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Designing your Kitchen

Have you ever lived in a place where the dishwasher nearly hit the island behind it or two people couldn’t squeeze past each other? The layout of a kitchen is the first step in planning your new kitchen. There are between four and five different layouts: single and double galley kitchens, L-shaped kitchens that offer lots of space to work on the counter, and U-shaped kitchens that make it easy for the chef to access all of his pots, pans, and utensils.

Carefully consider how you plan to use your kitchen. Dining rooms seem to be a thing of the past, with many people wanting more multi-purpose and eat-in kitchens than in the past. If this is true of your family, you might consider putting in an island or peninsula to create more work space. Your island can also be extended outward to become a breakfast bar with extra outlets for computers and phone chargers.

The space under the breakfast bar can become a wine storage, a place to hang coats, or a place to store books. The island or peninsula can also be a great place to hang out with guests, and you can even put the stove on the island itself. The island also helps separate the kitchen from the rest of the house, but it doesn’t completely isolate it like a wall does.

As you decide on your kitchen’s layout, try to plan for open sight lines from the kitchen entrances to keep your rooms feeling spacious and open. Also, plan to put the dishwasher near the sink and the garbage bin near the dishwasher, stove, food prep area, the sink, and the refrigerator. The idea is to keep the busiest parts of the kitchen close enough together.

Finally, decide where you want all your storage and how you want that laid out. Do you want pots and pans to hang above the island? What kind of drawer storage and pantry do you want? Where do you want utensil storage? (Hint: near the food prep areas) Decide how large you want each cabinet and what you want to put in each one as well.