Step-By-Step Instructions of a Kitchen

The kitchen is the workshop of the homemaker. In the average household, she spends the equivalent of 3 full months a year – 24 hours a day around the clock – in preparing, cooking and serving food, baking cakes and pies, and washing pots and pans.

Modernizing a kitchen to make it more enjoyable to work in, to add extra conveniences and time-savers is the ideal of every homemaker. The kitchen is a room that calls for a large outlay of money, but once it is wisely built, you’ll be happy you made the investment.

Until a few years ago, modernizing a kitchen meant purchasing a new refrigerator, range, a combination sink and painting the kitchen in a bright, shiny white. We have come a long way in only a few years. The most striking aspect of the contemporary kitchen is its color. White has been displaced by more sophisticated colors. Counter space has been increased. Storage has been engineered to provide maximum use of all available space. Everything is within easy reach. Today’s kitchen blends into the home. It is not a room apart, but a part of the home’s living area.

Appliances in the kitchen have gone contemporary! Everything has been redesigned to make life-in-the-kitchen easier and more efficient. Exhaust fans under colorful hoods over the kitchen range remove the grime and dirt as well as unpleasant smoke and cooking odors. In the more modern kitchen, the old range-oven combination has been dis-placed by counter-top ranges and built-in ovens. Automatic devices practically make the kitchen run itself.

The refrigerator has a new companion in the kitchen. While combination refrigerator-freezers are very popular, many homemakers prefer having an upright freezer in addition to the refrigerator in the kitchen. The white look is passing on. Appliances in attractive colors are gaining in popularity. Models have been introduced where fabric can be added over the appliance door, so that the refrigerator can match the kitchen curtains.

Built-in Kitchen Closet

The traditional kitchen has many base and wall cabinets; after the refrigerator, sink and range have been set into place, there is practically no unbroken wall area left. Here is an unusual treatment of a kitchen. This “all-in-one” kitchen closet is one of the best ways of storing kitchen utensils, groceries and cleaning equipment. When it’s time to prepare a meal, the doors are opened and everything needed is within easy reach. After the meal, the doors are closed and one end of the room becomes a delightful picture wall. The colorfully decorated doors add a pleasant note to the kitchen area, far different from the pantry entrance found in many older homes.

If you are artistically inclined, you can paint your own attractive door. However, if you feel out of place in a painter’s smock, you can buy attractive murals in the form of wallpaper and apply these to the door. You can also buy murals in outline form, glue them to the doors, and then paint them yourself following the instructions.

This pantry wall is designed for greatest efficiency. Notice the effective use of hooks to hang utensils and pans. Note, too, the way the lids are stored in the lower part of the door on the right. These are ideas you can borrow and put to use in your existing kitchen.

Even if you don’t have space inside of a wall, you can add a wall storage unit to your existing wall. Two doors, made of %” plywood with 1×6 or 1×8 “frame” pieces, can be hinged to a wall. Shelves, perforated hardboard and other kitchen convenience racks can be combined to provide ample additional storage. If you cannot use the entire wall, use only part.

On the following pages you will find many more ideas for getting the most out of existing storage space; you’ll find extras for the wall.

Basic Layouts of a Kitchen

The efficient kitchen has adequate storage, ample counter space and is arranged to save the home-maker unnecessary steps. While the size and location of the kitchen often determines the layout, you can generally make modifications to produce more efficiency.

The layout of the kitchen is determined by the arrangement of the appliances and cabinets within the room. All the units can be set against one wall, or two walls or three. Here are four different layouts commonly found in homes:

The single wall with the sink in the center and the range and refrigerator on either end with cabinets in between and overhead.

The two-wall kitchen where appliances and cabinets are placed on two opposite walls in the room.

The L-shaped kitchen where appliances and cabinets are placed on two adjacent walls.

The U-shaped kitchen where three walls are used for the necessary equipment of the kitchen.

