The kitchen is the hub of the home. Here is where you get your morning coffee, prepare and serve food, clean up, and navigate around the company that always finds their way into this busy place. As you’re planning your new home or kitchen remodel, you’ve got plenty of choices. To help you make the right ones, let’s look at what to consider in finding the perfect kitchen layout.
Island or galley? The center island kitchen is a popular design because it provides more space and efficiency. The island can house the sink and dishwasher if you like. This additional kitchen element provides versatility for storage, serving, prep, and cooking space. Some homeowners build the microwave into the island or add a second oven. Extend the countertop and you create a breakfast bar that allows for casual dining in your kitchen.
The galley kitchen features two parallel counters, so it’s a popular choice with a narrow kitchen. Because of the shape, it’s a highly efficient kitchen layout.
Focus on the Triangle
For the most efficiency, pay attention to the flow that is afforded with the kitchen triangle—that direct path that connects the three critical spaces: the refrigerator (prep), stove (cooking), and sink/dishwasher (clean-up). Minimize the distance and obstructions. For example, consider the placement of your kitchen plumbing in order to get the correct placement of the sink, disposal, and dishwasher. At Beacon Homes, we recommend that the distance from one point of the triangle to another is at least 10 feet, to allow for uncrowded movement, but no farther than 25 feet, to maintain efficiency.
Determine your Counter Space
Everyone likes ample counter space—but how much is “ample” in your opinion? Do you like to keep your small appliances and cooking utensils on the counter for easy access? If so, you need more room than the minimalist who stores everything out of sight. Do you require a “catch-all” area to pile the mail, homework, magazines, and other items? Would you like counter space in your kitchen for handling household duties, like paying or organizing bills, or maybe keeping your laptop handy? Envision your countertop needs so you can calculate the right amount of “ample”.
Choose your Countertop Material
You’ve probably heard so much about the beauty and durability of granite countertops that you haven’t considered anything else. Many homeowners are looking at quartz countertops, which are engineered from a combination of quartz aggregate with a little bit of resin. In other words, it’s mostly stone. Quartz isn’t as porous as granite so you don’t have to re-seal it like granite requires. Of course, you have many other choices for countertop materials: concrete, stainless steel, marble, laminate, butcher block wood, soapstone, glass, recycled, and tile. Talk to your builder about the pros and cons of each.
Don’t Skimp on Storage
Cabinets are the focal point, representing the largest expense when remodeling or designing your kitchen. With so many choices in style and color, this decision can be a tough one, so consider your options carefully. Today’s kitchens are trending toward more drawers because of the convenience (you don’t have to dig deeply into a cabinet). Layered drawers allow you to have one drawer with two layers—maybe the top one for eating utensils and the lower one for cooking utensils. Even dishes are being stored in drawers on the lower cabinets or kitchen island. Narrow pull-out cabinets are ideal for canned goods, spices, as well as pans and baking trays that can be stored vertically to better use space.
Light It for the Task
You perform a variety of functions in the kitchen, so you’ll benefit from a variety of light sources. Overhead lighting, like recessed light, are good for lighting the room. Pendant lights look and work great over a kitchen island and sink. Under-cabinet lights add valuable task lighting for prep work.
Designing the right kitchen layout for your home requires careful planning. In the Oklahoma City region, Beacon Homes is a builder with extensive experience in designing and building kitchens for a wide variety of home styles. If your plans include a new home, take a look at our custom kitchens, as well as the floor plans and our new home communities. Talk to us about everything you need and want in your new kitchen!