A kitchen should be remodeled every 10 – 15 years to help maintain a home’s function and value.
At TN Miller Remodeling we know the most efficient and attractive kitchens offer a perfect blend of functionality and style.
We help you plan your dream kitchen by listening to your needs, your wants and your budgetary and space constraints. This is your chance to ask questions about our services and products as well as our design (and installation or construction) process.
The kitchen design phase can be the most creative and exciting part of planning a kitchen, but it can also be the most stressful. Fortunately, working with TN Miller Remodeling will help set the foundation for a great remodeling project. We suggest the following actions before your fist design meeting with us:
- Using magazines and the Internet, gather pictures of kitchen styles and products that you like. These will help you create the room you envision.
- Think about how you cook, eat and shop as well as what you like and don't like about your current kitchen. Your answers will point us in the right direction.
- Get together with all the members of your family and ask them for their input. Kids count, too—this is an opportunity to make it easy for them to help cook and clean
- Establish a budget range that works for your family. Remodeling a 200-square foot kitchen can cost $20,000 or $100,000, if you have a budget in mind we and know how much you want to invest, we can design and suggest products that will allow you to stay within budget
- If time constraints are a concern for your project, please share them with us so we can plan a schedule to address those concerns.
- We help you avoid the most common mistakes (listed below) of kitchen remodeling.
- Keep architectural integrity in mind. Don’t put a modern kitchen in a farm house.
- Make sure you have enough storage for all those plates and pots—and the accessories like tray dividers and pull-out shelves that will make them a snap to find.
- Keep cabinets clean use fun pulls, colorful countertops and unique accessories.
- You may want to leave your project to the pros. Assistance from kitchen designers, contractors and architects is invaluable.
- Solid lighting plan (earmark about 10 percent of your budget for it). It'll keep your kitchen safe, set the appropriate mood and keep creepy shadows from turning your honey-colored cabinets a stale shade of brown.
- Remodeling is about replacing that countertop and sink—but it's also the best and only time when you can truly play with the room's layout. If you're tired of always walking across your kitchen to get to the refrigerator then move it!
Once we fully understand your basic kitchen wants and needs we will combined them with our design principles such as:
The “work triangle” is defined by the National Kitchen and Bath Association as an imaginary straight line drawn from the center of the sink, to the center of the cooktop, to the center of the refrigerator and finally back to the sink. The NKBA suggests these guidelines for work triangles:
- The sum of the work triangle’s three sides should not exceed 26 feet, and each leg should measure between 4 and 9 feet.
- The work triangle should not cut through an island or peninsula by more than 12 inches.
- If the kitchen has only one sink, it should be placed between or across from the cooking surface, preparation area, or refrigerator.
- No major traffic patterns should cross through the triangle.
Efficiency is the triangle’s main goal, as it keeps all the major work stations near the cook, without placing them so close that the kitchen becomes cramped. The work triangle is also designed to minimize traffic within the kitchen so the cook isn’t interrupted or interfered with.
Of course, if you’re remodeling, the structure of your existing home will limit your layout options. You’ll have considerably more flexibility the larger your space and if you’re building a new home or adding on.
Here are some examples of standard kitchen layouts with their work triangle.
The work triangle isn’t without its flaws though. The layouts above illustrate one of its problems: It assumes that a kitchen will only have three major work stations and one person cooking. As kitchens grow in size, and feature more than three workspaces, the regular work triangle isn’t always practical. And in many households today, two or more people share cooking duties. Because of these issues, we do not always play by the triangle’s rules when it comes to drafting kitchen plans.
We haven’t thrown the idea of the standard work triangle out the window, but creating a triangle just for the sake of having one isn’t always the best thing to do when designing a kitchen. With many of the kitchens we design, we’ll have more than one work triangle in it. If you can’t configure the standard triangle, you have to make do by creating the most functional kitchen possible.
Here are some examples of kitchen layouts that are spread out and have more than three work stations. These kitchens have multiple and non-traditional triangles.
Remember, your lifestyle should determine the functionality of your kitchen, not the other way around. The work triangle is not a law, merely a suggestion. Although it can be a helpful tool, we don’t let it inhibit us from thinking outside the triangle when it comes to designing your kitchen.
Think of zone design as an expansion upon, rather than a replacement for, the classic work triangle approach to kitchen design and layout. It's a practical (and increasingly popular) way to group kitchen activities together in appropriately organized spaces, allowing for multiple cooks and work centers.
While the work triangle focuses on the positioning of the range, refrigerator and sink, zone design addresses the full scope of appliances, plumbing fixtures and gadgets available to today's homeowners. It also considers the many activities—entertaining, doing homework, charging cell phones and more—that occur in the kitchen, as well as the fact that kitchen size is growing and floor plans are more open to the rest of the home.