Manufacturers have spent considerable sums and engineers numerous hours in planning the positioning of the different appliances – the range, sink and refrigerator – in the kitchen. You will find many different arrangements within this section. If you need additional help, many of the appliance producers have literature designed to assist you in this phase of kitchen planning.

Remember that the kitchen is engineered for work but has to look attractive as well. Combining these two factors is an art, and when you consider that you have to add work counter space and cabinets for storage, you can readily see that planning based on experience is essential. The homemaker, herself, is often a source of many good ideas. After all, she is the one who will have to “live” in the kitchen!

Layout and Open Living

With the contemporary trend toward making the kitchen part of the family living area, modifications are often necessary in the traditional layout of the kitchen. The basic shapes – one-wall, L-shaped, U- shaped, two-wall – still remain. However, the walls in many contemporary kitchens aren’t there. The rear of the kitchen cabinets forms the front of storage units in the adjoining room.

Without the floor-to-ceiling walls in the kitchen, where can the cabinets be hung? The basic problem in most kitchens is inadequate cabinet space. What can be done?
If floor space is available, additional base cabinets can be included to compensate for the loss of wall cabinets. On the other hand, these cabinets can be hung from the ceiling and a space between the bottom of the cabinets and the top of the base cabinets can be left open, and used as a work area. Another technique is to open only part of the wall for the “open look.”

While the open kitchen is exceedingly popular, there are many homemakers who still prefer privacy for their kitchens. When guests are present, what can be done with kitchen clutter? Nothing looks less inviting than a pile of dirty dishes and pots and pans left about; it certainly is not a pleasant setting for dining. However, you can do something about it.

It the homemaker cleans up and puts things away as she goes along, there is less likelihood of having clutter about. But there is also less likelihood that she will ever get out of the kitchen, let alone get the dinner ready.

Of course, she can use stove-to-table ware to cut down the need for extra pots. This not only removes unnecessary pots and pans but reduces cleanup time later. She can also use.some of the attractive tableware that goes from the refrigerator directly to the table.

If you put the lights out, you won’t see it! Well, that technique can be used here too! It’s not necessary to put out all the lights, but if you dim the kitchen and spotlight the dining area, the clutter will be “hidden” in the dark.

You can also hide the clutter by using a vertical blind on a track attached to the ceiling or a bamboo shade that is lowered when you wish to conceal the state of the kitchen. Drapery can be used in place of the blind but make certain that it’s not near the range.

Understanding Kitchen Plans

If you are buying a new house or having a contractor do the major and basic modernization of your kitchen, you will undoubtedly be confronted by blueprints. Here are a few of the symbols you will find used in these plans.

When building a new home or modernizing a kitchen, make provisions for convenient and adequate wiring. There are many kitchen appliances and even if you do not include them all at this time, you might want to add some in the future. Make sure your electrical circuits can take the load.

How Much Space?

How big should your kitchen be? There are many homemakers who prefer large kitchens while others prefer small ones. The table below gives the average size kitchens recommended for different size families. Included in this table is information on the floor size, wall and base cabinet storage and size of refrigerator. Remember, these are only guides for average families. If your homemaker likes lots of elbow room, better use these figures as a minimum.

Later in this section you will find numerous space savers for the kitchen. One way of getting more out of your kitchen is to use the walls. You can also use compact appliances that blend right into the room.

Maybe you like a dining area as part of the kitchen a dinette, for example. How much space you leave for dining depends upon the accommodations you prefer. Some families like to have a snack bar in the kitchen for a light breakfast or meal and have their regular meals in the dining room.

When modernizing your kitchen or planning one in a new home, it is best to recognize that certain clearances must be left unless you want some member of your family or a dinner guest to pop up and down every time someone has to pass by. You should allow for at least 42″ from the front end of the chair to the wall behind. This makes it easy to get in and out of the chair and to pass behind the chair while someone is sitting in it.

