Everyone dreams of a beautiful kitchen, but more importantly we all want our kitchens to function in a way that makes cooking and clean-up enjoyable and easy. My husband Jim and I have designed our Mountain Modern kitchen to be functional and beautiful. Our walk-in pantry is behind the door on the left and you can see the garage door just behind and to the left of the refrigerator. Bringing in and putting away groceries will be a breeze in this kitchen! Some of our important “pretty” design elements include:
Light Wood Cabinetry
Contrasting Island with Black Wood Stain
Stone Slab WOW! Focal Point
Glass Upper Cabinets to Showcase Colorful Dishes
Wood Panel Trim Kits for Refrigerator and Dishwasher
To make sure we have a functional kitchen, we have done a lot of research, including studying this thorough and fantastic Kitchen Layout article from Houzz Aug 2020 – New to Kitchens? Read Me First! (gardenweb.com). We designed and installed a new kitchen in our current home about 10 years ago. Although we did a fairly good job, we have one spot where we unknowingly broke the “Aisle Width” guidelines recommended by professional kitchen designers. It works fine for one person, but if we have two or more people working in the kitchen it creates a pinch point that is annoying. Following these guidelines will eliminate any potential issues in our new kitchen.
A simple tip to ensure you have a functional kitchen is to follow the “Ice -> Water -> Stone -> Fire” layout design recommendations. All meals start with gathering ingredients from the refrigerator and/or pantry (Ice). Our design has a prep sink and plenty of counter space (Water and Stone), as well as being appropriately spaced to the range (Fire). Visit this link to read a helpful and funny post about this topic here: Looking for layout help? Memorize this first. (houzz.com)
As you can see from the above SketchUp rendering, we have carefully considered our kitchen work zones. In addition to proper spacing, it is important to protect the cooking space from traffic, so we have left plenty of space around the range. In addition, our clean-up area has a second sink and plenty of counter space and will NOT interfere with the cooking or prep zones. Jim can cook and I can set the table, clean-up, and load the dishwasher without getting into each other’s way. We will further protect the cooking zone by locating a beverage refrigerator and microwave in the pantry. Find more information about kitchen zones here: FAQ: Kitchen Work Zones, What Are They? (houzz.com)
We will have a walk-in pantry for our Mountain Modern kitchen. Although our pantry will be custom, we will save a ton of money by designing and building it ourselves. I found some great inspiration on Pinterest: Our Farmhouse Pantry Organization Reveal + My Favorite Pantry Organization Products (stacyssavings.com) and The Ideal Measurements for Your Pantry Shelves | Kitchn (thekitchn.com). The rendering above gives you clue to the look and it will include:
Appliance Tower, including beverage fridge, microwave, and small appliances.
Pull out drawers for quick access to snacks and such.
Baskets for potatoes, onions, etc.
Open shelves for cereal, can goods and other staples.
Wall Command Center, including Chalkboard/Corkboard, In/Out/Pending Baskets for bills, etc.
Drawer for pencils, pens, and paper, as well as counter space and an accessible wall plug for wall appliances, phones, etc.
Floor area space for large, heavy items like dog food.
Inspiration from Pinterest: Since we will be using our pantry for food storage, we will skip the window to ensure a cool, dark space to keep staples fresh longer.