Floorplan Perfection – Kitchens
Today’s kitchen is hailed as the social epicenter of the modern home, playing host to activities from family breakfasts to elaborate dinner parties. Here’s how to ensure you get the most from this multitasking space.

We asked five design expertslog home general contractor and author Robbin Obomsawin, rustic-design author Ralph Kylloe, architects Edward Carr and Dennis Lippert and floorplan columnist Katherine Salant-for tips that will maximize space and function in the kitchen.

Here’s what they had to say.

1. When it comes to kitchen-island design, Edward offers this sage advice: "An island (preferably about 4 by 8 feet) should include a small prep sink but no cooktop or other implement/appliance to break up the countertop surface (see below). This will maximize space available for food preparation."
kitchen design tips

2.
"Don’t be seduced by beautiful fixtures at the expense of functionality," suggests Katherine. "It’s important to design the room so you can fix a meal easily. Keep the sink, stove and refrigerator in close proximity, as in the plan above, so you don’t have to crisscross the room to cook."

3.
Dennis’ recommendations are of a practical nature. He advises clients to include a built-in desk and shelves as a place to plan meals and store cookbooks. Even better: Add a computer for easy access to Internet recipes.

4.
In Robbin’s experience, it’s all about function. "While you’re planning, micro-analyze how you will use each cabinet-to store dry goods, house plates, etc., so you don’t end up with cabinet sizes and shapes that you don’t need," she advises. "Also plan where the trash receptacle should go. That tends to be an overlooked component of kitchen design."

5.
"Make the kitchen large enough to accommodate two cooks, with at least 5 feet between the stove, island and counters so people can pass each other without bumping," says Ralph.

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