Chefs, Families or Entertainers: Organize Your Kitchen to Match Your Lifestyle
The kitchen is one of the first rooms that gets used each day. It’s where we shuffle to our coffee or dash through, grabbing food as we head out the door. How you use your kitchen is distinct to you, depending on your personality and habits. But however you use it, organizing your kitchen to match your lifestyle can transform the way you live.
What’s your kitchen persona?
Just by thinking about your daily life and time spent (or not spent) in the kitchen, you probably have a pretty good idea of what your kitchen persona is. But just to be sure, take this short quiz to find out:
What does an ideal dinner at home look like for you?
A) A carefully planned meal I’ve been thinking through all week. How long it takes doesn’t matter to me.
B) Although it’s not always feasible, I try to have friends over as often as possible. Sometimes I cook, other times we potluck, but it’s always a party.
C) By the time I get home I’m either too exhausted to cook or I simply don’t enjoy it so I dial up one of my favorite take-out joints.
D) Whatever is somewhat healthy, easy to prepare, and has minimal cleanup.
It’s 7:30 a.m., what’s going on in your kitchen?
A) I just finished making a 3-egg omelette and am enjoying my fresh, organic, pour-over coffee.
B) Most days I try to get up early to do the dishes while making something quick to eat.
C) I’m not much of a breakfast person but I’ll grab some coffee before heading to work.
D) By that time I’m trying to get everyone fed and out the door. I’m lucky if I have time to eat.
Your dream kitchen would have:
A) Tons of cooking space and the latest state-of-the-art appliances.
B) Plenty of room for other people.
C) A personal chef to make my meals.
D) Enough storage areas, sink space, and flow to make things move quickly.
Mostly A’s: The aspiring chef
You’re someone who doesn’t just like to cook, but loves it. You find joy in trying new recipes and would rather spend your time in the kitchen than watching TV or going out. Create your ideal kitchen with inspiration from professional chefs while also adding your own flair.
- Focus on flow: Cooking often comes down to timing. Eliminate the amount of steps from one area to the other by considering the Golden Triangle principle, which is the path created between the stove, refrigerator, and sink.
- Organization is key: One of the most frustrating things for someone who loves to cook is not having enough storage or organization to keep their kitchen clean and efficient. For counter space, try a moveable island or an over-the-sink cutting board. Use creative spaces like between the wall and the stove to store a rolling storage cart or install a pot rack, shelves, and hooks from the ceiling.
- Add some style: Professional kitchens focus on function vs. style but since this room is your favorite, add a personal touch. Whether that’s investing in top-of-the-line gadgets, adding surround sound, or focusing on color palettes and lighting, consult the interior design experts at Factor Design Build for ideas.
Mostly B’s: The host(ess) with the mostest
You’re all about bringing people together over a delicious meal and love throwing a great dinner party whenever possible. There are many ways to help your kitchen both accommodate this passion and become a place where people love to hang out.
- Keep it cozy: Make everyone comfortable by creating a warm, inviting atmosphere by opening up layout, adding comfortable seating like a couch, and combining the kitchen and dining area. This will also allow you to participate in the party while preparing the meal.
- Go clutter free: A clean, organized space will put you, and guests, at ease. To start, keep the counters clear by installing hanging pot racks, a wall mounted magnetic knife bar and spice rack, and a micro-organized pantry, if you have the space. Kitchen islands also offer many versatile storage options and serve as an area to prep or put out appetizers. And don’t forget the fridge! Make sure yours is large enough to hold the extra food and drinks you’ll be serving.
- Splurge on the details: Just like the Aspiring Chef, the kitchen is an area that you enjoy hanging out in, so add some extra touches like speakers, a beer tap, an essential oil diffuser, or even a TV.
Mostly C’s: The cooking minimalist
Just because you have a kitchen, doesn’t mean you use it — and that’s ok! Even if you’re not one for cooking, you can still organize your kitchen to be more efficient for when you do need to turn on the stove — or when you just want to heat up some takeout.
- Create stations: If you mostly use your kitchen to make coffee or prepare the occasional fast meal, make those areas easy to use. Put all the necessary items for that task in the same area so you can find and use them quickly.
- Buy alternative appliances: If you don’t use standard appliances, trade them in for items you might enjoy more, like a wine cooler or espresso machine.
- Repurpose the room: Our team at Factor Design Build can show you alternative ways to use your kitchen, whether that’s turning it into a workstation, an area for company to gather, or extra storage space.
Mostly D’s: The efficient family
As is the case with most busy households, the main priority of your kitchen is to give you space to prepare healthy meals quicker and make clean up easier. Here are some time-saving organizational tips for a better way to get your family fed.
- Make it kid-friendly: Get an extra pair (or more) of helping hands by rearranging your kitchen. Put items like kid dishes, silverware, napkins, cereal etc. in a special, lower, kid-reachable area so they can help load dishes, get a snack, set the table, or sort silverware.
- Zone out: Take note of when you use different foods, appliances, utensils, etc. and store them together. For example put bowls, measuring cups, and baking staples in one designated area. This can be applied to your pantry, drawers, and cabinets.
- Cook smarter, not harder: invest in any sort of gadget or appliance, like a slow cooker, mandoline, or an iPad that will help you find recipes and cut-down on prep time, thus making your job in the kitchen easier and less stressful.
- Dominate cleanup: Learning to clean as you cook can be a whole new challenge. Start by making sure you have easy access from one area to the other so you can stir in one step and load the dishwasher in another. Another great way to ensure fast clean up is to install a double sink and invest in a large, high-end dishwasher. Better yet? Enlist your kids as the clean-up crew.
No matter what your kitchen persona — even if you have more than one — working with professionals at a design build firm like Factor can turn your kitchen into the best room in the house. Take a look at some of our great kitchen remodels and reach out to get yours underway.