Have you ever hosted a party at your home and everyone wants to hang out in the kitchen? Guests are in your way as you try to get the food ready. It’s hard to move around everyone to grab to what you need, and you end up getting a little stressed. Do you sigh and wish your kitchen worked better? We’ve all been there. There must be an easier way. How can you design your functional kitchen?
One of the first things we do in a kitchen consultation is talk about what you want and what you need in your new space. And almost always the clients’ first response is “I want our kitchen to be beautiful and functional with lots of counter space and storage.” Sound familiar? Everyone has their own idea of how they want to work in their space. So how to design your functional kitchen, the one that will work for you and your family?
We always start with a plan. You wouldn’t go on a trip without knowing how to get to your destination. The same thing idea applies to designing a kitchen that works for YOU. When you have a vision for the end result, all the steps along the way fall into place.
And it all begins with making a list of everything you need in your kitchen. This would include things like all the appliances you need (ex. refrigerator, cooktop, oven, dishwasher, etc.). Then move on to lighting, flooring, and countertops.
Next is your dream list of wants. On this specific list add things like a 48” refrigerator, a double oven, roll out trays in every cabinet, drawers instead of cabinets. Don’t forget all the bells and whistles that go into a cabinet, the accessories. Specialty cabinets like trash drawers, tray dividers, spice pullouts are always convenient things to have in a functional kitchen.
As a designer, I like to hear specific reasons why you want each item. For example, you want drawers because you don’t want the extra step of opening cabinet doors. Or you prefer cabinets because you can’t stack things and find them in drawers. Remember that this is YOUR kitchen, and it needs to be designed for the way you want to work in your space.
A place in the pantry to store serving platters in plain view.
My friend, Kathy, collects mugs and it’s important to her to have them displayed.
The last thing to consider during this planning phase is what items need to be next to or near each other. The obvious is the sink next to the dishwasher. But what other products do you need to be grouped together? Do you like having your trays and cookie sheets next to the oven or closer to your work area? This exercise might take a little longer. But once you have it, your space planning will be much easier.
Dish drawers directly across from the dishwasher for easy unloading.
Spice pullouts next to the range.
Keep in mind that having each and every one of your “wants” isn’t always going to work, even if they do fit into your budget. So be willing to compromise on the amount of products and even the locations of certain things. In the end, the goal is to help you get the kitchen you dream of that’s beautiful and functional.
Jump start your dream kitchen planning, and download our newest worksheet:
Kitchen Design For the Way YOU Work.