One of the most important aspects to consider when remodeling or making over your kitchen is to maximize the kitchen traffic flow. You want to make sure that people can move freely through the kitchen, whether you are preparing your meals or dining at the counter. There are several factors to consider before making any changes. Here are a few.
Current Traffic Pattern
Take some time to analyze your current traffic patterns on various days and times during the week. Do you notice that some days are busier than others? Do you have weekend gatherings? Do your kids have friends over certain days? These will all give you insights into how you can best set up your kitchen space. Are you noticing that the corner sink you have is actually a bottleneck area on Sunday mornings? You might want to consider moving the sink to another location. Which way do all of your cabinets and appliances open? Do any of these cause traffic jams? How close are your appliances to one another? This might be another issue.
When you have analyzed your current kitchen traffic patterns, did you notice that everyone seems to be in the kitchen around the same time? Is someone getting an afternoon snack when dinner is being prepared? Is everyone reaching for something in the refrigerator at the same time? These observations can help you determine if a mini fridge could be an option as a snack fridge for the kids. This way, they can get the snacks they want without being in the main traffic corridor. The mini refrigerator could be located in a kitchen island. Storage and prep areas could be placed near the cooking areas but allow for use without interfering with the cooking space.
Kitchen Counter Use
How will you use the kitchen counter space? Will it be a place for storage only? A place for eating and storage? A place for eating, storage, and prep? Knowing this will help you determine where best to put the appliances, cabinets, and sinks. You could have zones for your kitchen where eating, storage, and prep are all different areas. This way, no matter what people are doing in the kitchen, everyone can move freely.
Reviewing your current patterns to see what works and what has not been working is a great start. The next step is to determine if you are going to be changing your activities. Will you be entertaining more? Will someone be graduating? Will others be moving out or in? Reviewing all of these can put you on the path to having the kitchen of your dreams.