Kitchen Design 101
In 1998 I found a jewel of a property, on a jewel of an island. I had the incredible pleasure of designing and building a house just the way I wanted. Sounds glamorous, but building a house has broken up more marriages and caused a few heart attacks when you can’t find your contractor and he has your money.
That being said, designing and building a house is the most creative thing I have ever done. Since I am a closeted architect, who studied Finance, I hand drew all the plans in such detail that I even included the furniture.
The heart of every house is without a doubt the kitchen, even if your man is trying to tell you otherwise. After all, you have to keep up his strength with food. Not to mention the kids.
So, I spent one year thinking about exactly how to set up the kitchen. What bugs me most is that in some kitchens, even large ones, two people can’t cook and clean at the same time. For me that is vital, having two areas that can be worked in simultaneously, without tripping over each other and possibly spilling the wine! That way when you are finished cooking, say for a dinner party, your kitchen is clean.
Now you don’t have to have a large kitchen to accomplish this goal. It just depends on how you set it up. There are of course professional kitchen designers, but I enjoyed doing it myself, and who knows my cooking and entertaining habits better than I do?
So this is how I did it. I measured the size of the kitchen and drew it in edging tape on the floor of my Manhattan apartment, and then I decided where the plumbing was going to be placed. Of course if it’s a reno, you may be restricted by existing plumbing.
Then I laid out the stove, sinks, dishwasher etc., of course to scale. I stood in my pretend kitchen and I pretended to cook, just to test and see if my setup would work. You know when the stove is just out of reaching range from the prep area, or when dishwasher is open and you can’t open the fridge?
The most annoying for me is actually at my dad’s house where at 5’5” I can’t reach the cupboards where the dishes are kept when the dishwasher is open. In order to get to them I have to take all the dishes out, put them on the counter, close the dishwasher and then put the plates, cups and glasses away. That takes twice as long! At my mom’s former home, before I got her into a great condo, the kitchen design was down right dangerous. If the dishwasher is open, and you didn’t realize it, you would literally fall right over it. Thankfully my mom was good at long jump in her school days because it saved her possible broken bones.
So if you play in your pretend Betty Crocker kitchen for a while, you will find these glaring problems before you spend a year’s salary on a new kitchen. Plus it’s a lot of fun!
Olga Alexandra Viteznikova
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