils, and should consist of at least 42 to 84 inches of free counter space. If space permits, some designers also include a serving center, adding another 36 to 84 inches of free counter space to set down bowls and pans.Back To Top
The Work Triangle and Kitchen Layouts
There is also the work triangle to utilize when designing your layout. The work triangle consists of imaginary lines that connect the refrigerator, the range and the sink. For maximum comfort and efficiency, the three legs of the work triangle should total between 23 and 26 feet.
There are four basic layouts to consider when remolding your kitchen:
- The One Wall or Gallery
- L- Shaped
- The U-Shaped
You want to choose the best layout to meet your needs as well as consider what would work best in your space. There are numerous layouts to choose from, but most are based on the following.
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When considering countertop heights, use the standard height measurement of 36 inches. Stock base cabinets are 36 inches tall, 24 to 25 inches deep, and 12 to 48 inches wide. Wall cabinets are generally 12 to 14 inches high, 13 inches deep, and measure 12 to 48 inches wide.
Proper Ventilation is essential to the modern kitchen. There are two types of ventilating hoods: ducted and ductless. In both systems, the proper fan capacity, rated in cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air delivery, should be a major consideration. Fan capacity must relate directly to the size of the room or area in which it will function. Ventilating experts offer this guide for fan size in relation to square footage of floor space in a kitchen with an 8-foot ceiling:
· 120 CFM for a kitchen measuring 60 sq. ft.
· 225 CFM for a kitchen measuring 110 sq. ft.
· 325 CFM for a kitchen measuring 160 sq. ft.
· 400 CFM for a kitchen measuring 200 sq. ft.
As a general rule when considering lighting decisions, every 50 square feet of kitchen space requires a combination of ceiling and local fixtures that will supply 150 to 175 watts of incandescent or 60 to 80 watts of fluorescent lighting. Plan on a 30-watt fluorescent fixture mounted 22 inches above the range; two 30- or 40- watt fluorescents above the sink; and two 20-watt fluorescents set just under the cabinets over each 30-inch length of counter. A minimum of 150 watts incandescent is also recommended for a dining area. The use of light colors for the kitchen ceiling and walls will further brighten the room and decrease the amount of required artificial lighting.Back To Top
It is also important to plan the wiring in the kitchen so that it is adequate to handle all the appliances and lights in use at any one time.
Remember, determining how you use your kitchen will be the best place to start when making kitchen improvements. Following these general guidelines will get you on your way to the kitchen of your dreams.