Kitchen Tips: Planning for your Kitchen Space

12:25 PM

Kitchen Space Planning and Design 

L shape Dry Kitchen designed by our Designer, Alfred. Click here to contact us

Every kitchen functions differently. Beyond the basics — providing a place to store, cook and eat food — the kitchen serves as the new “great” room in the home. Depending on how you use the space — how you live your life — you will set goals for the kitchen design. For example, if you rarely cook at home but desire a beautiful space to entertain, you will make different appliance and floor plan choices than a family who needs to accommodate growing children or a couple that cooks gourmet entrees.

“If a client comes to me and says, ‘We are a family that loves to mess around in the kitchen together,’ that is something very different than someone who says to me, ‘We do a lot of entertaining,’” says Deborah Pierce, principal, Pierce Lamb Architects, West Newton, Mass.

Wet Kitchen Transformation by our Designer, Alfred. Click here to contact us

Before embarking on a kitchen remodeling project, define your lifestyle. What do you need in a kitchen? What appliances, cabinets, surfaces, and extras are on your wish list? What needs to happen in the kitchen on a daily basis? Where does your kitchen flunk out in functionality? What works well in your existing space? Download and complete the Day in the Life of Your Kitchen Questionnaire to help determine your kitchen needs.

If you think big-picture, you’ll avoid the biggest mistake: “Looking at the kitchen as a set of parts rather than a whole,” says Mary Jo Peterson, principal, Mary Jo Peterson Inc.

This is because the kitchen has evolved from a utilitarian space to a household hub. We want more from our kitchens—we want them to really work for us and, at the same time, provide an appealing backdrop for all that happens there.

Essentially, that meant re-evaluating the traditional work-triangle: refrigerator, sink, and stove. Now, designers plan kitchens based on “activity centers” or “zones.”

Work Zones

Built-in Tall Larder for Foods Storage

Ariston Built-in Dishwasher

The kitchen should include work zones for the following:

Foods. Storage for groceries, including non-perishable items, refrigerated and frozen foods

Dishes, Etc. Space for dishes, glasses, cutlery, and odds-and-ends, such as scissors or desk items

Cleaning. An area for recycling/waste management with recycling bins and trash cans, and space for household cleaning items

Food Preparation. The main work area with access to utensils, knives, small appliances, cutting boards, mixing bowls, etc.

Cooking. Where you’ll find pots, pans, bakeware, cooling racks, etc.


Dry Kitchen designed by Lee Yang, Senior Designer. Click here to contact us

Additionally, a kitchen might also provide spaces for these activities:

Entertaining. An island, peninsula or another bar area that can accommodate stools a serve as a stand-or-sit space for cocktails or dinner. Or, an entertainment configuration might include a conversation zone with lounge chairs and a low table or versatile ottoman.

Dining. A place where the family can eat breakfast together, or where a household can host holiday dinner (depending on goals for space).

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