Improving Kitchen Flow

Some basic principles can ensure that your kitchen design or remodel increases the workability and lovability of your kitchen. Yesterday we discussed zones in a kitchen and how their arrangement can improve the flow of work spaces. Another way to improve flow is to keep doorways or passages from the kitchen to other areas of the house on one side of the room. This reduces foot traffic through the kitchen that would interrupt the food-prep and cooking process. You can accomplish this by closing off some doorways or by creating better placed openings of the kitchen to other areas of the home.

Opening up the kitchen to dining and living rooms can transform the feel and functionality of your kitchen. This can be a total connection (through removing an entire existing wall) or a partial connection (through expanding a doorway or adding a counter height opening). If your kitchen is small, it might seem like you’re sacrificing storage by opening up your kitchen, but you can regain that storage through the placement and arrangement of elements in your open space. You might even gain more space by borrowing some from the adjoining room.

Arranging your kitchen includes thoughtful placement of large kitchen features. Keeping large vertical elements (such as wall ovens, refrigerators, and full height cabinetry) at the ends of counter space prevents them from segmenting work surfaces. This improves the flow of your kitchen by keeping countertop space uninterrupted for food-prep, cooking, and clean-up.

If your kitchen is 12 feet or wider, consider adding a small or large island. This can allow for increased countertop area, storage, and informal seating. The island can be a compilation of elements, with shelves, cabinets, raised bar height areas, or lower table height areas. An island, like the rest of your kitchen, can be customized to fit your needs and your lifestyle. As you're cooking that turkey on Thursday, think about changes you’d like to make in your kitchen to add style and function!