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How to design an effective kitchen workflow

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When considering a kitchen renovation, most people focus on the fancy appliances, faucets and cabinets they will install. While this is important, your kitchen will not be as great if you ignore the workflow. As you may already know, kitchen workflow is as unique as the people who use it. That is why you must first follow your heart when designing your kitchen.

Before you start working on anything, it is imperative that you start by coming up with a space plan. The space plan is what determines how functional your kitchen will be. The best thing is you don’t have to consider too many things. This article takes a look at the primary considerations you should make when working on your kitchen workflow.  

Uses of the kitchen 

The first thing you must do is establish how you will be using the kitchen. For example, if you have a large family, your kitchen should have enough space for a social gathering. Keep in mind that deciding on the layout is a personal decision. This is because each individual and family uses the kitchen differently. To come up with the best design, you must consider your everyday function and social use. 

How often you cook will also impact the layout you settle for. You also have to think about your cooking style. Do you require a lot of prep work when cooking? If you do, you will need larger counter space. Moreover, if you are a short person, you want a kitchen with lower counters and cabinets.  

Experts recommend that you think about how you use your kitchen on a daily basis as well as the number of people present when cooking. It is also essential to consider both your short-term and long-term goals. 

Available space 

Now that you have your priorities in mind, it is time to think about the available space. You must plan the elements carefully if you have a limited kitchen space. You will also have to give up a couple of things. For starters, while a center island counter is very practical and appealing, you will have to give it up if your kitchen space is limited. If you must have the island, a mobile island that can be stored away when not needed makes more sense.  

The amount of space available will also impact the number and size of cabinets as well as the size of counter space. Always focus on the location of the sink when working on a workflow. The kitchen is where you spend a lot of time. It is also where you want to get a view of the outside or connection with the social space. You should consider getting at least 18 inches of counter space on either side of the sink before adding other appliances. Keep in mind that the under-counter dishwasher works best when installed next to the sink.  

Amount of traffic 

You then need to think about traffic in the kitchen. A good kitchen workflow keeps traffic away from the main cooking and work areas. Your design should, therefore, focus on diverting traffic away from your cooking area. Make sure you note the exits and entrances when planning your kitchen layout. Keep in mind that walkways can significantly impact the efficiency of your kitchen. A cook must have a dedicated workspace that is secluded from general circulation flow. 

Experts focus on creating a dedicated cooking area that is sufficiently protected from the walkway. If space allows, a center island is used to create a barrier that keeps traffic away from the cooking area. 

kitchen workflow

Work triangle 

An effective work triangle creates a clear path between where food is prepared, where cleaning takes place and where food is stored. The length of each leg of the triangle is 1.2 to 2.7 meters. This means the combined length of the three legs is 4 to 7.9 meters. There shouldn’t be any cabinetry or appliances intersecting any of the three legs. There should also be no major traffic intersecting any of the three legs. 

Creating an effective work triangle requires that you first determine the foot traffic. You also have to establish the floor limitations. Needless to say, the work triangle is an imaginary triangle that connects the stove, sink and refrigerator. The distance travelled should not be too much; else, your kitchen will be inefficient. 

Sink location 

A kitchen renovation expert will always recommend selecting and deciding on the location of a sink before making any other decisions. This is for the simple fact that you will spend more time at the sink area than in any other location when cooking. Everything else should thus spun from the sink area. 

Storage 

You will definitely need storage in the kitchen. This is where the need for cabinets comes in. When deciding on the size of cabinets, you need to keep the following points in mind:

  • Frequently used items should be in an area that is easy to reach
  • Similar items should be stored next to each other 
  • Hazardous items must be out of the reach of children
  • Items that are used together should be stored together 

Look at popular kitchen layouts

Last but not least, to inspire your vision, you need to spend a little time looking at the most popular types of kitchen layouts. These layouts will help you know what is possible and works best for your space. You can combine two or more types of kitchen layouts to create something unique. 

The most popular types of kitchen layouts are:

  • One wall kitchen 
  • Galley kitchen 
  • L-shaped kitchen 
  • U-shaped kitchen 
  • Island kitchen 
  • Peninsula kitchen 

When designing a kitchen workflow, your choices will mostly depend on the available space, budget and preferences. The aforementioned points will help you get started on the right foot. 

Are you in the process of renovating your kitchen in Toronto? Kitchen & Bath are experts in the renovation, home improvements and kitchen and bath industries, providing top quality products and services at competitive prices.

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