The modern kitchen is the heart of the home. Whether it’s Saturday night or Tuesday morning, it’s the busiest room in your house (and has the heftiest price tag during a remodel). We asked Jackie Howard of Scarlett’s Cabinetry for her expert advice so that you won’t make these common remodel mistakes.
1. Forget the triangle – get in the zone!
Modern kitchens are bigger than ever so it’s helpful to think of “work zones” instead of the “triangle” design concept (keeping the stove, sink and refrigerator within 4-9 feet). Consider at least 2 prep areas, each with their own sink, disposal, and trash can. Large islands with lots of counter space or banquettes can multitask as seating or prep areas. Just be sure you have everything you need for your zone, like baking trays near the oven and skillets/spices near the stove. “My goal is always to design a kitchen to ensure there is ample space for everyone to join in and help prepare family meals,” says Jackie.
Related: How to Choose Tile for Your Home
2. Don’t overlook appliance innovations
“The new steam ovens allow you to cook fast and healthy – it’s the new ‘must have’ appliance,” says Jackie. Wolf has created one that can steam, bake, roast or slow cook. Combining steam and convection, it can defrost meat, perfectly roast ribs or steam cook an entire meal of fish, vegetables and rice. Also consider under counter refrigeration, which can be essential for keeping the work zone concept practical. You can store produce near a second sink for a salad/vegetable prep station, or drinks if room allows for a third bar area zone.
3. Don’t keep the cabinets
If budget allows, you’re better to replace dated cabinets. At the very least, consider adding a few modern innovations such as appliance garages and mini pantries. Appliance garages allow you to keep things like your mixer, blender, microwave or coffee maker on the counter without visual clutter. Have the top of the “garage” be approximately your height with bi-fold doors so they’re not obtrusive when open. Mini pantries allow you to store things like olive oils, vinegars and spices near the stovetop.
Related: 4 Tips on Choosing Fixture Finishes
4. Put the freezer on ice
“The freezer is the least used appliance in your kitchen and should not be in the middle of a major work triangle,” says Jackie. She recommends moving outside the kitchen, to an adjacent pantry or utility room. There are many refrigerator only options on the market that allow you to do a separate full-sized freezer elsewhere.
5. Don’t keep spices in the top drawer
While Jackie recommends keeping spices in a drawer for freshness, she likes to use a second drawer with tilted insert. “A top drawer is typically too shallow for the larger spice containers we use,” she says. “A middle, taller drawer allows various sizes to be stored together – even your baking powder and baking soda fit.” Some people also opt for a tall, pull-out drawer.
WE HOPE THESE IDEAS AND TIPS ARE INSPIRATIONAL. PLEASE CALL ME WITH ANY OF YOUR HOME BUYING OR SELLING NEEDS AND QUESTIONS. (423-421-9192)