If you enjoy spending time in your kitchen, nothing is more important than spending a little time and a few extra dollars to make it work flawlessly for you. We’ve put together a list of five essential ingredients our kitchen designers would recommend you consider if you enjoy cooking.
- Size and Function
The old adage “Bigger is better” is not always true when it comes to essential kitchen design. While most of us would love a large, expansive kitchen to work in, it’s not always feasible. If you’re designing with limited square footage, it’s important to consider “economy of movement.” In other words, you don’t want to find yourself running back and forth between areas of your kitchen when creating a culinary masterpiece. Instead, design your kitchen in a “work triangle,” strategically placing your refrigerator, sink, and cook top in an efficient kitchen layout.
If you have the luxury of a larger kitchen, you may want to consider oversized or even double kitchen islands, a popular trend today. With a smart layout and configuration, this additional space allows the cook plenty of room to prepare food, while still being able to interact with guests.
- Coveted Counter Space
Ask anyone who loves to cook, and they’ll tell you “you can never have too much counter space!” Easy-to-clean surfaces are also important to serious cooks. When choosing the right countertops, you need a surface that you can scrub and won’t stain. Choose a material that is both low-maintenance and beautiful. A popular choice like Quartz withstands high heat and makes cleanup easy.
How you cook can also determine the best countertop to choose. For example, the use of granite is perfect for kneading dough and marble is the better choice if you make a lot of confections. In some cases, choosing a mix of materials will give you the best option for creating a cook-friendly layout.
- Efficient Storage
Similar in importance to counter space is storage. Design your kitchen after taking inventory of everything you own. Make sure you measure and plan space for every item that you plan to store or use in your kitchen, before deciding on a final layout.
Choose closed cupboards to hide clutter and avoid open shelves, as they just gather dust. If you have the option to choose custom or semi-custom cabinets, plan to make your upper-tier cabinets 15 inches deep instead of the standard 12 inches to accommodate larger sized plates or platters. Adding dimension to an otherwise flat run of cabinets not only improves function to your kitchen, but creates visual appeal.
You can also plan to store specialty appliances like stand mixers or coffee makers. Serious cooks generally have a large number of pots and pans. Deep pullout drawers are a great option to keep your pots and pans out-of-site, while still keeping them within easy reach.
And don’t sweat the small stuff. Custom spaces can even be found for the smallest, albeit crucial, cooking items like spice jars, knives, cookie cutters, etc.
- Perfect Pantry
A serious cook can’t get far without the perfect ingredients to cook with. A well laid-out and well-placed pantry is essential for any chef who needs to access those ingredients. When designing your kitchen pantry, consider convenience, accessibility and visibility. If ingredients are hard to get to, you won’t use it.
There are a variety of pantry options and ideas that range from small to large and inexpensive to more expensive.
Common for high-end homes with large kitchens, are walk-in pantries that offer convenient access to ingredients while hiding them out of sight. For the average home, a butler’s pantry offers similar convenience and style. It can be located off the kitchen or dining room or tucked under a staircase. Rather than build a custom pantry, many serious cooks are also finding existing space near the kitchen that can be configured into a small pantry.
Other options for finding accessible space is making changes to existing cabinets with storage accessories such as pullout shelves and baskets, drawer organizers or built-in racks for spices or cookie sheets, etc.
- A Sink or Two
Would you believe that the sink is the most used area in the kitchen? That’s why choosing the right sink is so important. Most cooks would agree that a large deep sink is ideal (think large pots) over sinks that are divided into small, double or triple bowls, limiting their use. If space allows, you may want to consider installing two full-sized kitchen sinks. This allows you to designate one sink for prepping food, and the other for dirty dishes, among other uses.
An undermount sink is ideal for serious cooks who value being able to scrape food right into the sink. Single handle faucets also are convenient, making it easy to use when you only have one hand free.
Take the time to consider each essential ingredient and write down your thoughts. Make sure you have an idea of what you need to make your kitchen work flawlessly for you. Share this information with Riverside Construction’s design/build team and we’ll help you create a plan that factors in your budget, functional needs, logistics, schedule and lifestyle to design a perfect kitchen for you.
Take the first step by scheduling an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.