Every kitchen is different. The best way to layout a kitchen should include creating one that serves your specific cooking habits. However, adding new family members may mean you need to rethink your kitchen’s design. Eventually, your prep area may need to accommodate activities such as homework, entertainment, or multiple cooks. You also need to consider safety, storage, and traffic, among other things. How your appliances, countertops, and storage areas are arranged can make or break the efficiency of your kitchen. This article will discuss tips on the best way to layout a kitchen for growing families.
Hire a Qualified Remodeling Company
Getting professional help when you’re figuring out the best way to layout a kitchen is tip number one because it drastically reduces the chances of something going wrong. Your kitchen remodel will go much smoother when you enlist the help of a professional remodeling company. To that end, consider hiring a design-build remodeling company that can handle the entire remodeling process, from design to completion. It reduces the number of people you have to deal with and simplifies the remodeling process. However, you must do your research before committing to any company.
This means asking friends and family for referrals, looking online for reviews, and visiting kitchens where they have worked on. A kitchen remodel is a big investment (according to Home Advisor, the average kitchen remodel cost is $25,837), so you need to get the right people to articulate your vision. Along with reputation, ensure that the firm holds the necessary licenses from state and local municipalities. Associations such as the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) will have this information.
Your contractor should also be able to show you particular certifications (e.g., Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler or Certified Remodeler by NARI), demonstrating that they have years of experience and the capability to meet industry standards. Confirm that they are insured because this will protect you against possible damages or accidents that occur on the job. Once you’ve picked out at least three companies you are happy with, ask for bids and take your time to consider each proposal when working on the best way to layout a kitchen.
A proposal should be detailed and include items such as costs, warranty, and timeline of the project. Don’t pay for everything at once. The contract should tie payments to the completion of various stages or tasks of the projects and not dates. This avoids a situation whereby you’ve paid for 80% of the work, yet only 20% has been completed. Lastly, choose a company you feel comfortable with. A typical remodel will take between three weeks to four months, depending on the complexity, size, and scope of the project – good communication between all involved will go a long way to creating a marvelous kitchen.
The Right Layout
As mentioned before, the best way to layout a kitchen comes down to the kind of environment you want for your kitchen. A growing family means that there is more cooking to be done which requires larger prep areas and more storage. If your ideal kitchen is one that keeps out the kids, consider building a U-shaped or peninsula kitchen that constricts access at one end. It creates a more private space that is also safer for cooking. If your preference is the popular open plan arrangement, an island or L-shaped layout would be better suited. That way, the whole family is welcomed into the kitchen, which makes for a bustling and lively family gathering area. Today’s most common layouts are the L shape, U shape, and one-wall kitchens. Peninsula island arrangements are falling out of favor as people prefer true floating islands. Here are the three best floor plans you ought to consider:
A U-shape design is as the name suggests. The user is surrounded on all three sides by cabinetry and workspaces, meaning you get plenty of storage and prep area. The U-shape layout is considered the most versatile layout, and you can throw in an island in the center as the kitchen centerpiece. This has the effect of freeing up space around the perimeter where you can instead have even more cabinetry. Heavy cooks and large families will appreciate the extra storage and extensive prep areas. You can add interest by sprucing your kitchen with unique custom kitchen cabinet designs. If you want to engage freely and openly with your family, adding a range or sink on the island will make it so that you frequently face the living area. You can also bring the family closer to you by adding casual seating areas for the island. The U shape is very efficient for small and open-plan homes, and it even makes it easier for two cooks to work simultaneously. In addition, the U-shape makes it easy to achieve the kitchen triangle.
The L-shape comprises countertops installed on two adjoining walls to form an L shape. Like the U-shape, it is a popular layout that is great at offering lots of counter and storage space. Speak to your kitchen remodeling company about the ideal length for either countertop, but a length of less than 12 to 15 feet on either side is efficient. The L-shape design also makes it easier for two cooks to navigate and can be enhanced by adding an island.
The best way to layout a kitchen that connects an island to one end of an L-shape layout is with a peninsula, which essentially converts to a kind of U-shape. They function like islands and work well in homes that don’t have the space to accommodate an island. If it seems that adding an island will be a hindrance, consider the peninsula layout. An island offers better traffic flow and is accessible on all sides, but if you’ll be bumping into it constantly, let it go. Keep in mind that an island requires between 42 and 48 inches of clearance around its perimeter for easy movement. A peninsula offers many of the benefits of an island, including storage and counter space. For your counters, speak to a marble, granite, soapstone, or quartz countertop installer to get ideas on which durable material is best for you. If you choose to have cabinets atop the peninsula, ensure they are high enough, so they do not close off the kitchen.
