Monday, March 04, 2013

An Expert's Kitchen Layout Tips

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Since right now there is a kitchen sale in progress at IKEA, I've been talking to several homeowners each day about their IKEA kitchen projects. It slows down a bit after the sales, but it is so worthwhile to order during a sale that we do what it takes to get every project sorted out, into the hands of our amazing design team, and through the design phase.

Thus, I have many kitchen layout issues in my mind and on my desk. Here are quick notes I took from one  consultation this weekend:

Prep sink
Bottleneck near fridge
Pantry space needed
Husband, wife, son cook
Wrong hood size
Microwave location
Claustrophobic area near door
Walkway danger issue

 The homeowners had designed a layout in the IKEA online planner. These were the issues in their plan that they were concerned about.

Although kitchen design is a professional skill and it takes a professional to sort out half a dozen or a dozen issues like these and bring the layout together so that it really works,  we do sometimes talk with homeowners who feel their kitchen is simple and straightforward and there will be no issues during installation or after with your self-designed layout. In that case we offer to plan check, not to design from scratch. It's a really smart thing to do, either way.

That said, here are some basic tips for kitchen layout, more to come:

1) You probably want to center the sink under a window. It's traditional. Make sure it is exactly centered, in the layout AND during installation. Correctly placed filler can be needed to pull this off.

2)  Watch out for bottlenecks. You should try for 36 inches around an island, all sides, or more.

3)  In case you have gotten frustrated and thought it was you, know that the IKEA planner is a very basic tool. It is there to sell you IKEA cabinets. It won't let you do many things that you envision or think should be possible. In many cases, the software is the problem, not your ideas. Realize, if you use it, that your kitchen is going to be as nice as that planner tool allows it to be, and no more.

4) In most cases it is better not to place tall cabinets on either side of a narrow door. Claustrophobic.

5) There are  safety issues in kitchen layout. Especially when there are young children in the home. Or will be. Low drawers, cooking appliances placement, walkways, all must be correct to avoid having danger zones.

6) The kitchen should be correct for the size of the house.

7) If there are three cooks, design the layout with this in mind.  

 8) Keep future in mind. Maybe you are single and plan to stay that way for now, but a married couple with two kids might want to buy your house someday and they won't pay your asking price if the kitchen has to be remodeled, for their needs

More tips to come. The phone is ringing.

If you'd like to discuss your project with me, I can offer you a free, 30-minute phone consultation. Here's my calendar, just pick a time that works for you.