However, if you have a cabinet behind the chair, you should add the door width to this basic 42″ figure so that the cabinet can be opened and closed easily. This extra room is not needed if you install sliding door cabinets.

Where there is no chair, at least 24″ should be planned for between the end of the table and a wall. This permits the server to pass through conveniently.

On the accompanying page are several suggested room layouts. Examine these to see which fits your needs best and then modify it to meet your exact requirements. These plans apply not only for the kitchen or dinette but for the dining room as well.

The dining area must be provided with proper lighting and convenient electrical outlets. It is best to make provisions for shelves or storage cabinets for the toaster, electric coffee maker, electric frying pan and other modern electrical conveniences for the kitchen.

Dining area lighting should be functional and decorative. Increasingly popular are two forms of lighting for the dining area. One is the retractable reel light fixture which moves up and down above the center of the table. The other is a recessed spotlight above the dining table. Particularly effective is a light-dimmer; this unit controls the brightness of the light. With a unit such as this, you can duplicate theatrical lighting for gracious dining.

5 Creative Ideas for Kitchen Islands

When doing a complete remodel of a kitchen, something important to consider before paint colors or cabinet finishes is what kind of functionality you want your kitchen to have. The standard kitchen activities such as cooking, cleaning, and storing food are givens, but what kind of entertaining would you like to do in your kitchen? If you want a kitchen that can serve as a space for more than simply dining, then a kitchen island is something you’ll definitely want to consider.

Kitchen islands are decorative and also functional compliments to any kitchen remodel. The island can often become the focal point of the kitchen without much effort. When remodeling or redesigning your kitchen, imagine how you would interact and entertain in your new space. These pieces tend to create a more diverse gathering place in the kitchen – one where you can not only entertain and dine, but also prep for cooking, play cards and board games with the family, and of course enjoy all the added storage and functionality that they offer.

5 Tips When Designing A New Kitchen Island

If you have decided that your kitchen deserves a kitchen island, there are many ways to make the design unique and creative as well. Here are five tips for you to consider when designing:

1. Size: Once you have decided on the materials that you’d like to use, it is time to consider the size. Do you want to go big and dramatic, making your kitchen island a focal piece of your kitchen remodel? Or are you more interested in something smaller and less obtrusive, using the island more for standalone functional? Consider how much use it will get, what it will be used for, and how important open floor space is in your kitchen when deciding on dimensions.

2. Levels: If you decide to go the smaller-sized route when constructing your island that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to give up surface area. Adding a second level of a different height to your design will give the piece additional functionality. Multiple levels can be used for different functions such as: a place for a cutting board or book shelf, or as a breakfast bar with stool beneath it. These alternative designs can help give your kitchen island a more customized appeal.

3. Add a Sink or Two: Adding kitchen appliances such as a sink to your new kitchen island will give it even more functionality and also serve as a gathering point when entertaining. A sink boosts the usability of any kitchen island by giving you another place to rinse off food and wash dishes. A sink can also be great when entertaining, so your guests can take part in the preparation of the meal without cluttering up your existing counter space around the oven and refrigerator.

4. Materials: Now that you’ve decided to build a kitchen island, materials are something to consider. There are many materials available to build your island with such as: wood and stainless steel as well as a wide variety of countertop options like quartz or granite that will give your kitchen island an original design. Your materials should be selected to match the rest of your kitchen. A kitchen island should complement the space without overwhelming it or sticking out. Wood can give a kitchen a rustic, chic feel while natural stones like granite and quartz offer your new surface durability and timeless elegance. Stainless steel is a great surface to use for cooking and creating edible masterpieces and marble could be another alternative to a traditional design, depending on your budget.

5. Two is Better Than One: With the different levels, materials, and appliances that are all used to create a kitchen island, why stop with just one? Adding multiple islands creates not one, but two or more focal points for your kitchen. Multiple islands could be connected or remain separated in your kitchen to give yourself additional countertop space, gathering areas, and more. Putting an island on wheels is another way to make the island convenient, and is a perfect idea for people who love to entertain and need a space that can change in an instant.

