Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 16, 2015

Napkin Sketch Series

The Kitchen

The single family residential kitchen is a key focal point in homes today. Decades earlier in the design of his Usonian homes, architect Frank Lloyd Wright called the kitchen the workspace. Today, it’s a diverse space with the ability to multi-task, even becoming a part of the living space as part of the overall room. Functional layout is important, and with careful planning, it’s easy to serve multiple tasks. The following sketch done for a renovation is just such an exercise.

The basic layout follows a simple lineal arrangement but maintains the work triangle by placing the refrigerator in the middle of the space. Built-in casework surrounding the room provides ample storage, and by including standing height work, counters the appliances remain in comfortable reach. Other key components such as the sink and range top work best located on an exterior wall, where natural light can provide a link to the outdoors and the range hood can vent directly to the exterior. A great feature to add above the range is a water tap for ease of pot filling. Next to the centrally located refrigerator is a work surface that doubles as a serving/dining station for the kids. The opposite side of the kitchen has a standing height work counter with tall cabinets flanking an opening, a stand-alone island provides display storage for glass-ware and can serve as a staging area for serving formal meals. Additional considerations may include adopting a universal design philosophy providing access to physically challenged and aging residents. Some of these considerations include the use of sliding storage drawers and cook tops with knee space beneath the counter. Perhaps the kids are doing their homework and need to access assignments from school while under the guidance of a parent. Adding a touch screen computer to the wall adjacent to the work surface can make this happen but also provide a place for favorite recipes to be displayed or entertainment during quick snacks. 

Every kitchen is different and typically takes on the personality of the end user. The key to obtaining the most efficient layout is to analyze the day to day use. Once this is done, the result can be years of enjoyment within this focal point of the modern home.