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Kitchen Planning Guide-Part 1

Kitchens often become the heart of the home, where families meet to cook, eat, talk, and hang out. Designing a new kitchen is an exciting event because you can customize it to fit the specific needs of your family. Today there are options available in kitchen cabinets, hardware, appliances, and accessories to fit every lifestyle and budget. There are also many tools at your disposal on-line and at your local home store to help plan a dream kitchen. Whether you are purchasing a new home that needs an updated kitchen, building a brand-new home, or giving your existing kitchen a facelift, there are some things to consider before making any purchases.

Consider the floor plan of the kitchen to make sure there is adequate flow between the appliances, sink, and seating areas. There are several common kitchen layouts. The “One Wall” kitchen features all of the appliances lined up along one wall, usually with the sink near center and the fridge and stove on opposites sides. A “corridor” kitchen provides the stove on one side, and the other appliances and sink on the opposite side with a corridor down the middle. The “L-Shaped” kitchen uses two walls, forming an L-shape, with appliances divided among the two walls. Designers should consider the proximity of the sink to the stove and refrigerator, making sure it will not be awkward or difficult to cook.

Once you determine the layout of the kitchen, consider what type of appliances you want. Appliances are most commonly available in stainless steel, white, ivory, and black. Try to match the style of the kitchen with that of the rest of the home. Modern-style homes might be most flattered with stainless steel appliances, while more traditional or country styles might warrant white or ivory appliances. Kitchen cabinets are manufactured in a variety of wood types, finishes, and styles. Choose the style and finish that best suits your individual taste. When looking at cabinets, also consider how much storage is needed and what space is available for cabinets. Kitchen islands can often provide extra counter space and storage in tight spaces.