Planning For a Kitchen Design That Functions As Well As It Looks

functional kitchen designIf there’s one room in your home that could be considered the “workhorse,” it’s the kitchen. We prepare food, gather, and often eat in this multi-use space. And there’s nothing like a beautifully designed and finished kitchen to make us stop and marvel. If there ever was a space that demands excellence in both design and function, this is it. Small wonder that the kitchen is the most popular remodeling project for homeowners.

But just as each home and its design aesthetic are unique, there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to kitchen design. Unless your design starts with a thorough understanding of how you need your kitchen to function, beautiful finishes alone won’t be enough. So how do you ensure that your redesigned kitchen will function as well as it looks?

For us, the process of reimagining your kitchen starts with a conversation, one in which we ask key questions designed to not only understand what you say you want, but to go deeper to uncover needs you may not have thought of. These are based on the various functions of the space and how not only the primary user, but the whole family, can best navigate this hub of the home.

With an expert level of knowledge and experience of the design, planning, and execution of residential kitchens and/or baths as certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), designers at Lee Kimball are equipped with the skills to transform these conversations into functional plans. 

Many of us have heard of the classic kitchen “work triangle” – a concept dating back to the early 20th century that describes the navigation lines between the sink, cooktop, and refrigerator, considered to be the three primary work areas of any kitchen. Today, with our multi-functional kitchens, that concept has been expanded to comprise multiple work zones to accommodate various uses.

For example, consider the placement of appliances. If you are an avid baker, putting the stand mixer and a double oven in close proximity to your pantry and your sink will help give you easy access to ingredients and a cleanup area as you go. If you love your morning coffee, building in a separate and dedicated coffee area will make the process a breeze on groggy mornings. Do you enjoy entertaining? Perhaps you’ll love having a separate wet bar with a wine refrigerator. 

Also, thinking about the non-preparation uses of your kitchen can pay off in big ways. Does everyone gather in the kitchen as you’re cooking? A large central island with a built-in cooktop or workstation sink may be perfect for interacting with guests while still leaving ample counter room for eating and noshing. And what about extra pantry and storage space, or even dedicated snack storage out of the way of main prep areas to minimize disruption?

And, once you’ve determined your work requirements for a kitchen that performs best for you and your family, it’s critical that the finishes and appliances you select best support your design and aesthetic. Everything should work in harmony for a beautiful, functional result.

Want to know more about our design build approach? Contact us to talk more about your specific needs.