Whether you love to cook or entertain or simply understand the importance of having a kitchen workspace that allows you to multi-task, designing an efficient workspace is a key ingredient to enjoying one of the busiest rooms in your home.
Our designers offer the following suggestions and tips to create work centers that can dramatically improve your kitchen's efficiency. You'll save time, energy and miles of extra steps so you can actually enjoy time spent in your kitchen with family and friends.
1. Food Preparation and Storage Work Center
Be sure to plan for lots of organized kitchen storage for canned and dry goods, mixing bowls, cookbooks, and small appliances. A pantry with rollout shelving makes reaching those rarely used cans of vegetables in the back of the cupboard a snap. Place your primary food storage area near the longest stretch of countertop for easy access to items while cooking. The best place to store food is in cabinets that line the outside walls — away from the heat source. If possible, try to avoid placing food next to cabinets that touch the stove, refrigerator and dishwasher.
2. Cooking Work Center
The main ingredients for the cooking center are the cooktop/range and the microwave oven. Be sure your cooking center has ample storage for pots and pans, utensils, spices and seasonings and additional food products that you frequently use. A cooktop is safest and most efficient when you have at least 18 inches of counter space on each side — don't skimp on the material you use for your countertop since you need it to be durable, heat-resistant and easy to clean. This enables you to have extra space for your handles and provides a quick landing space for hot pots. Don't forget to design a ventilation system around your cooking center.
3. Cleanup Work Center
The sink is the centerpiece of kitchen cleanup, so make sure that you spend some time selecting the type of sink and faucet you want. The most common sinks are single bowl, double bowl, triple bowl, and main sink plus prep sink. The other main components are the dishwasher and garbage disposal. The dishwasher should be next to the sink to minimize drips on the floor. It should be to the left of the sink if the main cook is right-handed, and to the right if that person is left-handed.
You can store your everyday dishes, glassware and utensils near the dishwasher for easy unloading, but you may prefer another convenient location, such as near the dining table If your plans include a trash compactor, have it installed on the side of the sink opposite the dishwasher to save steps. The cleanup center also requires ample storage for dishtowels, cleaning products, and a garbage can.