It’s time to remodel your kitchen, and if you’re like most people, you want your new kitchen to look beautiful but you also want it to function properly.
You’ve probably thought about what kind of cabinets, countertops, flooring, lighting, and appliances you want, but this is just the starting point. To have a well-designed kitchen that meets the needs of your home, your kitchen must function properly and have adequate storage.
My favorite place to start when designing a kitchen is with storage! It sounds boring at first glance, but trust me, a designer who cares about the proper placement of his kitchen essentials is worth his weight in gold.
So how do you determine the right amount of storage for your space? Let’s start with some basics.
There are three kitchen sizes defined by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. They are small, medium and large.
The small kitchen consists of less than 150 square feet. The medium kitchen starts at 151 square feet and goes up to 350 square feet. While the large kitchen is defined as a space greater than 350 square feet.
The first step in designing a kitchen with proper storage is figuring out what size kitchen you have. Each kitchen size has its own set of guidelines established by the NKBA to ensure that the proper amount of storage is taken into account.
Is that how it works. A designer will take over the entire design of a kitchen and divide it by the cabinet facade. Each closet can be calculated as follows.
Cabinet width in inches x number of shelves and drawers x feet of cabinet in depth = front of shelf and drawer.
A small kitchen requires 1,400 “of shelf / drawer fronts. A medium kitchen has 1,700” while a large kitchen requires 2,000 “.
Once you know the amount of façade required, you can determine how many cabinets are needed in your design to give the space the proper storage needed to function.
When determining which cabinets to use, not all cabinets are the same. There are cabinets for pots, pans, utensils, cookie trays, dry goods, trash cans, appliances, lids, chemicals, and food. If it belongs in the kitchen, you can guarantee that there is a piece of furniture or furniture accessory specifically designed to house it.
After determining how many cabinets will best fit the square footage you have to work with, you need to look at each cabinet and what it will house. This is a very important step in the design process that is often overlooked. Many professional remodeling companies will place basic cabinets to fit the space without delving into what will actually be stored in each cabinet. A cookie sheet cabinet, often called a tray divider cabinet, will be of little use if it is far from the stove, while a trash can will lose its effectiveness if it is not within reach of the sink.
Then there are guidelines specifically related to storage near the sink. The sink is one of the most important (if not the most) accessories and work areas in the kitchen. NKBA guidelines state that a small kitchen should have 400 “of storage within 72” of the main clean / prep sink. A medium kitchen should be 480 “and a large kitchen 560”.
Simply put, a kitchen cannot just be designed for looks, it must also be designed to function.
A proper kitchen should have storage for every item used and will work best if the NKBA guidelines are considered.