So you have decided to build a new home and realize you have a host of things to organize. The first step is to choose the type of floor plan that fits your needs or desires. One of the most complicated and important elements of this new plan will be the kitchen. Study the checklist below and pick a hierarchy of kitchen features in relationship to how you and your family live, move and utilize your kitchen space: Size of the kitchen plan Is the kitchen closed off, or is it open to other areas of the house? Kitchens open to other areas become social hubs, promoting conversation flow and easy travel paths. Arrangement of appliances is crucial. Draw a simple layout with the patterns you now use and wish to use in your new kitchen. Don't make the distance from the island too far from other cabinets - sometimes a kitchen that is too large can become a liability for the cook. Pay attention to your work triangle. Multiple cooks? Think about independent stations for each one Do you need a veggie sink, wine cooler, two dishwashers, warming drawers? Island kitchens are very "in" now - with over-sized rectangular shapes that include seating, extra cabinetry and bookshelves, etc. Does the kitchen design handle a large number of people for a party? Picking the appliances can be a daunting task. Take your floor plan to a kitchen showroom if possible and touch and feel each appliance to see if you like the features of each. Is the range door too low? Should you raise the dishwasher? Do you want a microwave drawer vs. one mounted at cabinet height? Is a pot filler at the stove practical? What type of counter-tops are you considering? Each type of surface has its pros and cons: granite is very popular; synthetic and concrete can scratch; marble can stain. Evaluate in terms of your needs. Have you designed in accommodations for recycling? Do you want a baseboard central vacuum system in the kitchen? It can be very handy! Is the pantry large enough? Do you want a special closet for large pots, pans and utility items? Custom storage for your specialty cake pans and decorating items? A very important question is: how long do I plan to live in the house? Try to accommodate an age in place design philosophy if you are staying there for a while. The time you spend thinking will only be eclipsed by the value that your residential design consultant can convey. Happy cooking, easy cleaning and great entertaining !
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