The average American spends a minimum of two hours per day in the kitchen preparing, cooking, eating, and cleaning, so a room that important should be just as comfortable and welcoming as a living room. An inviting kitchen helps influence others to participate, creating a healthier and more social lifestyle because fresh meals are easier to make when you have help.
Kitchens for Almost Every Home
The shape and style of kitchen spaces vary so you will need to adapt these sketches to suit your own space. These PDF files are printable to help you decide which may be more compatible with your home.
Separating your major appliances makes multiple person access easier. Here the oven, microwave, and sink can be used simultaneously, while the larger angle in the corner makes for more usable counter space and wider under-cabinet access. Extra shelving adds space for decoration and the small desk provides a station to organize recipes without cluttering the main kitchen area.
A medium to large family could prosper in this Colonial style kitchen, where children need homework help at the small desk while parents cook, and the second floor staircase creates a perfect barrier behind the standing pantry.
This is a similar option as the image to the above left. Don't be afraid to rotate images to fit your kitchen space and style so you can picture them clearly in your home.
Thin and Long
By providing access to plates, utensils, pantry, and fridge items without interfering with the cooks in the kitchen, you create a friendlier work space. The sink and oven are separated in this small European style house, where space is at premium, so that others may help without interference.
The small extension of countertop creates that extra workspace needed while creating a defined kitchen and dining area, and this small kitchen would comfortably suit a single occupant or couple who love to socialize.
If you already have an existing corner kitchen, then adding an island and separating your stovetop and oven will almost double your storage and countertop space. Throw in a hidden pantry under the counters and you have a prep area that gets get-togethers done in a small, convenient, and user-friendly area. This kitchen feels bigger and more inviting without drastically changing the existing floor plan of your original kitchen, and could save money during renovation.
The open spaces of a sprawling Ranch style home comfortably houses this corner space and its cubby-filled island. Families with small children could mingle in this welcoming area where storage is safe and plentiful.
With no designation between kitchen and dining room you can create a boundary and provide extra counter space with extended counters and islands. Making the stovetop the center of attention allows others to mingle while you cook and creates a friendly way to enlist help when needed.
With added features like a rolling pantry and stacked oven and microwave this kitchen eliminates excess storage needs by maximizing existing space.
The large open layout of a Spanish style home creates the perfect setting for this airy space welcoming large social families of all sizes and ages.
For the stay-at-home parent, a table extended from the countertop will help include small hands with dinner preparation or keep them close while meals are prepared. The tabletop is centrally located so parents can entertain children with crafts but far enough away to prevent accidental injuries from sharp or hot items.
With the walk-in pantry and addition of a lazy susan you never have to take your eyes off the action for very long, and with everything in sight of the kitchen spills and messes are quickly handled. The well defined spaces of a Victorian home perfectly suit this child friendly space which adds a little fun and takes a break from the proper stature of a formal dining room.
Many families have parents that keep odd hours and teenagers that can cook for themselves. The appliances here are far enough apart to prevent frustration when separate meals are being created but welcoming in that families can congregate without trampling each other.
The island features a small prep sink that inspires the collective experience by allowing a second person to wash fruits and vegetables on the outskirts while others cook.
The medium to large American family would be very comfortable in this well defined Traditional style kitchen where traffic comes at all hours of day and night.
Add new counter space by creating an extended central island. This diverts the countertop loss of a corner pantry but also provides better access to dead corner areas of the island by placing doors on the outsides of the cabinets.
The central sink and separated appliances makes movement easy within the limited space but is at the same time welcoming with the raised bar along the outside.
A one story Cabin style home with its partitioned spaces makes this small walk through perfect for the social retired couple who has infrequent friend and family visits.
Things to Consider When Upgrading Your Kitchen
Upgrading your cabinets, moving appliances, and costs are all things to consider before you upgrade your kitchen.
Older cabinets waste a lot of space with inaccessible corners and deep dark areas. Cabinet designers are making use of those dead areas by adding sliding base units and opposing doors to reach those hard to access spots while keeping the clean appearance of a standard kitchen.
Scott Tice of Tice Kitchens and Interiors has over two decades of experience renovating personal spaces. He has found that cabinet prices have come down over the years making a new kitchen more affordable, but doing it yourself can be troublesome.
"Houses have a tendency to settle making floors and walls shift over the years," Scott said. "Especially when changing the design of your kitchen, leveling countertops and base cabinets can be tricky because the floors themselves become uneven. Throw in plumbing, wiring, and flooring and it will turn into a very large and elaborate project, so research your perfect kitchen before calling a professional."
Moving appliances to islands takes some consideration for electricity, water, and drainage support. These tasks will add extra expenses for plumbers and electricians and will drive your bill higher than a stright renovation, but the extra cost may be worth it.
Get Cost Estimates
Always get estimates from all crafts involved before hiring a contractor and be wary of some contractors. If a contractor requests any deposit or payment before starting or finishing, tell them no. They are probably in over their heads, don't have the capital to start, and may bail at any point during the project, with you footing the bill. Let them go and find someone else to clean up the mess.
Upgrades Increase Value
All upgrades will increase the value of your home but a kitchen upgrade produces the highest returns and all other rooms are just buildup. When entering a home, the kitchen is never at the front so though it is less expensive to renovate halls, living rooms, and foyers what really impresses is the finale - your kitchen!