Common Kitchen Layout Problems & How to Overcome Them

The Kitchen Master | March 26, 2021

Today, the best kitchens are models of efficient space planning as well as beauty, with sparkling work-saving appliances and dedicated space for storage, food preparation, and cleanup. Commonly, there is also room for a table and chairs, a breakfast nook, or at least a handy snack counter.

Some Common Kitchen Layout Shortcomings

Despite all the modern conveniences on the market, not all kitchens work well. In older homes, the kitchen may be a constant source of frustration for the owners, with cramped quarters, poor ergonomics, or inefficient layouts that lead to fatigue.

Common problems include:

  • Too many steps between major appliances
  • Not enough counter space
  • Awkward traffic patterns
  • Insufficient task lighting
  • No provision for trash
  • Crowding difficulties when two or more people try to work together

Common Kitchen Problems and Solutions

Creating an Efficient Kitchen Workflow

Avoiding the more common kitchen layout problems is easy with an intelligent, well-thought-out design. One of the most recognizable best practices in kitchen design is creating a “kitchen work triangle.” It places the stove, sink, and refrigerator at the tips of a triangle with equidistant sides. This minimizes the number of steps required when completing common cooking, serving, and cleaning tasks, reducing fatigue and saving time.

Many of the most popular layouts incorporate the kitchen work triangle, such as common U-shaped and L-shaped designs. Islands or peninsula counters can be added to increase counter space and limit unwanted traffic, while custom cabinets can be incorporated that keep trash and recyclables tucked away in hidden, yet accessible locations. Modern under-cabinet LED strips, pendant lights, and recessed lighting can be installed in strategic locations to provide effective task lighting, and extra sinks or cooktops can be added to kitchen islands or peninsula counters to make more effective work areas for two or more people.

To create a modern, open layout, kitchen islands or peninsula counters can be strategically placed to eliminate a wall while providing convenient seating for snacks, quick meals, or socializing with the cook. They can also transform a galley kitchen into a more useful, ergonomic design.

Designing the Ideal Kitchen for Your Needs

When you plan your Chicago home’s kitchen renovation, be sure to consider how your own family lives and interacts, and what activities you envision taking place in the space in addition to cooking and clean-up duties. Pay attention to storage and entertaining needs as well, and place a priority on convenience — from unloading food from the market, to toting trash to the curb, doing homework, or charging mobile devices. Make sure you have plenty of space and outlets to accommodate laptops, cell phones, and tablets for those that would like to get some work done while they enjoy a snack.

For more serious work, kitchen planners emphasize work stations to customize a layout, and take personal preferences into account. A layout for a serious baker would almost certainly be very different from the design for a pair of busy corporate executives who prepare meals at home only on weekends, or a busy family that needs the kitchen to be friendly to multi-tasking.

Professional designers at The Kitchen Master will help you crystallize your preferences and needs for a new or remodeled kitchen in your Chicago-area home. We truly believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and that it should be comfortable and efficient for everyone who uses it.

Are you ready to improve the layout of your kitchen and make it more efficient? Call us today at (630) 369-0500 or contact us online to schedule your free kitchen remodeling consultation!

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