Having a well-planned kitchen helps you to be a better cook; it makes the process of preparing food more enjoyable and saves time. A chef-friendly layout is one that intelligently accommodates storage, cooking and preparation areas, meaning you are not constantly moving back and forth to get a bowl, knife or cloth. The most efficient way to divide up your culinary activities is to separate them into specific zones, so when one task is finished, you move to the next without having to clear a space.
Traditionally, the triangle design is considered the most beneficial, this sets up your kitchen based on three major areas, the sink, the oven and the fridge – each forming one point on the triangle. Using this principle gives a cook three specific workstations and encourages an organised use of space. The refrigerator is your cold storage site, the sink is for prep and cleaning, and the stove is, of course, where you cook. The triangle is an ideal formation because it cuts down on the amount of movements you need to make, and ensures the busiest areas are not cramped together.
Although there is no perfect counter top, most serious cooks prefer natural materials like marble or sealed wood, as they are attractive and durable. Installing upper cabinets as well as lower cabinets is very practical, it doubles your storage capacity and the units can be embellished with frosted glass or lighting. If you need a larder, a pull-out shelf can hold a lot and helps you keep an eye on what you have in stock.
Another essential element of kitchen design is the window, naturally you want a degree of privacy and protection from the sun, but the damp atmosphere and pungent aromas can quickly settle into fabric curtains. An ideal alternative is interior window shutters, as they come in many different colours you can easily find a shade that compliments your existing kitchen and blends in with your units. On those busy days when you’ve been cooking or cleaning but you still need to throw open the window, it’s not a problem, marks or specks of food can be quickly wiped away from the shutters solid surface.
Every cook has certain equipment they couldn’t live without, but stainless steel pans and a set of good quality sharp knives are required in any kitchen. A food processor helps out with numerous tasks and will always be in use – if you have a big family, buy one with a large volume capacity. For bakers the stand-alone mixer is an absolute must, whatever type of pastry or dough you need to produce this will plump it to perfection.
There are many theories on the best way to organise a kitchen, but when it comes to your own home you’ll need to consider the kind of cooking you do and how you usually work. Every home is different, but with clever storage solutions and a functional layout, you can optimise the area you have.