5 Tips to Design an Efficient Kitchen Layout

Kitchen planning blueprint, Gary Rumbaugh Construction among the best General Contrractors in Omaha.When it comes to designing the perfect kitchen plan, there is no one size or idea to fit all, since everyone is different with different needs and how they use their kitchen.

Here are five recommendations that will help you make the most out of your kitchen

1. Information

I gather as much information from my clients on how they use their kitchen and cook as being the most important part in designing a smart kitchen. Kitchen renovation inherently is a series of tradeoffs between wants, needs and the budget. A kitchen for a household with two or three cooks will be different from a kitchen for a family with one cook. This becomes the challenge, to come up with an idea that will work, taking lifestyle into consideration and within an affordable budget.

Four questions I ask include:

  1. What do you cook for dinner?
  2. How often do you eat family dinners together?
  3. Do you entertain?
  4. And what does a week of activities in the kitchen look like?

All this information will help me with figuring out ventilation needs to where to store spices and baking supplies/equipment. For example, people that do a lot of stir fry cooking need space to store the WOK. Or, if someone likes to cook Italian, making baked Ziti in a garlic sauce; proper kitchen venting is a factor.

2. Create Kitchen Zones

In the early 1940s, the triangle kitchen design concept was formed; the sink, stove and refrigerator. This triangle concept works reasonably well in smaller kitchens. However, today’s larger open-plan kitchens are better served by creating zones. The kitchen is command central, so the work triangle, really no longer applies. Zones typically will overlap, unless you have a huge kitchen.

Zones are especially useful for people who cook a lot and entertain frequently. In a zone style kitchen there would be a cooking zone, a prep zone, and an entertainment zone, where the bar, as well, as guest seating is located.

3. Materials Matter

I consider it a good idea to consider my client’s lifestyle and cooking style when selecting materials for a kitchen. They often come to me with ideas for certain countertop materials or flooring. My years of experience have helped me guide many clients to selecting the right materials for their kitchen that they will truly be much happier with in the long run. I find out if my client is meticulous cook, or someone that could double as the next guest star of The Messy Cook. It is important to pick materials that fit their lifestyle in order to have a kitchen that will look beautiful for years to come.

A good example I would not suggest a marble surface for an active family, because this type of countertop becomes etched and scratched and will look terrible after a while. It might be better to select a solid surface such as granite or Dupont’s Corian®.

4. Leave Enough Space

Working space and layout in any kitchen is critical. When possible, I plan a kitchen with 42 to 48 inches between counters, islands and walls. Just for example, with a dish washer door pulled down you want to be able to walk by it.

5. Wants, Desires, Budget and Value

Sometimes my clients want something they may not end up ever using. My job is to guide them, offer alternatives that will fit their lifestyle and use. This is a huge factor when the budget is a real issue. An example, a client may specify they want double ovens. My design question would be “Do you really do enough baking for the cost or space?”

Sometimes just asking the question makes them realize a second oven is not necessary.

Value is different for everybody my job as the contractor and designer is to find the sweet spot between value and want.

Kitchen renovation is a great investment in the value of your home and one that my sincere goal is have you enjoy for many years to come.