Okay, if you've ever done any research on kitchens in depth, you've no doubt seen articles that describe, among other criteria, the "work triangle".
Even Wikipedia has a page for it! In it, they describe it as:
"The kitchen work triangle is a concept used to determine efficient kitchen layouts. The primary tasks in a home kitchen are carried out between the cook top, the sink and the refrigerator. These three points and the imaginary lines between them, make up what kitchen experts call the work triangle."
...and the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the leader and considered expert in Kitchen Design, explains it this way:
"Distance Between Work Centers: In a kitchen with three work centers*, the sum of the distances between them should total no more than 26 feet. No leg of the work triangle should measure less than 4 feet nor more than 9 feet."
...they also state that, "No major traffic patterns should cross through the work triangle." ...and that can be really tough to avoid in most spaces. In today's homes, the kitchen is the "heart" of the home; everything revolves around it, and everyone gathers in it. Making sure that the flow of traffic and all main thoroughfares avoid the triangle is difficult, to say the least!
There are also more "cooks in the kitchen" and more non-food related tasks that take place there, too. How do you adhere to all the regulations that make it efficient and still have it flow properly?
Let's step back a moment and take a breath! Take a survey: what tasks do you perform in your kitchen? In mine it's everything from cooking to homework to barista to tending bar! ....it's important to determine what's to be done and where it can be done prior to organizing the plan.
Okay, so this is NOT my kitchen. Mine is not 20' x 30'. But you can see how organizing your tasks can really sort the placement of things and effect the flow of the space.
I love the "coffee station at the same end of the kitchen as the seating (especially with the refrigerator drawers in the island for my cream!) this enables the homeowners to have a quick breakfast on a weekday without opening up the entire kitchen. cups, glasses and even cereal could all be stored at this end of the kitchen and you're in and out in a flash on busy mornings!
...but I think the "prep" area is mislabeled...I would definitely call this the clean up area. I prefer a larger sink for clean up than prep, and it's a bit far from the main fridge. (of course, you could put food that needs to be prepped in the island refrigerator, but I'd rather use if for the cream and condiments because it's so close to the seating)
(I would probably rather the "bar" sink be a prep sink and placed a bit more towards the "buffet" so I have space to spread out.)
...I'd also reverse the location of the fridge and the wall ovens so that I can easily move a hot item out of the oven and onto the adjacent countertop, as opposed to turning into a main walk area to put in on the "buffet" behind me.
Lastly I'd add some storage behind the island for the kids backpacks/textbooks so we can set the habit of doing and storing homework in the same place every day.
...but I think you start to see my point: there's a LOT going on and if we can organize it properly everyone can get in and yet still stay out of each other's way.
...and on the subject of getting in the way, here's another concept: a triangle for everyone!
This image, thanks to Architectural Graphic Standards, shows the beauty of designing with the clients in mind.
Here is a kitchen in which two people have expressed an interest in cooking at the same time. Having separate zones for each means that they are never a hindrance to one another, even in what is really a very small space!
Here's a great plan that doesn't use additional sinks or refrigeration to achieve multiple zones; it simply achieves it by thoughtful placement!
A double bowl sink with the dishwasher left serves as both the "clean up" area to its left and the "prep" area to its right. The proximity of the refrigerator and microwave is key, too, as this allows a non-cook to access both items without interrupting the cook, but I would probably place the refrigerator where the pantry is (by the entrance) with the microwave on that side of the island. This would enable the chef to grab food, prep and cook in a "consecutive" work pattern. ...And the "bar" is on the back side of the same island, so entertaining can flow smoothly.
So you can see how important it is to know how you will work in a space before the plan is laid out...it really helps to put all the 'puzzle pieces' together!
I'm always impressed when someone can take a tattered old item and reuse it in a creative way. ...better than recycling, which typically involves reformulating the materials from an item, upcycling involves slight modification in order to come up with an entirely new and useful purpose for that item.
When looking at old kitchen items you might have on hand, there are beautiful, unique ways to incorporate them into your new kitchen! Here are some wonderful examples:
Great reuse of some standard old hand mixer beaters!!
Here's a clever way to utilize an old bottle....add a pour spout and add some dish soap!
...and just about anything it seems can become a clever pendant:
great use of old silverware:
here's one that pays homage to Andy Warhol:
Grandma's cookie cutters would work well for this one:
...and even broken china can be incorporated into the plan:
Have any old crystal or glass decanters? Here's a great way to repurpose them:
...and here's a clever reuse of some whisks that would work with even the most contemporary designs:
...even box graters get into the act....I love how the light gets refracted out of the tiny holes of the grater:
Here's another that shows the cool effect of the light refraction:
Even a teapot looks adorable when repurposed as lighting:
Speaking of tea....tea cups are adorable here as they conceal the under-cabinetry lighting:
...but that's not all you can do with teacups:
...and let's not forget those spice jars, here are a few unique ways to elegantly store and showcase your herbs at the same time:
here's another use for the old utensils:
and yet another:
This one is truly amazing: reused tin can lids seamed together to create a fabulous (and durable) table top.
There are so many original ideas to use old cast aways, I don't think I'll be putting anything curbside for a while!
Check out the second version of a glow-in-the-dark road by Daan Roosegaarde, of Studio Roosegaarde. This time, with a twinkling, bicycle path that’s inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s famous painting, The Starry Night.
Like his other Smart Highway, the bicycle path consists of thousands of twinkling stones that charge during the day, powering it enough to glow at night for eight hours.
It was constructed to celebrate the start of the Van Gogh 2015 international theme year, and runs through van Gogh’s birthplace. It’s one-of-a-kind and opened in Eindhoven this past November.
You can see Daan's version of "A Starry Night" in his design.
Pretty amazing! Would love this for our neighborhoods' bike path! Amazing how good design can be so inspiring...and motivating!!
Okay, Thanksgiving is over, and it's time to move on to the next holiday! While the carcass from the bird was simmering in a stock pot for the turkey soup, I began to haul up the decorations for Christmas. First came a few large pre-lit trees to flank the front door. Once lit, I think it helps me get into the spirit a little more. (Yes, I'm quite a "Grinch" about Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving. I really hate how rushed it all feels these days....won't listen to Holiday songs, or look at the Winter decorations at the stores (up WAY too soon in my opinion!)until December... and typically it's so mild right now that it's hard for me to even consider it to be winter. Thankfully, it did snow a bit last week, so that definitely helped!
So, I thought I would share with you some clever ideas for turning ordinary items in your home (mainly your kitchen) into decorations for the season. Here are a few of my favorites; hopefully they will help you get in the spirit as well!!
I love this one. So simple, but a bright burst of holiday cheer!
Turn some unused pitchers into mini topiaries. I think they'd be great with fresh Rosemary, too, so I could use them for cooking...
These are actually napkin rings with bows hung from the knobs on the upper cabinets.
Have a hutch? or open shelves? This would work perfectly. I love the linens hung behind the glass doors to provide a backdrop for the wreath.
Here's a cute look to dress up the kitchen sink window.
A candle converts an old inverted bundt pan into a classic holiday look.
Clever use of pretty cupcake bakeware here...
...and even the smallest of packaging can have a big impact! I think I have some of these trees downstairs in my son's train set...
Whatever you have at home can be the perfect vehicle to start your holiday motor running!