The Best Kitchen Layouts for Chefs
Last Updated on Friday, 15 April 2016 10:48
Written by bkshowplace
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 07:53
Chefs of all skill levels have one thing in common: they work best in an efficiently designed kitchen. The best chef’s kitchens focus on layout and quality fixtures.
Size Matters Less than Flow
A huge kitchen can be a glorious place to cook a meal, but size isn’t a guarantee of efficiency. Any size kitchen can have a great workflow if it’s designed for easy movement between tasks. Good layout uses the “work triangle” rule. An efficient work triangle allows the chef to move easily between the sink, refrigerator and cook top.
Counter Space is Key
Great kitchen design maximizes counter space. Next to work flow, having an ample work surface is most fundamental to the culinary process. Good design makes the most of the space available and incorporates a specific food prep area.
Countertops can be as individual as chefs. Budget and personal taste will determine the surface material. Some prefer butcher block for its feel and easy care. Some love marble’s cool smoothness, especially for baking. Others choose classics like granite for its beauty, or quartz for its cost-effectiveness and wide range of colors. Whatever the surface, keeping it free of clutter improves workflow.
Organization Maximizes Efficiency
The chef’s rule is this: everything in its place. That means designating a place for everything and creating easy access for the things used most. A combination of open shelves and closed cabinets can effectively accomplish this. Whether hanging pots on a rack or using dedicated cookware drawers, storing them near the cook top keeps them within reach. The same holds true for knives and cutting boards, which should be stored near the food preparation area. Good design will incorporate special drawers, cabinet inserts or racks for these.
Sinks and Faucets
When space allows, two sinks are sometimes better than one. A food prep sink near the refrigerator is handy. While a dish sink near the dishwasher simplifies cleanup. The sink style is a matter of taste, space and budget, but good design doesn’t skimp on quality. That’s especially true when choosing a faucet, the most used implement in the kitchen. It should look good, be durable and easy to use.
A layout that includes a waste management plan will help keep the kitchen clean. That means dedicated space for waste and recycling bins. Some cabinetry includes drawers designed to hold trash and recycling containers. Whether built-in or free standing, keeping them covered or concealed will keep odors and germs contained. Lifestyle and available space will dictate which system is best.
Good design incorporates four layers of lighting: task, ambient, accent and decorative lighting. Task lighting illuminates workspaces like sinks, cook tops and food prep counters. Well planned ambient lighting maximizes sunlight and fills in with incandescent light, like pot lights, where needed. Accent lighting gives depth and dimension to the kitchen design. It can highlight cabinetry, illuminate artwork or add sparkle to a glassware display. Decorative lighting includes fixtures that dress up the room, like chandeliers, ornamental wall sconces, and stylish pendants.
The kitchen is the heart of any chef’s home. So it’s worth taking time to create a thoughtful design plan. The best kitchen layouts blend style and efficiency, producing a pleasing, creative space.