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Mar 21, 2013
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Having a 21st Century KitchenThe 21st-century kitchen is much more than just a place to cook and clean. It has become the hub of the home. It’s a place to talk, dine, do homework, check the internet, as well as cooking healthy quick-fix dishes and tasty desserts.

When designing a 21st century kitchen, you should keep up with the current trends. Before you start dreaming about your ultimate 21st century kitchen, you need to make a layout that is both functional and fabulous. Look at the good and bad points of your current kitchen. List changes you want to make.

Ask yourself a few questions before starting your 21st century kitchen such as:

  • Does the whole family like to cook, or is it done by one person?
  • If you love inviting friends and family for lunches and dinners, is it essential to have big-scale appliances?
  • Do you need extra pantry space?
  • Do you need wider counters for preparations or homework spaces?
  • Think about the future. Will you have more children, or may your elderly parents move in one day? If so, extra storage space and a larger fridge will be required.
  • Do you prefer a smaller kitchen? If you have a socially active and eat out a lot, a small kitchen with compact appliances and a small pantry may be what you want.

You also need a good layout. At the heart of every kitchen is the “working triangle.” This is the space between the fridge, sink and oven/stove top. It’s helps regulate traffic flow and makes life easier for the cook.

A simple guideline is to make sure each unit is no more than three meters apart for easy access. You may want to work around the existing plumbing and electrical locations, due to cost of relocation if your kitchen is being remodeled. If it’s a new house, it’s easier to incorporate your design requirements.

Choosing a floor plan is important. There are several options for your kitchen that include:

  • The galley kitchen- requires less room than a U-shaped kitchen so it’s ideal for narrow spaces. All the cupboards and appliances are positioned along two opposite walls, making sure the cabinet and appliance doors can be opened comfortably. Kitchen experts say units on both sides need to be around 2.5 to 3 meters apart. While the galley may have entry points at both ends, it’s important to not use it as a major thoroughfare – otherwise, busy cooks won’t cope during food preparation.
  • The single-line kitchen— This is also known as a one-wall kitchen or straight line kitchen. It is a popular option for a smaller house or apartment. It runs along one wall and positions appliances underneath counters to maximize counter space. More shelving is added overhead.
  • The U-shaped kitchen— This is versatile and efficient. It allows for ease of movement for the cook. It has optimal counter and storage space. It makes the most of the classic “work triangle.” It has workspaces positioned along three adjoining walls.
  • The L-shaped kitchen— This runs along two adjoining walls, providing a good storage and workspace. It works well if there’s more than one person cooking. The fridge and sink are generally positioned on one wall with the oven/stove top are on the other. A central counter which gives extra storage and provides a social place for family and friends to be part of the cooking experience gives a contemporary feel.
 
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