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When remodeling your kitchen, coming up with a smart and efficient layout is important. You don’t want to do a kitchen remodel, only to realize later you can’t access the dishwasher when a certain cabinet is open, or that traffic flows through your cooking area when you need the space to work.

We offer seven helpful tips to help you achieve an optimum layout when kitchen remodeling.

1) Island Living

Use an island with stools to separate different areas of the kitchen. Family members can sit at the island and eat or do work, while you prepare food. Think of an island as a cop that directs traffic through your kitchen. But an island poorly placed, or too large, can corrupt good flow in a kitchen.

2) Appliance and Refrigerator Placement

Are you a leftie? Perhaps you want the dishwasher to the left of the sink. Are the kids always raiding the fridge? Put the refrigerator within the optimum triangle, but nearest the entertainment side of the room. That way, family members and kids can access the refrigerator without walking through the cook space. Also keep food prep areas near the sink and stove. Wall ovens can be farther away from the prep areas because once things go in the oven, they are typically left alone for a while and not stirred, spiced, and watched as closely as food on a cook top would be.

3) Pathway Placement

If your kitchen has a door to the basement, a deck, or back yard, make sure the pathways leading to those doors don’t run through the cooking space. Orient your kitchen so these doors can be reached without causing a traffic jam.

4) Easy Access

Design your kitchen so everything, including pantry storage, is no more than a step away from a work surface. Always leave 18 to 24 inches on each side of a sink or stove for prep.

5) Open the Doors

When looking at your kitchen design on paper, do you notice how none of the doors are open? Look at your design with an eye to where the doors open on your cabinets, especially in the corners. While kitchen remodeling, place appliances away from the corners to minimize door-opening issues.

6) Connectivity

How connected do you want your kitchen to be to other areas of your home, such as the living room and dining room? When renovating your kitchen, it is time to consider a more open floor plan, or gaining access to other rooms in new ways.

7) Appliance Parking

Consider cabinetry to conceal appliances. Sometimes called an Appliance Garage, it will keep the coffee maker, blender, and toaster oven hidden when not in use. You lift the “garage door” and everything is easily accessible!

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