Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Don't build a larger kitchen, build a more efficient kitchen

A new survey on the popular website houzz has found that only 37% of people that are thinking about remodeling their kitchen want to make the kitchen larger.

The reason for this is that for decades the kitchens got larger, grander and more open. This was in response to the closed off spaces of the 70’s and 80’s where who was ever working in the kitchen was in a room to themselves and would not be able to interact with their family or guests. So kitchens were opened up and made larger, with more space in the middle of the room to help create more principal counter space around the perimeter and allowing more room in the middle for guests, children and pets too flow into and out of the kitchen without disturbing the food preparation.

This thinking worked, it allowed more counter space and freed up area for the flow of people and pets to come in and out of the kitchen. But overtime what people started to realize is that when they were working in the kitchen they had to do a fair bit of walking. The space between the stove, sink, refrigerator and counter prep area had grown farther apart then was practical. When preparing a large meal people found that a lot of time and energy was being wasted walking around the kitchen to the farther spaced out work stations.

Enter the new kitchen designs; making kitchens smaller but more efficient and designating space for the many different activities that will go on in a modern kitchen and a modern home.

How did they achieve this?

They added islands in the middle of the kitchens, in the island they installed another sink, more storage underneath and an ample supply of preparation area. This island eliminated the need for more storage around the perimeter of the kitchen and the counter tops that go with them. The kitchen is now able to become smaller, shrinking around the island, the kitchen then is redesigned so that the stove and fridge are closer together and the extra sink in the island allows for less travel from stove to fridge to preparation area.
Locating the fridge around the side away from the main preparation area allows people to walk into the kitchen to retrieve snacks or drinks without walking into the space of the food preparation.

The other design trend that has come about from this shrinking of the kitchen is the creation of stations for people to streamline the use of the kitchen. Putting all the morning coffee and breakfast needs in a certain area of the kitchen allows people to retrieve what they need without having to interfere with anyone that is cooking eggs, bacon or pancakes. Placing the main large sink next to the dishwashers and a large counter area allows all the used dishes to come to one area where they can be rinsed and placed in the dishwashers or sink for cleaning. This thinking allows people the freedom of movement around the kitchen even though there might be several people working in one area of it.

So when you are planning that new kitchen remember that bigger isn’t always better, think smarter and use your kitchen more efficiently.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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