Best Practices in Kitchen Design
It has been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It is a workhorse that provides the cadence and nourishment for our daily lives. When designing such an important and complex area, it is prudent to defer to well established best practices that have been developed to accommodate so many functions sheltered within a limited space.
Building code varies for each province, but most standards are shared across regions because they make sense and provide the guidelines that will keep your kitchen safe and functional. Industry standards and best practices have evolved in the same way. Kitchen counters for instance, while they can be customized, are typically 25 inches deep as this is the most practical working space depth. It also aligns with the standard depth of major appliances like stoves and dishwashers, and is wide enough to compensate for cabinetry which is typically 12-13 inches deep. These are all well tested dimensions.
Traffic and work flow are other major considerations when designing a functional kitchen space. Best practice dictates that there should be at least 42 inches width allowed for a working corridor, and at least 36 inches allowed for a traffic corridor, and the two should remain separate. Entrance doors, cabinet doors and appliances should not interfere with one another. The kitchen triangle, the geometric canon guiding the placement of major work stations, should be employed wherever possible. The kitchen triangle suggests that the sink, stove and fridge should be placed at a minimum of 4 feet and a maximum of 9 feet from one another, in an unimpeded triangle configuration to allow smooth interaction between these interdependent workstations.
There are many other factors that should be instructed by established building code and best practices. Landing spaces, counter length, vertical distances between counters and cabinetry, placement of electrical outlets are just a few more of the many components that need to be carefully planned. If you are building or renovating your kitchen, do your homework before you get started to ensure that you are striking the right balance between creativity and functionality.