By Brunelle Le Roux. Kitchen. Published at Sunday, March 10th, 2019 - 18:39:25 PM.
When modernizing your kitchen or planning one in a new home, it is best to recognize that certain clearances must be left unless you want some member of your family or a dinner guest to pop up and down every time someone has to pass by. You should allow for at least 42” from the front end of the chair to the wall behind. This makes it easy to get in and out of the chair and to pass behind the chair while someone is sitting in it. However, if you have a cabinet behind the chair, you should add the door width to this basic 42” figure so that the cabinet can be opened and closed easily. This extra room is not needed if you install sliding door cabinets. Where there is no chair, at least 24” should be planned for between the end of the table and a wall. This permits the server to pass through conveniently.
But typically, the kitchen portion of the great room still looks like and is organized like the super efficient, work-only kitchen mentioned above. It is lined with horizontal bands of cabinetry and countertops that are interrupted only by exposed hi-tech appliances. Designers promote this ’laboratory’ look because it is easy to design and it truly is the only kitchen design concept that most people understand. Most kitchen layouts are created by drawing a line 2 feet out from every wall (to indicate cabinetry) and then if there is room, an island (the bigger, the better) is drawn to act as a buffer between the kitchen and family room. The room’s personality is determined by the design of the backsplash, and it depends on the color uniformity of the cabinetry and appliances to hold the design theme of the room intact.
Electricity brought many time saving devices into the kitchen, as well as many inventions that pulled us away from the kitchen. Due to the innovations in the kitchen, fewer people were needed to prepare meals, so the kitchen lost a lot of its social importance and became a smaller, super-efficient working room. Built-in cabinetry, previously delegating only to Butler’s pantries in larger homes, now became the best way to shrink the kitchen into an efficient workspace. With more leisure time, socializing was delegated to the living areas of the house, because the kitchen was too small.
In the corners of the kitchen, install cabinets at 45 degrees to the adjoining cabinets rather than a ”blind” cabinet or ”lazy susan”. While a 45 degree cabinet has some dead space, it utilizes more space than a ”lazy susan”, mainly because the cabinet shelves and drawers are square, and a ”lazy susan” is round. Put a pantry in the corner between your tall cabinets. It doesn’t have to be very big (4’ x 4’) and being in the corner will utilize all the corner ”dead” space. The pantry would have a 2’ opening at 45 degrees to the adjoining cabinets. The pantry walls could be 2×4 framed with drywall or 3/4” MDF, but the wall shouldn’t be taller than the height of the tall cabinets. This allows for crown molding (if you use it) to also be used on the pantry. Have the pantry open at the top, especially if there is a skylight above, to allow daylight into the pantry. Have shelves from the floor to top of wall. Put a ”cabinet door” (same as the rest of your tall cabinets) on the pantry entrance, not a frame door like you’d use in the bedroom. By having a cabinet door the pantry, and the pantry walls at the same height as the cabinets, the pantry looks like a cabinet rather than a drywall opening.
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