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If there’s one room in your home where efficiency matters, it’s in the kitchen. Designing a kitchen that mimics the layout and style of a professional workspace is guaranteed to make your life easier.
Design elements, including purpose, convenience and style, are the foundation to your cooking and maneuvering success. I’ll cover what components should be given the most concern when remodeling or building a kitchen. These 11 practical ideas will have you whistling while you’re working.
1. Work Triangle
The most important part about kitchen design is function. Every item in your kitchen should have a purpose, especially anything that has to do with cooking. The work triangle is all about efficiency because it keeps the work stations near the cook.
The other goal of the work triangle is to minimize traffic where the cook will be walking and moving. If the kitchen has only one sink, it should be placed between or across the cooking surface, preparation area or refrigerator. According to kitchens.com, the sum of the work triangle's three sides should not exceed 26', and each leg should measure between four and nine feet.
2. Stainless Steel
One of the 2016 kitchen remodeling trends is sleek appliances, fixtures and features. Stainless steel has a wide appeal and classic style, which are just a few of the reasons why homeowners are quick to install these appliances in their kitchens.
KitchenAid recently introduced the first-ever professionally inspired Black Stainless Steel appliance finish. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s fantastic! It’ll give your kitchen a softer and warmer look than what you’re used to seeing with the shiny stainless steel. Kitchen island countertops, sinks and cabinets are also great ways to incorporate either of the two polished looks.
3. A Focus on Convenience
Accessibility is one word you’re going to hear a lot when referring to optimizing a kitchen design. Think about where the items you use the most are located in your kitchen and how you can rearrange them to make things easier.
Put your go-to utensils within easy reach and make sure your cabinets and drawers fully stocked before diving into a big cooking project. Anything that can be set out in the open should be, but be sure to organize and stage items so the space still looks tidy and stylish.
4. Safe Slicing & Dicing
Regardless of what your kitchen looks like, there’s no excuse for poor tools. Purchasing high-quality knives should be your first order of business when rearranging your kitchen for efficiency. Besides quality, you should also buy your cutting utensils based on safety. You’re more prone to an accident using dull, old knives in the kitchen.
5. Keep the Area Tidy
Let’s be honest, nobody looks forward to cleaning their kitchen, but all homeowners know it’s a task that must be done a regular basis. Clean your kitchen often and keep the area sanitary.
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Have you ever taken a glance under your fridge or stove? My guess is that it’s not a pretty sight. Many commercial ranges stand on short legs to allow complete sweeping and mopping underneath. It’s typical that your countertops, appliances and floors need proper care and maintenance anyways, so it’s another reason to get yourself on a cleaning schedule.
6. First Aid Kit
Safety should always be a top concern in the kitchen. Making safety a priority in one of the most trafficked rooms in your home is good for you, your family and guests. Keeping a First Aid kit handy is never a bad idea. This way if anything does happen, you’ll be ready to respond immediately.
The worst part about kitchen mishaps is that they happen quickly and easily cause panic. The more you’re able to minimize the chance of being unprepared, the better off you’ll be.
7. Bar-Style Seating
The bar area of a restaurant is where people go to socialize with others and relax. There’s no reason you can’t create the same environment in your home kitchen. Add bar-style seating around the kitchen island or make room for a couple of stools to get this look. I bet you’ll soon find this area becomes a favorite spot in your home for gathering and spending time with your family and guests.
8. Open Shelving
Installing open shelving in your kitchen is an excellent way to create extra convenience as you cook. Open shelves are the perfect grab-and-go solution for a busy chef, or homeowner. A strategic layout of items you use the most will ensure less confusion and stress as you prepare your food. These type of shelves are also easier to keep clean.
9. Smart Storage
The keyword with this tip is smart. Smart storage means having a plan and making most of the space you have to work with in your kitchen. Turn every empty slot into useful storage space and install inserts or pullout drawers that are going to help you divide and organize your items.
10. The Right Equipment
If you’re going to have a functional kitchen, then you need to have the right equipment for the job. Don’t skimp on the items, appliances and utensils you use the most. Plastic parts and less-than-powerful motors will most likely underperform and not last you very long.
For example, if you make pasta once a year, buy a basic pasta maker (rather than a high-end one), and put what you save into a commercial-grade appliance you’ll use daily. Pans that go from stove to oven copper pans are all ways to set yourself up for success.
11. Right Floors & Shoes
The main concern with your kitchen floors is of course the look, but also safety concerns. There are trendy kitchen flooring options out there that are easy on the eyes, easy to clean and help prevent slips. Cork and linoleum are two excellent choices for a domestic kitchen that wants to mimic a professional setup. If you’re set on harder flooring that’s more prone to slips, invest in some well-padded shoes to help prevent any accidents.
Your kitchen plays an extremely important role in your daily life and the resale value or your home. As such, it’s a space you can’t afford to ignore. These 11 practical ideas from professional kitchens are sure to get you better results and a return on your investment.
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