How to Plan a Kitchen Workflow That Works

Before starting anything else, kick off your kitchen remodel with a space plan. Picking out all the pretty things is the interesting part, but function comes first — and that means deciding on a workflow and traffic plan that’ll work to your lifestyle.

We talked with three architects to get their professional tips and tricks about the best way to plan a kitchen workflow that will do the job for you.

Charles de Lisle’s Office

Deciding Work

selecting the ideal layout for your kitchen is a personal decision — each individual or family uses the kitchen otherwise. Think about your workflow concerning routine function and social use. Architect Hiromi Ogawa urges thinking about how you use your kitchen, just how many people cook there at the exact same time, if your kitchen is also an interesting or social area, and what your long- and short-term aims are for your kitchen.

Modern home architects

When you’ve decided on your wish list, have a good look at what can actually fit into your kitchen. “Some items, like islands, require a great deal of room and simply don’t work in spaces that are thinner,” says Ogawa. “Refrigerators can only fit in certain locations, and the kitchen layout’s relationship to doors and windows is also a huge priority.”

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

Architect Amy Alper proposes thinking about your own personal preference — do you want an open or closed-off kitchen? While open kitchens have become stylish, a closed-off one can maximize wall storage and hide clutter following meals.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Counter Space

Concentrate in your sink when choosing your own workflow. “The linchpin of this kitchen is your sink,” says architect Heather McKinney. “That is where you spend most time, and in which it is most likely you will want either a good view to the outside or a good link to the social spaces at the home — or both.”

Aim to have at least 18 inches of counter space on each side before placing in other appliances with the exclusion of an undercounter dishwasher, of course, which works perfectly right next to the sink.

Cameo Kitchens, Inc..

Alper enjoys to offer as long a counter as you can, but finds that 36 to 42 inches of workspace is workable. Don’t forget to put counters around the fridge also, so there’s space to set down things when raiding the refrigerator. “Elbow space on each side of a range or cooktop is important also,” Alper says.

Birdseye Design

Obviously, the role of the counter or island area is dependent upon how a chef uses the kitchen. While Alper enjoys putting a cooktop within an island, so the cooking is incorporated into socializing, others like that distance to be completely clear.

Powell Construction

“Some chefs are extremely labor intensive and require lots of space for food and baking prep,” says McKinney. “But I have also seen remarkable foods come out of minuscule kitchens. In reality, you can make a case that a number of kitchens have too much counter space, which becomes a layout space for paperwork”

Justrich Design

Walkway and Flow

Note your entrances and exits when determining your layout. “Exits and entrances can really wreak havoc on a efficient layout,” says McKinney. “We work hard to organize circulation to provide a cook some committed workspace out of the overall circulation flow”

Buckminster Green LLC

Ogawa suggests staying between three and two exits — more than that makes things complicated and cuts into counter space and storage. “Two ways in and out of the kitchen retains a nice flow, especially during parties,” agrees Alper. “But it’s about taking a look at the big image. Design your kitchen to incorporate the furniture layout in the adjoining rooms.”

Studio 212 Interiors

The two Ogawa and Alper imply making the walkway to get a double-sided workspace a minimum of 4 feet wide — only avoid placing appliances right across from one another to maintain the pathway clear. For a single-sided workspace, stick to 3 ft minimum. If you have a kitchen island, Ogawa suggests aiming for straight access through the kitchen so no one has to navigate about it.

See more kitchen space-planning and remodeling tips.

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