I want to make my kitchen work better! Can you help?
I have to work with an already designed kitchen so lets set up one that will flow easily.
Here is some information that I found:
With careful planning, working in your kitchen can become a pleasure.
Dishes and silverware near the sink and dishwasher if you have one.
Pots and pans near the stove. Food prep area near the sink and the stove.
There are usually four zones present: food preparation, baking, cooking, and cleaning. We usually have to work with an already designed kitchen so lets set up one that will flow easily. With careful planning, working in your kitchen can become a pleasure.
The kitchen work triangle principles are used by kitchen designers.
Here are some suggested dimensions:
No leg of the triangle should be less than 4 feet (1.2 m) or more than 9 feet (2.7 m).
The sum of all three sides of the triangle should be between 13 feet (4.0 m) and 26 feet (7.9 m).
If possible, there should be no major traffic flow through the triangle.
Besides the work triangle itself, there are several rules of thumb to consider when planning a kitchen:
As measured between countertops and cabinets or appliances, work aisles should be no less than 42 inches (110 cm) for one cook, or 48 inches (120 cm) for multiple cooks.
A sink should have a clear counter area of at least 24 inches (61 cm) on one side, and at least 18 inches (46 cm) on the other side.
A refrigerator should have a clear counter area of at least 15 inches (38 cm) on the handle side; or the same on either side of a side-by-side refrigerator; or the same area on a counter no more than 48 inches (120 cm) across from the refrigerator.
A stove or cooktop should have a clear 15 inches (38 cm) area on one side, and at least 12 inches (30 cm) on the other side.
At least 36 inches (91 cm) of food preparation area should be located next to the sink.
I added these as a FYI as this won't work since my kitchen is already set up.
Here is a video on using ergonomics in your kitchen:
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines.
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work.
About lighting: we recently had a major renovation done that included the kitchen. We opted for dimmer controlled LED down lights that throw a yellow rather than white light - white is VERY bright, the yellow is subdued and nice. Also had a motion sensor controlled one installed in a two door pantry = big tick of approval. At night when the house is dark and you want to raid the pantry or get a drink, just open the door and it casts enough light without disturbing others
Big pull out draws for saucepans and frypans work well
A good exhaust rangehood over the cooktop stops fumes and oil build up - look for ones that have the motor on the outside of the house rather than in the actual hood = more powerful and substantially less noisy
Door handles and fancy wood working: less is more. Otherwise every little crevice will collect oily dust and crap and make it harder to clean.
Cooktop/stove: limited options, but some are better than others - look for the placement of knobs away from the burners (seems obvious but manufacturers have terrible designers), and, look for ones with one big sheet of metal rather than joins = cleaning PITA.
My kitchen is long and narrow, know she style.
The changes I've made that I like best:
-No cabinets, just open shelving and containers,fewer places for pests to hide,easy to find stuff.
-6' long counter. Wish I had more.
-Dishes kept in wire closet shelving over my sink, skip the drying rack.
I want to add:
-Large spice racks on the fridge/freezer doors.
-Purified drinking water tap
-Pass through to dinning room.
-Switching out Chambers gas stove for induction "burners" and two hacked electric ovens.
On the last note, I love the Chambers oven, but I think I could build something even more efficient,and way more accurate.
Lots of good information here. I keep looking at my current kitchen and shaking my head -- this is an old farm house, a very small one - the main house, not counting the enclosed porches, is 26' by 26'. The porches don't add much space, though they are useful, as they are only 5'9" deep by 20' wide; the front porch is our entry and also where I keep tools and such (not shovels or pitchforks; those are in one of the barns). The back porch is the laundry/utility room/pantry. The main part of the house is divided into quarters, so the kitchen is 12'3" by 12'5". It has three doors, one leading to the back porch, one leading to the downstairs bedroom (that doorway is blocked off), and one leading to the front room where we sit and eat. There is a chimney in the center of the house, with stove pipe openings into the kitchen and the front room, but it hasn't been used in decades and needs to be thoroughly checked out before we use it (I want to build a masonry cook stove in the kitchen with an attached heated bench in the front room, but that's a project for the future).
