6 Rules for Designing a Kitchen

Updated September 4th, 2023
Rules for Designing a Kitchen

While the living room or bedroom may receive the bulk of your attention when constructing a new home, it’s equally crucial to mind the layout and design of your kitchen.

After all, the kitchen is the space where you’ll spend a significant amount of time preparing meals. You’ll want this room to be conducive to cooking, which means having adequate counter space, storage, and the appropriate appliances. You’ll also want it to be eye-catching and stylish in case any guests drop by while you’re whipping up a meal.

To help you design the kitchen of your dreams, here are six essential rules to consider.

1. Use Rounded Countertop Corners

When designing your kitchen, you’ll likely come across different countertop materials like granite, laminate, or even marble.

Do some research to see what kind of countertop would best fit the design you’re going for. Go through a trusted countertop company homepage carefully and see what options are available for you.

Regardless of which one you choose, make sure to go for a rounded edge over a square or beveled one. Rounded or billeted edges are much safer since there’s no sharp corner that can easily chip or crack. On top of that, it adds a layer of safety as you prevent the risk of head injuries when you reach down from lowered cabinets. If you’re not a fan of the billeted look, a chamfered edge is a happy medium that will give you both safety and aesthetics.

2. Be Mindful of Door Interference

Many new homeowners tend to overlook the importance of door clearance, especially when it comes to the kitchen. While subtle, this design mistake can be a nuisance to the functionality of your space.

As such, make sure to leave enough room for doors to swing open without hitting any cabinets or appliances. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 18 inches of clearance for doors. This will ensure that you have plenty of room to move around without any interference.

You’ll also want to consider how traffic will flow in and out of the kitchen. For instance, if you have a smaller kitchen, you’ll want to avoid placing the fridge in a location that would block the doorway. The cabinet door spacing should also be symmetrical at the outset to avoid any future kitchen repairs.

3. Consider the “Work Triangle”

The “work triangle” is the term used to describe the layout of your stove, fridge, and sink. This is one of the most important aspects of kitchen design, as it will determine how efficient your space is.

Ideally, you want the three appliances to form a triangle so that you can move from one to the other with ease. In particular, this distance is standardized at 4 to 9 feet, depending on which side the appliances are on.

Of course, not every kitchen is designed in a way that allows for the perfect work triangle (e.g., Pullman kitchen designs). In these cases, you’ll want to make sure that the appliances are still reasonably close to one another. Also, ensure that there’s no traffic congestion in the area so that you can move about freely.

4. Place the Sink in the Middle

No matter your kitchen’s size, the sink should always be in the middle of the countertop. On its left and right are the stove or cooking space and fridge, respectively. This is to ensure that you have even coverage on both sides and can easily access the sink from any angle.

If you have a double sink, then it’s best to place them side-by-side in the middle of the counter. This will give you plenty of space to prep food and wash dishes, all while keeping the appliances within reach.

5. Put Wastebins Under the Sink

Wastebins are an essential part of any kitchen, and you shouldn’t just settle for just one. Two is the minimum, but three is even better. This way, you can have separate bins for different types of waste (e.g., compostable, recyclable, and general).

In terms of placement, the best place for waste bins is under the sink, tucked away behind cabinet doors. Since it can frequently be challenging to make space under the sink’s plumbing and disposer, placing the bins here optimizes the storage space in your kitchen.

If there’s no room under the sink, the next best option is to install a pull-out drawer with waste bin inserts no farther than 30 inches away from the sink. This way, you can still have hidden storage in a centralized location in the kitchen.

6. Use Appropriate Lighting

The kitchen is one of the most electric-intensive rooms in the house. As such, you shouldn’t be trivial about the lighting fixtures you choose. Not only should they be stylish, but your light fixture must also be functional in terms of providing the right light for various tasks, such as the ones you can find on ArchiPro.

For instance, task lighting is essential for areas where you do food preparation, like the countertop and stove. These areas should be well-lit so that you can see what you’re doing and avoid any accidents.

In addition, the primary light source should be placed in the center of the kitchen to evenly illuminate the entire space. A light switch that opens multiple light sources is also a viable option. The light switch for this fixture should also be close to the entrance to prevent any fumbling around in the dark.

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