15 Tips for an Awesome Kitchen Design

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By Cormac Reynolds / Published by Cormac Reynolds
Creating a better kitchen means being smart about its design and implementation and these tips are here to help.

Avoid wasting steps

Imagine how you use each item in your kitchen and where. Breakfast bowls and foods should be stored near where the family eats breakfast. Plastic wrap and containers should be placed in a spot that is close to your work area so you can easily wrap up leftovers. Flatware and dishes should be placed near the dishwasher, making it much easier to unload the clean dishes.  

Walkways should be wide

Paths that go through your kitchen should be 35 inches in width or wider. The area used for cooking should have 42 inches if the kitchen is used by a single cook, and 48 inches if two cooks frequently work together. During the planning process, adjust any islands or kitchen peninsulas to meet these measurements.  

Keep traffic flowing

If you want your kitchen to be kid-friendly, the cooktop should be located out of the way of the main traffic throughway. This ensures that children don't get caught up on handles or spill hot liquids as they run through. In addition, the refrigerator should be easily accessible to both the cooks working in the kitchen and people who are simply passing by to grab a snack.  

Avoid corners

If you want to ensure cabinets and the doors of your appliances are completely functional, make sure to account for the space necessary for the door to clear as it swings open when designing your kitchen. Appliances should be located away from the corners of the rooms, ensuring that their doors do not hit each other if they are simultaneously open.  

Position the microwave at a good height

Where you position a microwave will depend on the height of the primary cook as well as whether or not it needs to be child-friendly. For adults, placing a microwave about 15 inches above the countertop is ideal. If kids need to be able to access the microwave, it might be better to create a below-counter setup for the device.  

Know how you plan on using the kitchen island

As far as kitchen islands go, form should follow function. If the island will be used for cooking and eating, make sure that there is enough space to keep the cooktop area separated from the area where diners will eat.  

Plan for a landing area

As you design the kitchen, 15 inches of the countertop should be left on either side of both the refrigerator and the cooktop. It is also important to have some landing space near your microwave as well.  

Think carefully about countertops

Chefs who enjoy cooking usually need more space on the counters, especially between the sink and the cooktop, as opposed to people who only need enough space for infrequent or simple meals. In addition, having two different heights on your countertops helps make it easier for children to become involved in the kitchen, and can make it easier to bake things like cakes  

Consider doubling up

Having a mini-fridge or second microwave located on the outer edge of the kitchen can help ensure that the kitchen is kept free of people just looking to grab a quick snack, keeping them out of the way of the primary cook. Adding a snack bar with accompanying stools can help make your kitchen a popular hang out area for kids enjoying an after-school snack 

Arrange the cooktop area

A shelf should be placed next to or above the range to ensure that utensils, spices, and cooking oils are always within easy reach. You can also add S-hooks along the side of the hood of the stove to store the pots and pans that you use frequently.  

Make filling up easy

Are you tired of having to lug pots of water between the cooktop and sink? You might want to install a swing-out tap, sometimes called a pot-filler, near your stove to make it easy to fill up pots right where you need them. Another option is to install a long hose attachment to your faucet, allowing you to fill pots already on your stove.  

Store knives carefully

A great place to store your knives is by using a magnetic strip that has been attached to your backsplash. This will ensure it's easy to grab exactly the knife you need while also keeping them high up out of the reach of your children.  

Make recycling easier

Make sure you have a cabinet that contains three containers, one for metal, one for plastic, and one for glass. You can place old newspapers in an extra drawer 

Remember your shorter family members

Kid's snacks and favorite foods should be stored on lower shelves so they are always within easy reach.  

Install a center for messaging

Set up a designated message center next to the kitchen telephone. Include a chalkboard, whiteboard, or bulletin board on the wall, and a nearby drawer can be used to store a notebook, pens or pencils, and a calendar.