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• How many people will you usually be cooking for?
• Will you be doing much entertaining? i.e. Preparing food for a large number of people
• Will you be doing mostly basic cooking, or will you be preparing more elaborate meals?
• Will you be doing much baking?
• Will you be eating many meals in the kitchen?
• How much time do you spend in the kitchen? Is it to be just for cooking, or will it be a social/family center?
• Do you want the kitchen to have an open view (window or 'pass thru') to the dining room?
• How often do you shop? - How much and what kind of storage will you need? Do you need bins for flour, onions, potatoes etc.? How much freezer space do you need?
• Locate storage for frequently used items so they are easy to get at. See next 3 items also.
• Are you tall or short? This makes a difference on how you set up storage for items like pots and pans. (i.e. If you are short, hanging pots and pans over a center island usually does not work well).
• How old are you? Like the tall or short question it makes a difference for location and types of storage. (bending and reaching)
• Do you have any physical handicap? Same concerns as short/tall and age.
• Be sure dish washer and sinks are set up so it is easy to put things away after cleaning. (Don't have dish machine across the room from where dishes etc. are stored).
• Have necessary items readily accessible from stove. i.e. Refrigerator; spices & seasonings, condiments, oil, vinegar etc. Drawer with cooking utensils and pots & pans should be near stove.
• Be sure refrigerator and food storage are easily accessible from food prep area, so it is not necessary to walk across the room to get ingredients.
• Think about where you want to locate or store these appliances: microwave oven, toaster, mixer, blender, juicer, crockpot, electric fryer, bread maker, etc.
• Where will you keep recipes and books. Where and how will you keep recipe/book while you are following a recipe? Do you have your recipes on a computer? Do you need room for a computer in the kitchen?
• Do you need/want a music source in the kitchen? A TV?
• Have trash receptical located within easy reach of prep area. Foot operated lids can be a big help if you do a lot of cooking, and they are more sanitary.
From Diane:Don't forget the electric can opener. It's probably my second frequently used small appliance. Also, I have a small food chopper to keep in the appliance garage.
Lastly, consider the size of frozen items frequently stored. I needed to go to a larger refrigerator because of the narrow side-by-side freezer that couldn't accomodate boxes I store daily. Even frozen pizzas or family size frozen lasagna may be difficult to fit in those narrow freezers.
From Julie: My biggest problem in kitchen design is storage for serving pieces. If I had a magic wand I would create a small warehouse right off the kitchen for things used occasionally like turkey platters, china sets, cake domes and soup kettles that aren't used routinely but for which there is no substitute. When designing a home kitchen (or assessing the kitchen in a potential residence) always consider these items and their storage. It's very irritating to have to dig through the hall closet every Thanksgiving for the pieces to Grandma's dinner service!
From Sharon: Sheet metal lining on interior of back wall of cabinets to deter rodents chewing into and through wood cabinets.
Electric outlets inside lower cabinet for placement of electronic sensor rodent repeller.
Tap lights or electrical lighting inside cabinets, especially lower cabinets which receive less light from either ceiling or counter lighting.
IF YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS, PLEASE EMAIL THEM TO ME SO I CAN ADD THEM TO THIS LIST [email protected]