Thursday, January 7, 2010

Creating a Useful Kitchen

I was talking with one of my nephews about some of the frustrations we have with the places we are living in. Just about everyone joined in with stories of design decisions that just made no sense.

The kitchen was one of the favorite topics. The idea of the work triangle (sink, stove, refrigerator) has been around for a long time and it is still only mostly implemented. We still see places that put one corner way off to one side, or worse crush them so close together that the door clash.

One thing of the wonderful things builders have done is put the sink and dishwasher together. But in my nephews house the cabinets for the dishes are nowhere near the dishwasher. Putting the dishwasher and the cabinets for storing the dishes, glasses and flatware next to the dishwasher would make things much more efficient. We have that in our apartment and it makes loading and unloading the dishwasher pretty fast and easy. Unfortunately, it is not near the table so setting the table is a bit of a pain.

I've been in some pretty expensive houses with huge kitchens with top of the line appliances but there is an ugly trash can sitting at one end of the counter. One thing that is very surprising is that there is often no designed in place for trash in most kitchens. We are fortunate enough to be able to fit a small trash can under the sink but you would think they could come up with something better. We once had a house that had a really nice kitchen, there was a prep station next to the sink with the trash right underneath, it was the logical place to put it since you often open packages near the sink so you can wash or drain the contents and need to toss the packaging.

There is also a link between the stove and the table since most food is served hot having a clear, short path from stove to table is pretty nice so there is less chance of dropping, spilling or bumping into someone with pan of hot food.

But what does this have to do with readiness? Lots, really. A well designed kitchen can save you lots of time, energy and money. If you don't like to be in your kitchen you are going to go out more and that costs lots more money then making it yourself. It will also save you time because you won't have to go to the gym to work off those extra pounds from eating high-calorie, low-nutrient foods. And you'll have more energy because you can feed your family better and faster then you can get from eating out. Also, when you go through a period of infirmity, if it is easy to make food, the longer you can survive on your own.

Take a good long look at your kitchen and see if there are ways to rearrange things to make it better for making and serving good foods to your family.