5 Tips for a Highly Functional Kitchen

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A good kitchen design is more than what is aesthetically pleasing or modernized. New appliances, finished countertops, and quality cabinetry, is only half the battle. The other half that most kitchen remodels often overlook is how functional the kitchen is. When redesigning your kitchen space, here are 5 important things to consider in your remodel.

1. The Importance of Kitchen Lighting

Many older kitchens have a single light source in the kitchen. This can result in glaring, uncomfortable light close to the source, and shadowy poor light in other corners of the kitchen. The newest trends in kitchen remodels include plenty of dimmable recessed lights, also known as can lights, and under cabinet lights with accent pendant lights over the island or peninsula to give your kitchen remodel a sleek look. These light fixtures are also versatile and allows you to focus on each major area in the kitchen. The combination is not only functional, it also takes into consideration the kitchen’s ambiance. With the current energy efficient requirements, you can enjoy more light while also saving money and energy.  

2. A Functional Kitchen Island

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Whether or not your kitchen remodel can accommodate an island depends on floor space. If your kitchen has the room for one, it can be a positive contribution to your kitchen remodel, but in spaces that are too small, a peninsula may be a better option. Removing a wall and building an island is a great way to open up the space. When entertaining guests, it allows you to be involved with your guests while preparing the meal. For optimal efficiency, HDR can help with creative island designs that compliment the island’s function.

3. Optimizing Your Kitchen Counter Space

A functional kitchen space has three major sections to it. An area for prepping, an area for cooking, and an area for cleaning up. For the kitchen to be as efficient as possible, it is best to have a designated amount of counter space for each phase of the process. If you enjoy cooking and cook often, having a pot filler installed at your stove is a convenient feature to have. Appliance garages are also an ideal way to easily access your appliances while avoiding countertop clutter. They can be designed with built-in electrical outlets to make using and storing these appliances a breeze.  

Achieving a functional kitchen space that flows with your cooking process requires a good understanding of how you operate in your kitchen and a well planned kitchen design.

4. Kitchen Cabinets & Storage

Gone are the days of practically crawling into your cabinet to find those little used items. HDR can help you design storage spaces for your every need. For those who cook often, a pantry may be an essential part of your kitchen storage space. Otherwise, clever use of available space can help get the most out of your cabinet space.

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With a wide variety of different types of easy glide pull outs, you can designate certain cabinets and drawers for the way you want to use your kitchen. From pull out pots and pans drawers to knife and utensil drawers, and even pet food bowl drawers, you can make the best use of all your storage space. And let’s not forget the Lazy Susan for those corner cabinets. The modern Lazy Susan makes any item within arm’s reach. The easy pull-out trash and recycling bins are a nice added feature.

Pro Tip: When building kitchen cabinets, extend it all the way to the ceiling. This gives your kitchen a custom feel, creates more storage and eliminates the wasted space gathering dust.

5. General Kitchen Workstation

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One aspect of a functional kitchen most people don't take into consideration is adding in a general purpose workstation. This is an area where your kids can do their homework, you can take down notes from a phone call, or you can sit down to work on your grocery list. The kitchen is often central to the home environment, and having a convenient location to allow your family to work out of the way of the cooking process while being in each other’s company can be a priceless addition.  

Include some data ports in a drawer at your kitchen workstation and you have a one-stop charging area for your phones and laptops.  

A kitchen remodel is your opportunity to transform a standard workspace into an area made specifically for you and your family. When you set out to remodel your new kitchen, take some time to discuss these five integral parts of a kitchen design with your Design + Build contractor to achieve the most functional kitchen.