Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How To Make Your Kitchen More Functional

You Need A Kitchen With A Well-executed Work Flow

 
You spend a great deal of time in the kitchen, so having that room look fantastic and provide outstanding functionality is worth every penny you might spend. There are so many things to consider when remodeling a kitchen and experienced contractor can bring important options to light as well as guide you through the decision making process.  We all know we need to be thinking about cupboards, counters and lighting but what about a TV, computer or IPad stand, piped in music, or other electronic items built in. If you are looking to remodel in the Dallas area Unique Properties will pay attention to every detail from the estimate all the way through the final aesthetic touches. They have the experience help you think of everything you might want out of your kitchen, even when you don't even  know what you want. Unique Properties is a full-service home construction company that has served the Dallas metroplex since 1996. Call (214) 533-0716 today for a free detailed estimate, or send us an email at uniqueproperties1@verizon.net.
 
Read on to get a few kitchen work flow ideas for this article fround on cultivate.com.

8 Design Tips to Improve Kitchen Work Flow

by Fran Donegan

Kitchen By Unique Home Builders
We ask so much of our kitchens. They're expected to function as entertainment centers, family gathering places and hangout central—so it's easy to forget that first and foremost the kitchen is a place to prepare food. Whether you're a true gourmet or a master of the microwave, you need a kitchen with a well-executed work flow. Your kitchen needs to be easy to maneuver and well-organized, so here are eight tips for making your cook space more convenient.

Get Real

Think work flow first. "Flow and layout—the bones—come first," says Rhonda Knoche of Rhonda Knoche Design in Portland, Ore. "Many people want to focus on the products as opposed to the floor plan and layout. For me, I would spend money on a spatial change rather than a high-end product. It's all about the movement rather than a shiny object." Be honest with yourself: How often do you cook? What do you cook? Do you cook alone or with someone? The answers will help you create the right workflow for you.

Divert Foot Traffic

Traffic should bypass the cooking area as people travel from room to room. For a major remodel or a new kitchen, you might need to move doors. Islands and peninsulas will deflect traffic in open floor plans, such as kitchens that open up to family rooms. "Every house and every family is different, but an island can help define a work area," says Susan Serra of Susan Serra Associates in Huntington, N.Y. "An island is a popular way to segregate the social areas and work flow."

Design Work Zones

"Among professionals, the work triangle is dead—dead, dead, dead," Knoche says. "It first came out in the '50s, before microwaves, breakfast bars, coffee stations and the like. It was a good starting point, but now the talk is more about zones." Think zones for food preparation, cooking and cleanup, all placed where they make sense for you. To save steps, store needed items within each zone. Two cooks might require two food prep areas and possibly a second sink.

Think Sink First

Most people think range location first. But, "no matter what kind of cook you are, you probably spend twice the amount of time at the sink as you do at the cook top," Knoche says. "So maybe you want to place the sink where it affords the view you want." If that is not possible, consider a second prep sink. "The main sink can be for cleaning, and the prep sink can be placed on an island where you can enjoy a view into a family room," Serra says.

Stash the Trash

Is your trash can under the sink? Move it. True, the sink is the heart of the cleanup zone, but someone working at the sink will be interrupted every time someone else needs to put something in the trash. Talk about inefficient! Pullout bins located nearby are a better option. They hold more, and with multiple bins, the area will pull double-duty as a recycling center. Another idea: Place bins at the end of the cabinet run to store large bags of pet food.

Install Microwave Drawers

A microwave drawer, where the appliance is recessed into a base cabinet, not only places the microwave at a convenient height for everyone's use but also reduces counter clutter. Plus, the drawer eliminates the need for a micro-vent combination where the microwave is mounted over a range. "Micro-vent combinations are unsafe," Knoche says. "Ergonomically, they are tough to read, to use and to reach. The microwave person gets in the way of the cook top person. Microwave drawers are much better for safety, ergonomics and flow."

Create Snack Centers

Place the refrigerator at the end of a cabinet run or near a door to keep snackers and browsers out from underfoot. If that's not possible, consider installing a beverage refrigerator in a base cabinet or in a butler's pantry. If you have an open plan, where an island defines the kitchen edge, install the units on the family room side if possible. "Refrigerator drawers are another option," Serra says. "They can be used to hold fruits and snacks and placed out of the way."

Multitask Appliances

Today's kitchens contain more appliances than ever, but there is a movement to downsize some appliances or choose appliances that can multitask, such as steam/convection ovens and microwave/convection ovens, in order to improve work flow. "I ask my clients: 'Do you really need a double oven for the couple of holidays that you actually use both ovens?'" Knoche says. "If you have a full oven combined with a micro/convection switch hitter, you have an oven-and-a-half for those few times you need it."

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