But don't fret if you don't have a kitchen large enough to house a distinct area for every activity: few people do. Prep, cooking and cleanup areas are the primary zones, and they're mandatory. All other zones (baking, beverage and communication centers, for example) are not necessary and therefore called auxiliary zones. By combining some zones into one area or eliminating zones that don't fit into your layout and lifestyle, we can make your kitchen multi-task just like you do.
- Prep and cleanup zones combine well.
- Baking and cooking zones combine well.
- Islands can host multiple zones with ease.
- Consider adding just one element of an auxiliary zone—a key appliance or critical storage cabinet—to a primary zone.
This is where it all begins: In the food prep zone, you slice and dice your way toward dinner. If your kitchen is spacious enough to accommodate an island, the food prep zone would be well-placed there. It’s helpful to include a second sink for rinsing fruits and vegetables, as well as a refrigerator drawer for storing milk and eggs if your main refrigerator isn’t easily accessible. Include:
- Butcher block pullout (if you aren’t working on a butcher block surface)
- Drawer for knives
- Pullouts for mixing, measuring and serving items
- Pullout trash center
The area built for fun, the baking zone is where cookies, breads, and casseroles come to life. Aside from the appropriate countertop space and material (marble slabs work best for rolling dough), you’ll need to keep a number of supplies within easy reach. Include:
- Apothecary drawers for storing small items like cookie cutters
- Bins for flour and sugar
- Tray divider rollout for baking sheets and pizza pans
- Pulldown cookbook rack
- Drawers for rolling pins, measuring cups, and teaspoons
- Easy-to-reach cabinet space for heavy casserole dishes and mixing bowls
- Storage for oven mitts, pot holders, and trivets
- Divided utensil storage for spatulas and wooden spoons
- Pop-up stand for your mixer
Always a hot place to be, the cooking zone is where fire enters the picture. Centered around the range or cooktop, this is the spot where stir-frys, spaghetti, and sauces sizzle. You may want to keep your microwave and toaster oven here as well. Include:
- Deep drawers for pans
- Shallower drawer for pot lids
- Spice drawer (or cleverly hidden racks in pull out corbels that flank the cooktop)
- Microwave cabinet for concealing and saving countertop space
- Utensil drawer for spatulas and spoons
Anchored by your sink and dishwasher, the cleaning area is the home of water and washing. Be sure to keep “water dependent products” like your coffeemaker and salad spinner nearby. You’ll also be emptying the last bits of lasagna and soup into containers here, so keep storage supplies nearby. Include space for an adequate number of cleaning and drying supplies, as well as a convenient way to store clean dishware. Include:
- Pullout rack to neatly tuck dishtowels
- Plate rack for storing daily or occasional dinnerware
- Undersink pullout for dishwashing detergent and cleaner
- Tilt out sink tray for sponges and scrubbers
- Foil box rack or drawer for aluminum foil, paper, and plastic wrap storage
- Pullout drawer for Tupperware, divided for lids and containers
Don’t forget about the “dining zone.” Though there’s a lot more flexibility involved with designing your eating area, consider adding easily accessible storage for tablecloths, placemats, napkins, or infrequently used china.
As kitchens evolve into powerful, professional cooking centers and festive spots for entertaining, the notion of the traditional kitchen table is evolving as well. Innovative seating options are slowly becoming more the norm, making it entirely acceptable to lose the kitchen table all together. But what to put in its place?
The island is the centerpiece of the kitchen, it also becomes the social center as well. In addition to housing the cooktop, second sinks and additional storage, most island incorporate some sort of seating area, from a bar-like row on a single-level island to an upper level dedicated to dining.
Tweaking The Typical Table
If you do opt for the tried-and-true route, don't feel restricted to the same-old, same-old. Swap chairs for long benches (great for country kitchens), making seating closer and more casual.
Fans of vintage wares should scour antique fairs for weathered tables or purchase a hodge-podge of chairs—stain them all the same color to infuse a little unity. Should the kitchen open into an adjacent living room, consider making the table more furniture-like (or something more befitting a dining room) with furniture feet and upholstered chairs.
Additional Sitting Areas
Some homeowners aren't concerned with eating at all, considering the social, not dining, aspect of seating. Homeowners are still very interested in the open concept. Think about hearth-like sitting rooms into the kitchen. A cozy little spot with a couple of Lazy Boys…it's more of an intimate seating area for people.
If you're going to have a breakfast nook, don't ignore it. Make it an inviting space your family will want to dine at (especially if you have island seating, which often steals all the thunder when the kids select a spot to have breakfast). Light or stained wood wainscoting can separate the nook as its own special area, making it a warm and inviting space. Make sure there's a strong light source overhead for adequate lighting, and, if possible, place near windows with cheery drapery for extra sunlight. Padding, cushions or pillows (placed along bench seating) make for more comfortable seating—a good thing when you haven't had that morning coffee yet! And, while rich cherry and hunter greens certainly create an elegant kitchen, sunny yellows and bright blues or a farm-fresh red-and-white check bring extra cheer.