Kitchens, there’s so much to say! This week we take a look at ways to design your dream kitchen so that it fits into the rhythm of daily life. We also have a few tips for bedazzling the room that often gets overlooked in the glam department.
First, let’s talk about the work triangle. While it may sound technical and potentially boring, it’s actually an easy tool for getting a functional blueprint of your new kitchen. The work triangle was formulated about 70 years ago when appliances started becoming more mainstream causing kitchens to undergo a major transformation in form and function. The main concept of the work triangle is to design the sink, refrigerator, and stove in a triangle pattern that is spaced fairly close together (not too close!) for greater cooking efficiency and to streamline the space.
The specifics of the work triangle state that the invisible lines connecting the sink, fridge, and stove should be at least four feet and no more than nine feet. If the triangle is too short, you’ll feel buried under the appliances and if it’s too big, you’ll be running back and forth just to boil water. So when planning your dream kitchen or redesigning your existing one, grab a piece of paper or a use that cocktail napkin to sketch out a few ideas about how to:
position your sink, fridge, and stove so that they create a functional work triangle (don’t be afraid to bust out the tape measure)
design the cabinets so they don’t interfere with your work triangle in a major way
develop the seating and prep areas so that they steer clear of the triangle zone
If you’re thinking your kitchen space is too tiny to form a line nevermind a triangle, don’t throw in the dish towel just yet. There are a few design strategies for cramped quarters that can rescue small kitchens. One way to maximize every inch of kitchen space is to splurge on custom cabinetry. Custom doesn’t have to mean budget-kill, by sticking to standard sizes with custom cabinets you’ll be able to save some kitchen coin. Here’s a great example of a bright and compact kitchen by designer Miles Redd.
Another kitchen space saver is to design a full height appliance wall. This will free up counter space and keep daily appliances neatly tucked away. Take a peek at this appliance wall, it includes a refrigerator, microwave, oven, warming drawer, built-in espresso machine and a hidden appliance garage. An appliance garage is a pull-out shelf to keep appliances like blenders and toasters plugged in but out of sight. Ingenious.
If it’s not so much your kitchen that’s small but your design budget, focus on one fantastic feature like decorative tile behind the stove. We built the color scheme for the kitchen around this hand painted tile.
Sometimes kitchens just need an infusion of fun after all that planning around function. An easy way to add character in your kitchen is through accessories. A bright, fun color can add spice to an otherwise bland kitchen and make it a welcoming meeting place for your family at the end of the day.
Another way to energize your kitchen is by using different materials for countertops and different paint colors on the cabinetry. In this Coddington Design kitchen, we made the island a different color and used butcher block for the countertop.
If you’ve got a ton of kitchen ideas and you want to bring a little cohesion to the entire room, consider adding a matching panel to your refrigerator. That’s exactly what we did with this Coddington Design kitchen. The large refrigerator blends in seamlessly with the rest of the cabinets and the appliance wall retains it’s polished and organized appearance.
We could go on and on about kitchens but we would love to hear what you think! Got a question about kitchen design? Let us know! We love to talk kitchen.