Sleek appliances, easy care cabinetry, clean uncluttered lines, seamless finishes and plentiful, artful lighting help create an inviting kitchen that is functional, inviting and reflects the homeowner’s personality and contemporary taste. When you remodel a kitchen, underneath the gleaming stainless steel, the track lighting and reflective glass tile, it is the kitchen work triangle that provides the basis of a functional contemporary kitchen design ideas.
Basic Elements of Contemporary Kitchen Design Ideas
Design Fundamentals – The kitchen is characterized by three work areas. The sink, garbage disposer, trash compacter and dishwasher make up the cleaning and pre-cooking area. The cook top and oven or range plus microwave or convection oven is the cooking area. The refrigerator is the cold storage area. This zone gets the most foot traffic in the kitchen. An efficient design keeps the distance between major appliances between three feet and seven feet. The entire triangle, when all three sides are added together, should equal 12 feet or more.
U Design – For efficient kitchen floor plans, nothing beats the U design. Because it ends in a semi circle, it prohibits the kitchen from becoming a thoroughfare and keeps foot traffic from cutting across the work triangle. Three walls become available for counters and storage space. With a U shaped kitchen of at least eight square feet, you can have adequate working room in the kitchen center. If the kitchen becomes too large, the perimeter of the work triangle could exceed the minimum 12 feet by several feet. If the triangle grows to encompass 22 feet or more, you could be walking many extra steps. With a large U shaped kitchen, consider moving elements closer to each other. The addition of an island can also shorten your walking distances.
L Design – In an L shaped kitchen design, two walls intersect to form an angle. A triangle forms naturally. Work can flow between refrigerator, sink and cooking area well as long as activity is centered near the corner. For a remodel project, it is important to know that the L kitchen does not require as much space as the U shaped kitchen and can rival the U for efficiency. The L is also an easy layout to remodel when you must remodel without expanding your square footage. Provided there is enough space, adding an island can enhance an L shaped kitchen. The island can also help define traffic routes and act as a divider.
Galley Design – Ideally, people can avoid colliding with one another as they work together in the triangle. If the kitchen is shaped as a narrow rectangle, called a galley or corridor kitchen, a compromise is to place refrigerator on the same wall as the sink and the range on the opposing wall. If at all possible for efficiency, the aisle between counter tops on the sides of the kitchen would be between four and six feet.
Island or Peninsula Addition – If the interior kitchen space or aisle is at least 10 feet square, placing either the sink and dishwasher combination or a cook top on an island can increase efficiency. Extending the counter top as a dining surface increases workability. If space is more limited, it may be possible to add wheeled cart or a peninsula instead of an island. A peninsula is especially well suited to an L-shape kitchen with limited wall space but plenty of floor space. A peninsula can house an appliance to reduce the size of the work triangle. It can change the flow of foot traffic and be scaled to fit a variety of floor plans.
Clean, open interiors are the primary characteristics of popular contemporary kitchen design ideas. Efficient space planning, an open floor plan, modern appliances and strict adherence to minimalist design are the supporting characteristics that distinguish a contemporary kitchen from others.