The Gaines Group

Design strategies to make your kitchen more functional

We spend a lot of time in our kitchens. Of course, cooking with efficiency is key, but this is also a place to entertain, check homework, and have family meetings. This space has become the central hub of activity of our homes. So it deserves the attention to get it right during design. Here are some design strategies to make your kitchen more functional.

Include pull out shelves, drawers, multiple height counters, pull down shelving in your kitchen so it will be functional for a lifetime.

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Make your daily chores easy, include a compost center, recycling center, and trash center in easy to clean pull out cabinets.

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A large walk-in pantry allows you to keep things organized in one place in its place. Don’t settle for a small cabinet solution if your home can handle it, pull out the big guns and make this space work.

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Maximize your storage opportunities, don’t leave blind corners or “spacers” where you can put viable and functional storage spaces.

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Make sure you have lots of natural light. You don’t have to have wall cabinets on all the walls, you can add more windows and use the pantry for storage.

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Open the kitchen up to the living space. This allows everyone to be included and nobody is isolated while preparing meals.

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Spend where it makes the most difference – Design Matters

Building a home is a major investment of time, energy, emotions, and money. You have to make some hard decisions and put value vs cost to the test. One of the most expensive rooms in a home is the kitchen. You have to get it right to make it efficient, functional, and beautiful. There are so many decisions to make in this one area of the home that you can spend many hours dwelling on which options are required and which can be given up. The kitchen is almost always seen as the social center of the home from after school homework to the dinner parties. Having an understanding of how to put the pieces together is not something that you simply stumble upon through building. There is an art to the pieces and it is hard to quantify until you have worked in a well proportioned kitchen that has been designed. The finishes of the cabinets, their placement, and there sizes all play into the functionality of the space. The countertop surface not only provides an aesthetic statement, but also could be the source of major headaches in the long run if the wrong option is selected. The hardware, door closers, lighting, appliances, and flooring options are endless and all have a real impact on the durability and functionality of the space. It is worth the time to hire someone who has gone through the process with others to help you make decisions. While most cabinet suppliers offer an in-house design service, I tend to not want them to do the design (they may carry a bias as they make money on the choices you make). Look for a CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) interior designer that not only understands kitchen design, but also can help you make a functional kitchen that lasts a lifetime.

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