These tips are great to consider when designing a kitchen island, but it is always OK to stray away from these tips in order to create a personalized piece for your space. Consider your type of lifestyle and the goals for your kitchen space then go from there! It is important to consider the costs you are willing to spend on this new kitchen addition, as well as creating a cohesive and functional design. Most importantly, have fun when designing this new piece and you won’t go wrong.

Quartz, Granite or Marble Kitchen Worktop?

Kitchen Worktops – Quartz, Marble or Granite?

Like any other kitchen furniture, worktops come into contact with a variety of organic components. Therefore, when picking a worktop for your kitchen, you must bear this in mind.

Functionality, style, budget, durability, appearance, and cost are other factors that you need to consider when buying a kitchen worktop. Perhaps, you need a gorgeous countertop that delivers both quality performance while remaining aesthetically appealing in your kitchen?

Granite Kitchen Worktops

For decades, granite has remained the most trusted material in installing kitchen countertops. Among the very many types of kitchen worktops, granite remains the perfect choice for most homeowners. If you are contemplating on the kind of worktop to install in your new kitchen, then spare a minute and consider the following benefits of granite kitchen worktops.

Benefits of granite kitchen worktops:

1. Beautiful and durable

Everyone appreciates a kitchen with an inviting look. Granite is both durable and aesthetically unrivaled. You will find it in an exquisite range of attractive natural colours. It is a timeless stone that will remain in place for decades while not losing shape and value. The endless range of colours allows you to choose the best colour that complements other kitchen countertop materials, flooring, cabinets and walls. Granite worktops are highly resistant and are not susceptible to scratches or heat. It is also resistant to stains and other hot liquids.

2. Requires the least maintenance

As a homeowner, you will want your kitchen worktop to remain in tip top condition. However, a headache comes in when you have to tight schedule. Granite worktops require the least maintenance, unlike other options. In fact, you can only put a sealer on it once in a year yet it remains intact and inviting. The treated ones can even go for ten years without a sealant.

3. Cost-efficient

Any budget-conscious homeowner would prefer granite countertop. Reason? Granite countertops cam save you a lot of money. Instead of refinishing the year after year, they remain intact hence eliminating the need for costly repairs. If you want to save your money on kitchen maintenance, then granite is the best bet for you.

4. Increases the resale value of your home

If you are renovating your kitchen to stage it for sale, then think of installing granite worktops. It is an excellent way of adding value to your home hence attracting the attention of potential buyers for quick sale. It surely modifies your home kitchen décor. It is highly polished and does not fade with time.

5. It is purely natural without any artificial fillers

Being natural implies that it cannot degrade with time or affect the health of the occupants. Therefore, they are a friendly option you can buy. Additionally, if granite countertops get damaged, they can be repaired with ease. It will remain in place for a lifetime.

Marble Kitchen Worktops

Apart from granite, there is another excellent option for you-marble worktops. Marble is a metamorphic rock that forms when limestone re-crystalizes. Marble contains various minerals that give it the many colours. The many textural designs and colour options make it a very decorative stone. This is why it is an excellent pick if you want to transform the appearance of your kitchen worktops and floors. Marble kitchen worktops come with many benefits. Among them are;

1. Very attractive

If all you need is to give your kitchen a stunning look, then a marble worktop will do it best. Regardless of the age of your kitchen marble worktops can transform the overall appeal of your kitchen and enhance its value. Marble looks light and natural. The pattern variations of its surface make it versatile. In fact, it conceals any signs of damages hence will remain new for decades. It is also resistant to scratches and spills.

2. Keeps your kitchen cool

If you are living in an area with extremely high temperatures, then try marble kitchen tops for your kitchen. They are also ideal for tightly spaced kitchens that get hot when cooking. They are very comfortable and safe to work with especially when touching the hot stuff.