Galley and One-Wall
These are most commonly used in smaller homes, studios, and loft spaces. The galley consists of two parallel countertops with a walkway in between, while the one wall has all its cabinets and appliances fixed onto a single wall. This type is the best way to layout a kitchen for a single cook and may not be as useful for families as the three above.
What Is the Kitchen Triangle?
The kitchen triangle is a rule based on the arrangement of a kitchen’s three main work areas: the sink, stove, and refrigerator. According to the rule, these three work areas should be loosely laid out in a triangle shape to allow the user to perform their cooking and cleaning tasks efficiently and without obstruction. The measurements of each side of the kitchen triangle should be between four feet and nine feet at the maximum. The perimeter of the triangle should be between 13 and 16 feet. Its goal is to create a space where everything is within comfortable reach while allowing the user to move freely but not so far that it gets tiresome.
But the kitchen triangle is just a rough guideline. The triangle has been replaced instead by kitchen zones. As kitchens have gotten bigger and more open, it has become harder to create a strict triangle. Furthermore, the triangle came about in the 1940s when they were fewer appliances and women prepared meals mostly by themselves for their families. Instead, think about the layout in terms of work zones, e.g., the prep area, cooking area, cleaning area, and storage area. Kitchen design experts recommend focusing on the workflow whereby activity is done in its respective zone. For example, the prepping area may have a trash can nearby, so it’s easy to dispose of scraps. Having work zones also helps you avoid bumping into someone else who is in the kitchen yet doing something different.
Consider Current Kitchen Trends
The kitchen is beloved as the heart of every home, making it the most popular room to remodel. As such, there are many remodel ideas to delight, and even better, many are practical. An example is a move away from the popular all-white kitchens, which are high maintenance and can feel cold or unfriendly. Instead, many opt to pair neutral tones with strong colors such as deep greens and rich reds. Darker colors are being embraced, especially on appliances. Black kitchen ranges create a dramatic focal point that can make a room feel sleek and elegant. If a pop of color doesn’t sit well with you, use different materials that bring different textures, e.g., new stones such as travertine and quartzite or flat panel doors. Hiring an interior designer will help you get a handle on all the current kitchen trends so you can choose what you like or don’t like.
Any growing family will appreciate copious amounts of storage to ensure that the kitchen cabinet installation service installs enough storage. As the family grows, so will the need for more food storage, storage for child-related items, e.g., bibs, bottles, baby food, as well as more cooking utensils. In addition, anything dangerous or breakable must be kept from reach. A bigger fridge is also a must-have. It’s a worthy investment; if it breaks down, a fridge repair is still less than the replacement cost. You may even want to consider getting a walk-in pantry when considering the best way to layout a kitchen for your family.
Upgrade Your Appliances
New and smart appliances reduce the time spent doing routine tasks and make cooking a breeze. This is great for anyone who has to cook for many people. Have the local electrician install your smart appliances to function intuitively at the click of an app. Ensure they are also efficient, which is good for the environment and saves money.
Flooring and Lighting
Whether you call the tile, vinyl, laminate, concrete, or hardwood floor service is up to you. They are all excellent choices, each with its pros and cons. Don’t forget the lighting for the best way to layout a kitchen. Call a window replacement service if you want to achieve a more modern look and employ the tried and tested rules of layered lighting to create a well-balanced, well-lit kitchen interior. From pendants to a track lighting installation – there are many ways to illuminate a space.
How Much Should You Spend on Your Kitchen?
According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), you should spend 15% to 20% of your home’s value on a kitchen remodel. That means the budget for a $300,000 home would be $45,000 to $60,000. Here’s their guide on how the money will be divided:
- Cabinetry and Hardware – 29%
- Installation and Labor – 17%
- Appliances – 14%
- Countertops and Backsplashes – 10%
- Flooring – 7%
- Lighting – 5%
- Walls and Ceilings – 5%
- Design Fees – 4%
- Doors and Windows -4%
- Faucets and Plumbing – 4%
- Other – 1%
When budgeting for a remodel, determine your priorities. As this is likely your forever home, focus on creating a space that fits your unique needs. On the other hand, if you think you’ll be moving out in a couple of years, recouping your investment is something you should think about. Speak to a realtor about which upgrades increase the resale value of your home in your area. According to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value National Report, a major mid-range kitchen remodel has an ROI of 56.1%
Before your remodel, prepare well and write everything you want in your new kitchen, from asking residential plumbing services to install a deeper sink to creating a hidden trash area. Ideally, all the work should be completed during the remodel. Also, take some pictures before remodeling so you can appreciate the transformation. If you need assistance with finding the best way to layout a kitchen, contact a contractor today.