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How to Prepare Before Meeting With Your Kitchen Designer

You’ve booked an appointment with your kitchen designer and are excited to begin. But before you meet, there are a few things to consider so you’re ready to answer your designer’s top questions and make the most of your time together. Your answers will help shape the design and construction plan of your new kitchen. Your preferences will help your designer create the best possible design for you and your home.

architecturaldigest.com

Know the 'why' behind your project.

Are you looking to renovate your kitchen for better function, to finally achieve your dream of having a full “chef’s kitchen” or are you hoping to improve your home’s value? Knowing why you’re investing in your kitchen will help your designer understand how best to meet your needs.

Have a rough idea of your budget.

The cost of renovating a kitchen can vary widely. If there is no limit on cost, then dream away! However, if you’re like most, you’ll have an approximate budget in mind. By understanding your budget, your designer can steer you toward choices that fit your priorities while keeping costs in check.

jackieschagendesign.ca

Think about what isn’t working in your space.

Grab a pen and paper and walk around your kitchen. Do you remember a time when you wanted to change something? Does the natural path from the fridge to your usual prep space have any obstacles? Have you bumped into corners while carrying items from one spot to another? Do you wish you had a place for everything you typically need to fix a meal? These are just a few of the things you need to share with your kitchen designer.

Have an idea of when you want the project to start.

If you’ve been thinking about renovating your kitchen for a while, you may be excited to get started but building a plan that works around other renovations and life events is an important consideration. Are you hoping to have a brand-new kitchen to show guests on a special occasion? Do you have a baby due, a wedding or a milestone birthday coming up? Be sure to let your designer know your ideal start date and about events that may affect the timing of your kitchen renovation.

Designandlivingmagazine.com

Collect photos of spaces you’re attracted to.

Can you see yourself living in a French chateau, a mid-century modern bungalow, or a rustic cabin? Your designer should be creating a space to fit your style, not their own. Collect images of home interiors that please your senses and make you feel joy. Your designer can take inspiration from the images to ensure you get a kitchen style you love. Look for inspiration on websites such as Pinterest and Houzz, and in magazines.

Working with a designer is a collaborative process. Preparing for your first meeting together will help your designer create a kitchen that suits your needs, style, and budget!

What About the Kitchen Work Triangle?

When you start researching how to plan your kitchen, the first item that will come up with the Kitchen Work Triangle.  What this means is the location and spacing between the fridge, stovetop and sink.  This space planning method was developed in the 1940’s to maximize the efficiency of the cook in the kitchen, while also starting to standardize construction and reducing costs.

build.com

This set of planning principles has many rules.  Each item is to be no less than 4 feet apart, but no farther than 9 feet.  All the sides of the triangle should not exceed 26 feet.  Corners or other obstructions should not interfere with the triangle.

Zillow

This planning strategy was great for a long time.  But a lot has changed since the 1940’s.  We’re not designing for single cooks in the kitchen anymore.  Often there are multiple people performing various tasks – making coffee, chopping vegetables, using the cooktop, washing dishes, etc.  Many families are wanting a more open concept to encourage the kitchen to be a social space.  This means there are less walls to work with and we need to be more flexible and creative with our design.

HGTV

So what’s the new strategy of kitchen space planning?  Creating zones for each activity to happen in the space.  Each family uses their space a little differently but the main tasks being performed are Food Prep, Baking, Cooking and Cleaning. 

Cook'n

At the prep zone, you need a sink to wash and some countertop space to work.  The baking zone needs a good deal of counter space plus proximity to the oven(s).  To cook efficiently, you want to have at least 18” on each side of your cooking surface.  To plan your cleaning area, you’ll consider your food waste placement, sink size and style, and dishwasher location.

There are activity zones, but there are also storage zones to keep in mind.  You likely want to locate the dish-ware near to the dishwasher, as well as towards the eating area.  Food storage can be grouped together – both the pantry and refrigerator.  Don’t forget the cookware and bakeware, and plan for them to have homes close to where they will be used.

Then it is time to consider the extra activities that are happening in your kitchen.  Maybe a small desk is what you really need to keep the family organized.  Or maybe coffee is king in your household and an espresso station is a non-negotiable.  Or maybe it needs to have a TV, a charging station, or a bar area.  Those are the items to keep in mind to make the space really suit your needs.

Pinterest

Let’s agree that the Kitchen Work Triangle model had a good run, but isn’t applicable to the way we now use our homes.  Plan your kitchen so that it best suits the way you live, move, and enjoy your space for many years to come.