3. Easy to maintain

Maintenance is critical when buying a kitchen worktop. Marble worktops are easier to maintain. All you need to do is to wipe it with water and detergent, and it gets clean. Moreover, if they scratch with time, you can still repair them yourself or call for professional service.

Quartz Kitchen Worktops

Quartz is another popular option when it comes to installing kitchen worktops. Quartz is made by combining natural quartz with resin in a ratio of 93% to 7%. Quartz is desirable both in quality, colour and decoration. They are combined to form an entirely sealed and polished surface. For centuries, quartz has been preferred due to its unique charm and beauty. Quartz kitchen worktops are professionally sealed hence remain exquisitely shiny and natural. Quartz countertops have many benefits including;

1. They are stain-proof

Since quartz is non-porous, it is highly impermeable. Therefore, they do not require any sealing or polishing, unlike other kitchen worktop stones. In fact, stains can stay on it for long without affecting its quality. Additionally, quartz worktops require minimal maintenance. Wiping it with a piece of cloth is enough to keep them clean. They also do not tolerate mould, mildew and bacteria growth; therefore, they are healthy for your kitchen as well.

2. Highly resistant to heat, scratches, and cracks

Quartz worktops are outstandingly durable for your kitchen. They are resistant to heat, scratches, and cracks. However, in the case of scratches, you can cover them by only sanding it out. Its hardness and toughness make it impact-resistant and shock-proof; hence, won’t crack easily. Quartz worktops are also not affected by most household acids and stains.

3. Available in an extensive range of colours

Since Quartz is man-made, they can be manufactured in different shades. Therefore, you can find the best custom shade that matches your kitchen décor and style. They look elegant and timeless.

The type of stone you choose for your kitchen worktop, the quality of installation and maintenance you provide are the top factors you must consider. Therefore, it is paramount for you to work with a professional when selecting and installing a kitchen worktop for your home. The above are the top leading options you can pick for your kitchen remodelling.

Basic Kitchen Layout Shapes

What’s determines your kitchen layout? You’ve heard of the phrase “form follows function”. This is true when it comes to the layout of a kitchen. There are, however, some basic kitchen layout shapes i.e. Straight, Galley, L, U, and G that are based on the work triangle.

The work triangle is formed by tracing an invisible line between the sink, range, and refrigerator. No leg of the triangle is shorter than 4 feet nor longer than 9 feet. With the total of all legs not being greater than 26 feet.

No obstructions in the triangle.

STRAIGHT | ONE WALL

The one wall kitchen layout is the smallest of all kitchen design layouts. There really is not work triangle as such for obvious reasons. This kitchen layout is ideal for smaller homes or as a secondary kitchen in a larger homes. This type of kitchen plan is best suited for an efficiency style of apartment and is often incorporated into loft style or open floor plans.

Because its small stature the one-wall kitchen design often lends itself to the use of combination appliances. Hood/microwave works well here as does a range for cooking rather than a cooktop and separate oven. Try not to crowd appliances too closely together. Leaving ample space for cabinetry between appliances will make the kitchen much more functional.

Pros:

  • The single wall design totally eliminates outside traffic flow in this kitchen.
  • This is the perfect choice for an open floor plan or basic kitchen layout.
  • Likely to be the lease expensive kitchen to remodel.

Cons:

  • The lack of a traditional work triangle in the one-wall kitchen design makes it a less efficient kitchen layout.
  • Lack of size can lead to limited storage space.
  • Storage can be very limited in a smaller kitchen such as this.

GALLEY | CORRIDOR

The galley or corridor style kitchen design layout gets its name from the galley of a ship. This kitchen is also referred to as a corridor kitchen layout or plan. With this kitchen plan all cabinets and appliances are in a straight line on opposite walls. This can be one of the most highly efficient kitchens to cook in due to its small size. Everything the cook needs is not far from hand and a lot of the back and forth movement by the cook can be eliminated here.

