Kitchen Layouts | Avoiding Floor Plan Mistakes When Remodeling

Preventing future problem when considering kitchen layouts

The kitchen is an unsually unique space in your home as it needs to encompass both form and function. Many homeowners tend to focus on the “form” part of the equation wanting an aesthetically beautiful showpiece as the heart of their home. But, kitchen layouts are actually the most important factor in any kitchen renovation.

Without the right layout, while your kitchen may look spectacular, meal preparation can go from easy and seamless to cumbersome and challenging. The kitchen is where you spend time with your family and entertain friends. It's the room where holiday memories are created and the kids do their homework after school while enjoying a snack. Your kitchen not only needs to be comfortable, it needs to be functional as well!

When you're planning a renovation aesthetics is certainly a major consideration, but you also need to take into account organizational needs, storage, overall layout, and functionality. Put any group of kitchen designers into a room and ask them about kitchen design. While you'll probably get a number of different design opinions, when asked about kitchen layouts, they'll all agree, if you don't pay attention to the details, you'll have problems.

Examine The Big Picture First

The big picture: This kitchen design addresses lighting, windows, work triangle, serving food, and connection to the family room. Note with a gas range, a hood is provided for ventilation.

Whether you're simply upgrading your kitchen, or tearing it down to the studs and starting over, you need to look at the big picture first. Any kitchen layouts success relies on efficient workflow. Any design that ignores or modifies the traditional kitchen triangle will run into trouble.

The kitchen triangle is a standard design. The kitchen triangle consists of your sink, stove, and refrigerator and it has become a universal design principle because it works! For example, if your stove is placed at the opposite end of the kitchen from your refrigerator it can be difficult to access ingredients when preparing meals. Like wise if your refrigerator is placed behind the island and away from the stove and sink, while it might look great, when you need to access an ingredient and have to walk around the island it can get cumbersome fast!

Consider the details but make sure your design is functional! Don't get carried away with form over function. While it's exciting to choose cabinets, hardware, fixtures, lighting, and countertops, if your design places the wall over too close to the island and you can't pass by when the oven door is open, it's a major design flaw!

Always consider your lifestyle. Your overall kitchen design should clearly reflect your lifestyle in order to be effective. Examine how you shop, entertain, and live. If you have young children who are prone to spills, a white marble countertop might not be the best choice. If you don't take your lifestyle into account you could end up with too many cabinets, or giant appliances that you don't need!

Kitchen Layouts: Mistakes to Avoid!

Remember, your kitchen needs to reflect both your creative, aesthetic vision and provide functionality. Avoiding these common mistakes often seen in kitchen layouts can help you to create a design that is not only elegant, meeting your creative vision, but also is a functional workspace!

The work triangle is visible in this kitchen. Additionally there is prep space available next to the range and sink, and there is easy access to countertop space from the refrigerator and oven.

• Honor The Triangle!

Your sink, cooktop, and refrigerator make up the kitchen triangle. Make sure that the flow between these three key elements is open and unobstructed for maximum efficiency. It doesn't matter how large or small your kitchen is, honor the triangle!

• Consider the Workstation

Believe it or not, there is an alternative design theory to the Triangle. It's called the workstation. It means to look at specific tasks and how you accomplish them. Baking, coffee, food prep, vegetable prep, cooking, and clean up are a few examples. We occasionally design kitchens based on the Workstations as a matter of first importance, but these tend to be for the largest of residential kitchens.

• Don't Waste Storage Space

This kitchen provides creative storage solutions including decorative transom cabinets (barely visible top left of microwave) and built-in spice drawer and paper towel holders. Click any photo to see more on these projects.

Kitchens are crammed full of everything from small appliances to dishware, glasses, utensils, pots, pans and dry goods. One very common oversight is not taking your storage needs into account when planning your kitchen. Almost every kitchen layout has some wasted space that could be better utilized with a little planning.

• Not Enough Counter Space

Another common mistake! Almost every activity from food preparation to appliance storage requires counter space. Fit as much horizontal workspace into your design as possible!

• Inadequate Lighting

Proper lighting is incredibly important. From food preparation to ambiance lighting matters! Your kitchen lighting plan should incorporate task, ambient, decorative and accent lighting.

• Poor Ventilation

It might not be as glamorous as shopping for your chef's stove, but ventilation is another incredibly important element to a functional kitchen. No matter how elegant and stunning your design, if your guests can smell last night's salmon dinner while relaxing in the living room, you have a problem! Ventilation is especially important in an open concept design.

Work With Experts Who Understand Both Kitchen Layouts and Design

Finally, the biggest mistake you can make is to go it alone! In the end taking a DIY approach can cost you more money and take more time than hiring and working with a professional design build firm.

Kitchen design is a complex endeavor, in fact, it's probably one of the most complicated home improvement projects you can undertake! Professional designers understand universal design concepts and are up to date on the latest trends, ideas, techniques, and technology. A good designer will work closely with you to understand your lifestyle and identify your needs. Then they will translate them into the perfect functional kitchen layout and creative design to fit your lifestyle and aesthetic vision.

If you're considering a kitchen renovation project, give the experts at Degnan Design Build Remodel a call! We can show you how to create your dream kitchen at a price you can afford and do it faster than you think!  

The blog was updated by Abe Degnan on 1/17/2018.

About Degnan Design Build Remodel
Since 1981 Degnan Design Build Remodel has provided home improvement and construction services to customers throughout Greater Madison, Wisconsin. Our goal is to WOW you with a "Designed For Your Life" solution using a process that will transform your home into a beautiful living space, delivered on time, and on budget. We are known for our communication, respectfulness, and a commitment to our customers and our community. Contact us to speak with one of our designers about your home improvement project.