Kitchen design has a lot to do with making things efficient for each of the activities that happens in a kitchen, from baking cookies, cooking dinner to washing dishes and putting dishes away. Anyone who has remodeled their kitchen is familiar with the kitchen triangle, a key concept in kitchen design. The concept dates back to the 1950s and was based on a study to find the most practical kitchen design for a 4 person home. The kitchen triangle is a triangle connecting the 3 critical work areas in a kitchen, the sink, stove and refrigerator (diagrams illustrating the kitchen triangles).
Our lives have changed dramatically since the 1950s, and so have kitchen designs. We have more appliances (dishwashers, microwaves, food processors, etc.). Families are spending a lot more time in the kitchen and it's not just to prepare meals and eat.
Kitchen Designs Change as Lifestyles Change
Kitchen design is evolving to meet our needs, with a concept of work zones. Debra Tan, a kitchen designer and published author says “With kitchen zones, appliances, storage and counter space are designated for each task; Preparation, Cooking, Cleanup, Storage and Eating. When properly laid out, everything needed to prepare and serve meals are within a few steps of where it is used most often and interference between activities is minimized.”
What I find interesting is people are busier, and yet they are spending more time at home in their kitchens. As cookbooks are still the most popular type of book being published, I have to believe that many people find cooking relaxing. What about you (share how you use your kitchen below)?
Where the core kitchen work zones map to the traditional kitchen roles of preparation, cooking, cleanup and storage, the concept is expanding to embrace new kitchen roles (and supporting zones) for homework, crafts activity centers, message centers, wet bars for entertaining, etc. Kitchens truly are becoming the hub of every home, and supporting the lifestyles of busy families. As we add computers, televisions, and built-in appliances like coffee makers, you can see that tomorrow's kitchens will look dramatically different.
When building or remodeling, you want to plan ahead for new appliances. You should add more outlets and circuits to accommodate tomorrow's “must have” appliances that are yet to be invented, or maybe you're just waiting for that new kitchen. We love our hidden outlets that sit under our island counter top and we've had up to 4 laptops at one time.