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How to Design Your Kitchen for Better Utility

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

It’s where everybody gathers and where most daily housework takes place, so make sure your kitchen is ready to serve your needs! Great kitchens sell houses for a reason, and whether you want to enjoy your new build for the foreseeable future or you plan to resell, you can’t go wrong investing in a well-designed kitchen. While big-ticket components like appliances and countertops dominate attention, don’t forget to consider the smaller parts that keep it all working nicely. Here are some ways you can design your kitchen to help you work smarter, not harder.

Signature Hardware 46" Tansi Double-Bowl Drop-In Sink with Drain Board

Designed to help keep the sink and countertops clearer, the 46” Tansi Double-Bowl Drop-In Sink with Drain Board provides a convenient place for drying dishes or setting a colander out of the way. You’ll find sinks like this in stainless steel, copper, cast iron, and granite composite, seen here.

Sinks That Do More

Everything in the kitchen begins and ends at the sink, so it’s a great place to focus your design efforts. Think about whether you want a larger single basin, which is ideal for hefty pots, or a double-bowl setup that is more versatile for prep and cleanup, or washing and rinsing. There are pros and cons on either side, of course, so it really comes down to personal preference. Kitchen sinks can also offer more than basic functionality—some include drainboards or work with specialized accessories, so you can do things like create extra counter space with a cutting board over the basin. A good sink will take everything in stride and should balance with, or compensate for, other parts of the room to give you the best all-around solution.

Deciding on a main sink for your kitchen is a great start, but you might consider adding a smaller bar or prep sink, too. Kitchens with two sinks really simplify workflow by spreading out tasks and forming separate work zones—perfect if you like to cook in tandem! The second sink is also just convenient to have around, so people can do simple things like wash their hands or rinse produce when the main sink is busy. Stick to the kitchen triangle rule when laying out the parts of the kitchen—that is, place storage, cooking, and cleanup stations as the points of a triangle—and you can’t really go wrong.

Signature Hardware Fatsani Deck-Mount Retractable Pot Filler

The Fatsani Deck-Mount Retractable Pot Filler has classic styling through the swivel spout all the way to the porcelain lever handles. The arm easily extends over the cooktop and folds up out of the way at the touch of your hand. There’s also a wall-mounted version, if you’d rather incorporate your pot filler into the backsplash.

Conveniently Placed Faucets

Having two faucets in the kitchen is a no-brainer if you opt for two sinks, but that isn’t the end of it. We see homeowners add specialized faucets like pot fillers and water dispensers to further streamline their kitchens. Just imagine how much time and energy you’ll save when you can fill up a pot right on the burner you intend to use. And if you don’t like waiting for the tap to adjust to the perfect temperature, a dispenser that’s hooked up to just a cold (or hot!) water line can solve your problem, and even help save resources in the long run.

No matter the type of faucet, keep range in mind! Knowing the width of your sink or cooktop is important to ensure you can get water where you need it with minimal effort. For larger sinks, a pull-down faucet that gives you better reach will help you utilize and rinse the whole basin efficiently. Smaller prep sinks function well with basic gooseneck spouts that provide enough clearance underneath for you to perform your tasks; you don’t need the same extreme range of motion for the smaller bowl, and having it could even make a mess in the wrong hands. Finally, if you have your eye on a pot filler, retractable wall- and deck-mounted versions allow you to place the faucet where it works for you. Many homeowners prefer to fold it out of the way against the backsplash to preserve counter space, but a deck-mounted model is safer for people who can’t easily reach across the cooktop. Your builder or a kitchen designer can help answer any questions you have about stuff like this, so everything functions seamlessly for you from the start.

Signature Hardware Gehler Solid Brass Shelf Bracket

Open shelving makes a kitchen feel bigger and keeps commonly used dishware and ingredients handy. And because shelf brackets come in all sorts of styles to suit every design, they’re a great way to customize your space. The Gehler Solid Brass Shelf Bracket here fits sleek designs and can support up to 50 pounds per pair.

Functional Built-In Features

Think about how you use the kitchen and all the things you touch as you gather ingredients and tools and then prepare and clean up after a meal. Avid cooks could find themselves losing time with all the opening and closing of cabinets and drawers—that’s why professional kitchens often boast features like open shelves, overhead pot racks, and magnetic knife strips to keep everything in sight and at hand. Design decisions like these are extremely practical and might not work for everybody in terms of aesthetics, but stylish shelf brackets and pot racks exist for traditional and modern schemes alike! Just make sure to keep weight limits in mind when you plan so you can select suitable products for the arrangement you want.

If you’re in the market for beautiful sinks, faucets, and other kitchen plumbing and hardware, check out what Signature Hardware has in stock! They offer a variety of products in traditional and modern styles, and even some truly unique pieces—like chiseled and polished granite and marble farmhouse sinks—that’ll set your home apart. Better yet, orders over $50 ship for free within the contiguous United States! If you have any questions or need help selecting the right products, feel free to contact customer service for expert assistance.