The main draw back to this kitchen layout is that it is designed as a pass through kitchen. This invites traffic into the kitchen and as a result things can get crowded. Shoot for a minimum of 4 feet between countertops to allow ample room.

Try to keep guests from passing through if possible. If carefully thought out this kitchen can offer ample cabinet storage and adequate counter space. Space saving appliances such as smaller refrigerators and under cabinet appliances are ideal in this kitchen design.

Pros:

  • Due to the smaller work area and basic kitchen layout this is one of the more efficient kitchens to use.
  • Easy to keep clean and clutter free.
  • The limited space means remodeling this kitchen should be less expensive.

Cons:

  • Traffic can be a concern if the galley kitchen is open on both ends.
  • Cooks are typically not engaged with the rest of the guests and can feel a bit isolated in a galley kitchen.
  • Typically not designed for eat in use. If planned properly a snack bar can be added.

L-SHAPED

Perhaps the most common kitchen shape is the L-Shape kitchen plan. In this kitchen layout the problem of pass through traffic is eliminated. The possibility of corner storage also comes into play with the wall and base cabinetry at the inside of the L shape. It is important to take advantage of this space and use it wisely. Blank or dead corners should be avoided here.

Take care not to make each leg of the L too long to avoid unnecessary amounts of travel while working in the kitchen. A maximum leg length of 12 to 15 feet is ideal. If you have a large enough room to work with you can explore the idea of adding an island to this kitchen plan.

Pros:

  • Excellent choice for a typical medium sized kitchen.
  • If laid out properly this is an extremely efficient kitchen to cook in.
  • If space permits an island or peninsula can add additional storage and function.

Cons:

  • Household traffic can interfere with work triangle.
  • Reduce traffic by placing the refrigerator at the end of one leg of the L shape.
  • Microwave/hood combo is most efficient use of space but not great for maximum ventilation.

U-SHAPED

The U shape kitchen is a close cousin to the L shape but offers more storage and counter space. In the U shape, however, you will have two inside corner situations to address. Lazy susan cabinets, blind corner cabinets and magic corner cabinets are all possibilities here.

This kitchen layout is suitable for larger kitchens and can be enhanced by adding a kitchen island. Should you decide to use an island try to have no less than 42″ of clear walking space around the island.

The addition of an island will likely break up the flow of a traditional work triangle so you may wish to consider the idea of incorporating another work zone to add functionality to this plan.

Pros:

  • Good for larger kitchen plans. Lots of counter space and storage.
  • Ideal for adding an island to your kitchen layout.
  • Traffic through the work triangle is eliminated.

Cons:

  • Unless there is a dedicated work station at the island his is usually a single cook kitchen.
  • Try to have a minimum of 12 feet along the back wall of the U to avoid a crowded feeling in the kitchen.
  • Keep appliances a minimum of 3 feet from the corners.

G-SHAPED

The G shape kitchen is really a modified version of the U shape. Many times the G shape is completed by adding a peninsula area to create the G shape. The addition of a peninsula is an excellent way to make your kitchen more inviting especially if it incorporates seating for guests.

The downside to the G shape kitchen plan is that it does limit access to the main kitchen area so care must be taken so the kitchen doesn’t feel cramped. Make certain there is plenty of room between the leg of the G and cabinetry on the opposite wall. Try to keep an entry access distance of no less than 48″ here.

Pros:

  • Can offer more storage and counter space than small kitchens.
  • Can offer seating space for a few guests.
  • Ideal way to limit access to the busy work triangle area of the kitchen.

Cons:

  • Can make the kitchen feel closed in or smaller than it actually is.
  • Care must be taken to leave adequate ingress and egress to main kitchen work center.

This is just a sampling of the many configurations that are available. No two kitchens are exactly alike.

The kitchen layout will be uniquely YOURS.