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Kitchen Cabinet Selection and Layout; Key Elements of Successful Kitchen Design
You are finally planning an overall design for your new kitchen, including new kitchen cabinet features. To help insure project success and that you will be happy with the finished kitchen cabinet design, remember to employ basic elements for ease of use.
The Basic Work Triangle
One of the most basic elements for a well designed kitchen is the work triangle. An imaginary triangle with the sink, refrigerator, and cooking area at the points. Each side of the triangle should be at least 4-feet, but not more than 9-feet apart; the total perimeter should not exceed 26-feet.
The concept is to keep the essential work areas close to the cook for convenience sake, without being cramped. It should be located in an area that keeps other persons in the kitchen out of the triangle, so movement is not impeded.
Kitchen Cabinet Layout
Once a workable triangle has been designed, incorporate the kitchen cabinet layout. Developing your kitchen cabinet plan will require careful measurements, and drawing out the plan on paper. Be sure to put measurements down in inches. This will make shopping for cabinet components much easier and more accurate.
Other key considerations include:
- Do I need one sink, or 2 separate sink areas; one for prep and one for cleanup? With the second out of the work triangle so another person can perform tasks at the same time.
- How much space will be adequate to process raw foods (wash and cut vegetables, etc.) and prepare meals?
- Should adequate workspace be provided for 2 persons to perform cooking tasks at the same time without interfering with each other?
- Do I prefer a separate cook top and oven, or a one piece range?
- How much storage space is required to keep pantry items and cooking supplies close to the stove?
- Should an eating space be included in the kitchen or off to one side, such as a corner breakfast nook; or else located in an adjoining room.
Chic Home Décor for Visual Impact
As for the décor aspect of a contemporary kitchen cabinet design, some current trends are the inclusion of a wine cabinet, or a kitchen island cabinet.
When including a kitchen island cabinet, it is becoming fashionable to vary the door style slightly from the perimeter cabinet style; just enough to set it apart. A change in color – subtle or vibrant – is also considered chic.
Including elaborate ceramic tile backsplashes is becoming more vogue, with more and more homeowners incorporating artistic expression in their one-of-a-kind designs. Striking colors and artistic images that tie in the theme of the kitchen décor; some with breathtaking use of timeless mosaic designs and textures.
Selecting Manufactured Kitchen Cabinet Components
If you decide to shop for manufactured kitchen cabinet components, you will need to decide on one of the two types currently available. Frameless European kitchen cabinet designs are vogue; they give a sleek modern look. These type cabinets have no framework front between cabinet openings or drawers. Only the cabinet doors and drawer fronts are visible.
The other option is traditional style cabinets; which includes framework on the cabinetry, with visible trim between cabinet doors and drawers.
Of course either type is available in a nearly infinite choice of styles and materials, including exotic woods and metals.
Avoid Disappointing Mistakes
To prevent frustrating mistakes and help insure kitchen cabinet selection is successful, avoid the following when purchasing kitchen cabinet components:
- Rushing into a purchasing decision too quickly, ending up with kitchen cabinets you will not be happy with later.
- Formulating a kitchen cabinet design with the assistance of an inexperienced sales or counter person. Seek the help of someone qualified and experienced in kitchen cabinet design.
- Purchasing low-cost cabinets which will not perform well.
- Opting for a particular kitchen cabinet design simply because it happens to be on sale.
- Using inaccurate measurements to purchase cabinets which will not fit into the space available.
- Omitting special options just to avoid the additional cost; such as different molding styles, glass shelves and doors, closure dampeners (to prevent doors and drawers from forcefully slamming shut), and full-extension drawer runners – ones made from metal, not plastic.
Whether selecting pre-manufactured modular kitchen cabinet components, or contracting with a local cabinet maker for custom cabinets, remember; kitchen cabinet cost can differ immensely. Engineered wood kitchen cabinet construction utilizing solid wood doors and drawer faces are the economical choice if cost is a factor.
Acquiring the Services of a Custom Cabinet Maker
Hiring a cabinet maker for custom kitchen cabinet design and components can cost as much as $1,200 per lineal foot of cabinetry. Adding considerably to that cost is any specialty kitchen cabinet hardware, or the use of exotic wood species for the construction. The flip side is that custom cabinetry is a sound investment; it increases the real estate market value of your home and enhances the chance of a quick sale should you ever decide to move.
Using the services of a local skilled cabinet maker remain one of the best options for many homeowners. By using a local professional craftsman to design, build, and do the actual kitchen cabinet installation, homeowners have the added benefit of local service and warranty for their purchase.
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