The Optimal Kitchen Layout
Kitchen Layout & the Anti Fatigue Kitchen Mat
For many of us, the kitchen is one of the rooms in the house that gets a lot of use. It can be the room where everyone will conjugate and converse while food is being prepared, eaten and even afterwards while the mess is getting cleaned up. The kitchen is a very important room in the house without question.
A well designed kitchen will optimize the layout so that the interactions between users and kitchen systems are ideal. For example, good kitchen design will take into consideration:
- routes between stations like the cooking station and the preparation area
- height and depth of worktops
- minimum distances, and much more.
Kitchen design also includes the use of materials such as counter tops, and ergonomic consideration like storage. In this article we are going to share some things to consider when planning a kitchen layout, common layout mistakes, and some must have kitchen accessories, like the anti fatigue kitchen mat.
Kitchen Layout Considerations
Ergonomics is something that people don’t immediately associate with the kitchen, but the kitchen is a workplace, and one area in the house that sees a great deal of traffic and gets a lot of use.
The most popular kitchen layouts share a common theme. They’re a flexible, adaptable spaces in which you can work with minimum wasted motion and maximum efficiency.
Whether it’s a family kitchen or an industrial kitchen there are some common factors that go into optimizing the space.
This is a very important factor because it has the most impact on your body. Your elbow is one joint that will get the most use while working in the kitchen. If your elbow is too high you will tend to lean forward, if your elbow is too close to the counter top you will tend to lean backward. Either way your back will suffer.
Here are three simple tips to remember that will make a world of difference when it comes to storage:
- Store things next to where they are used.
- Size the storage according to the things being stored.
- Don’t store things behind or beneath each other.
This is one area where things are still evolving. Dishwashers are problematic and difficult to use. You still have to bend and stoop to use them which isn’t great for your back. Ovens are similar to dishwashers, but there have been some improvements in the implementation of wall-mounted ovens.
Overhead lighting that works in other rooms doesn't in the kitchen - it will cast shadows. Under-cabinet lighting is a must.
The surface you stand on at home is as important as the surface you stand on at work. You might be surprised just how much time you spend each day and week standing on your kitchen floor.
New York architect Oreste Drapaca, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Designing Your Own Home (Alpha/Penguin, 2007), recommends using flooring that has some bounce or cushion built in, like cork or bamboo. Drapaca also recommends using anti fatigue kitchen mats at strategic locations throughout the kitchen.
Kitchen Layout Pitfalls
The number one pitfall is obstruction of the kitchen triangle. Some people have heard of the ‘golden triangle’ of kitchen design. Essentially it’s a rule of thumb to follow when planning the layout of the kitchen. Typically the golden triangle is the triangular path between the areas that see the greatest action: sink (and counter tops), stove and refrigerator. Keep these pathways clear.
The number two pitfall is wasted storage space. Your kitchen is usually a place that contains a lot of storage including cupboards above and below the counters and your pantry. Then of course there are the places, like on top of the fridge, on top of the cupboards and any other space you can find to store things. Add cupboards above the fridge, or small shelves to the backsplash under the cupboards.
The number three pitfall is inadequate counter space. One of the biggest complaints about kitchen design is the lack of counter space. Not only is this where you perform the tasks of preparing food, it is often used as a storage place as well. Consider adding a kitchen island if it doesn’t obstruct the golden triangle.
The top three most used areas in the kitchen are ideal locations to include anti fatigue kitchen mats because of the amount of time that is spent at these stations. Remember to choose a kitchen comfort mat that has beveled edges to reduce tripping hazards.
Must Have Kitchen Accessories
There is a plethora of kitchen accessories. Some have a really convenient purpose, like the one handed stand up paper towel holder. Others have practical complementary applications, like a pizza stone and a pizza peel. Then there are accessories that are really just a novelty, like the guitar shaped cheese grater.
The Anti Fatigue Kitchen Mat
There is one accessory for your kitchen that you should not overlook because it transcends being a common accessory and really is a key part of your optimal kitchen layout. This is the anti fatigue comfort mat for kitchens.
Your kitchen is one room in the home where you will spend more time standing than any other. For this reason it is important to take into account the surface that you stand on. Typically you are standing on hard flooring like stone tile.
Most of the time spent in the kitchen is spent in bare, or socked feet, or possibly some type of house slipper. This means that you are standing on hard flooring without any real significant support or cushioning. Depending on the situation this could mean that you are spending several hours a day on your feet in the kitchen.
Anti fatigue kitchen mats, or anti fatigue comfort mats as they are also known, help to reduce the stress and strain put on your feet, knees and hips. They will prevent foot fatigue, provide your with support & cushioning, and make your time spent in the kitchen comfortable and enjoyable.