So, when I bought the house, the kitchen had been completely gutted. There was an outlet for a cook stove, and you could see where some cabinets had once been, but that was all. I was checking prices on cabinets, and even DIY, it was going to cost several thousand dollars to put in a complete kitchen (probably around $6,000). That meant I'd have to wait a while -- the house needed all new plumbing, and still needs an electrician to do a bunch of work, before I can get to spending that much on the kitchen. In the meantime, we were cooking in the back yard and using cardboard boxes (full of kitchen stuff) for counter space indoors. One of my daughters showed me Facebook Marketplace (I used Craigslist a lot at our old place, but it wasn't working as well here), and I found a Hoosier cabinet -- something I've wanted forever -- for $175, half the cost of a base cabinet the same size and it comes with upper cupboards! AND the countertop pulls out so you have more space! So I got that, and got it into the house, and it's great! Then I found another one for five dollars more (they used to be a lot more expensive, so I was happy with the prices). Now I had one for each side of the kitchen...and my other daughter came for a visit (she and her hubby did a bunch of work while they were here) and they bought a wide sink cabinet from Lowe's clearance aisle -- it's unfinished, and had a little damage at the bottom of one end where nobody will ever see it. I don't know what they paid for that -- I'm afraid to ask, even unfinished and clearance! But now we have the two Hoosier cabinets and the big sink cabinet and they fit really well across the window wall of the kitchen! (Oldest daughter had already brought me a section of countertop with a sink in it that fit the new cabinet with only a little trimming.) With a used frig and the small appliances I already had, we have a functioning kitchen! I've added a few more things for storage, and now am not sure I even need the shelves I was going to put up in the utility room (I will put them up, because eventually I'll start canning again.)
I was figuring it out the other day, and not including the sink cabinet whose price I don't know (and won't ask), I've spent well under a thousand dollars, and I'm very happy with the way my kitchen functions. There are things that will get changed eventually, but I don't feel like I have to be in any hurry, other than I really do need to get the new flooring down (it's just exposed plywood subflooring right now). That has been waiting on my bad back -- the boxes of flooring are stacked in one corner of the front room. I'm still cooking with the small appliances; am debating whether I even need to get a regular kitchen stove. Eventually I do want to put in the masonry cook stove, and between that and the small things we can cook almost anything we want to.
I'm going to try to attach a couple of pictures here, and maybe a floor plan.
ETA: I was still unpacking boxes and finding places for everything when I took these pictures! It looks better now!
I'mma gonna go clean up after myself, left some grubbieness behind ,and the wife isn't sure about it anyway.
I think it's a perfect use of space, and I will be putting in another on the lower door if she OKs it.
I think permaculture zoning can help a bit in the kitchen. The stuff I use more often, I make it easier to get to, the stuff I don't use as much can go further away. I've also minimised the amount of gadgets and things that I use over the years.
I like having a big island bench. I have the sink on one wall, with the woodstove around a metre or so further away on same wall, and the island bench is opposite both of these, so it's easy to get things from either place to prepare vegetables or to move a hot pot.
To find the right placement for this, I 'played house' a bit, and worked out the best distance that is still close to everything, but doesn't feel cramped when I'm cooking and someone needs to get a drink.
I like to have as much bench space as possible, so that I can have the island bench clear and ready for butchering, baking, sorting out bulk food etc, while still having space to stack dirty dishes, air-dry washed jars etc, leave sourdough and other things fermenting, grains and nuts soaking and so on.
William Bronson wrote:I'mma gonna go clean up after myself, left some grubbieness behind ,and the wife isn't sure about it anyway.
I think it's a perfect use of space, and I will be putting in another on the lower door if she OKs it.
Good to see the essential 'hemp spice' is kept conveniently handy, right beside the beer and munchies too!
'Every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain.'
So I actually completely redid my kitchen 2 years ago. It's a life changer. Before our kitchen, while large, was so oddly shaped as to be not that awesome. Now, after removing several walls, sinking my fridge into our 1/2 bath and building my own island and pantry I'm in LOVE with my kitchen.
Ok so I wanted a massive, butcher block island for slaughter. It also is amazing for cooking with the kids, who all like to get on the counter to reach and help. Also, making pasta on an 8 foot island is a dream. I made the island, the butcher block, everything myself. Totally easy and soo sooo beautiful!
It was a bit of an adjustment. I mean the only place to move our fridge too was not exactly the most convenient. Most of the food prep happens in the little space between the stove and the sink. This is super good because I removed the drawers in the cupboard below and built my own pull out trash can booth. So cleaning away stuff into the trash is a sweep.
Ohh and when I did the island I did pull out baskets so I could store my onions, apples, etc right there without rot. It's been amazing!
Location: Rural Unincorporated Los Angeles County Zone 10b
posted 6 months ago
We live in a tiny 1,100 square foot house with a tiny kitchen so we installed a tiny 24 inch stove.
We also kept our kitchen simple... no microwave, no garbage disposal, no trash compactor, no toaster oven and no gigantic refrigerator. Our fridge is a small Hotpoint my parents bought in 1948. It still runs perfectly and uses only 300 watts of electricity.
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