5 Tips to Consider When Designing an Open Concept Kitchen
For homeowners considering a complete kitchen overhaul and remodel, an open concept kitchen remains one of the most popular options. One of the main attractions of an open concept floor plan is the fact that it creates and fosters a centralized area for you and your guests to gather inside your kitchen. It also helps to facilitate traffic flow and creates virtually limitless options for personalizing the look and feel of the space.
Before you officially begin the remodeling process, there are a number of aspects to consider when designing an open concept kitchen. Our team at Total Restore has listed several key factors to consider before you begin your open concept kitchen remodel. By taking the time to consider the details, you can set your kitchen remodeling project up for success.
Tip #1 – Consider Traffic Flow
As you begin to consider potential layouts for an open concept kitchen, traffic flow is an essential aspect to consider. While an open layout is generally more spacious than a conventional kitchen, creating a circular flow of traffic is vital to help keep things accessible for both your family and your guests. Since islands are a common fixture in an open concept kitchen, creating a circular flow of traffic around them is the best way to make entry and exit easy. Haphazard placement of tables and seating in the open concept kitchen can create potential bottlenecks, reducing everyone’s enjoyment of the space. Take a moment to consider various different layouts to keep traffic flowing for maximum efficiency.
Tip #2 – Consider Plumbing and Electrical Access
Planning a kitchen redesign can seem easy in the initial design phase. However, it’s important to remember that a significant remodeling project like an open concept kitchen can also entail major plumbing and electrical work as well. Before you begin picking out fixtures, tile, and a backsplash for the perimeter cabinetry – make sure you consider the scale and cost of the plumbing and electrical work necessary to complete the project. For example, you may need water lines rerouted to your new kitchen island in order to accommodate the sink, dishwasher, or other appliances. The same goes for electrical work which may be necessary to power the updated fixtures inside your kitchen. Make sure to factor in the additional costs associated with plumbing and electrical work when budgeting for your open concept kitchen.
Tip #3 – Consider Door Swings for Appliances
Related to the first tip on our list, making an effort to plan for appliance door swings is critical to ensuring easy access to your open concept kitchen. Door swings can be major choke points that block the flow of traffic inside the kitchen. Since your refrigerator is one appliance that’s used daily, be sure to make an effort to keep the doors from impacting the usability of the space. Similarly, try and prevent having two appliance doors directly across from each other to keep their doors from colliding or blocking a pathway. For example, the dishwasher door should be installed a reasonable distance from the refrigerator door. Small details like this can make or break your enjoyment of your new kitchen.
Tip #4 – Maximize Storage Space
A common shortcoming of an open concept kitchen is a lack of storage space due to the fact that they often lack as many upper cabinets as a conventional kitchen. However, some clever design strategies and planning can help you prevent this problem! You could consider adding floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, replacing open shelving with wall-mounted cabinets, or even add a separate pantry close to the kitchen space. It’s entirely possible to enjoy the open concept look and feel without compromising storage space for all of your cooking and entertaining equipment.
Tip #5 – Consider the View into the Kitchen
Another commonly overlooked aspect of designing an open concept kitchen is the view into the space itself. Since your new open concept kitchen will often be a key focal point of home, it will be seen from other parts of the house. You could coordinate the kitchen to flow with the appearance of the rest of your home for continuity. Or, you could create a contrasting look and color scheme to give the kitchen its own unique feel. Also important to remember, an open concept kitchen means that your kitchen clutter will be more visible compared to a conventional kitchen. Make an effort to think about how you plan to store or display your kitchen essentials!