Ergonomic Kitchen Design
You've probably heard more than a few times that the most important room in your home is the kitchen. It does make sense, the kitchen is where you prepare and sometimes eat meals, it's where you entertain guests, and sometimes it's the first room that people see when entering your house depending on the layout. One question our clients consistently ask is “how do we make the most of our kitchen?” Obviously the bigger space you have to work with, the more options that are at your disposal. In truth though, a bigger kitchen isn't necessarily always better – especially if it compromises space in an adjacent dining room or living room. What we've found out that really makes the most important room valuable is an ergonomic kitchen design.
What is an Ergonomic Kitchen Design?
Ergonomics in home design is a layout that is intended for maximum efficiency and comfort. This makes incredible sense in the kitchen where you're going to be multi-tasking of cooking, cleaning, and moving back and forth to different workstations. An ergonomic kitchen design in Ottawa is intended as much for efficiency and comfort as it is safety.
How Do You Go About Designing an Ergonomic Kitchen?
The first plan of attack regarding creating an ergonomic kitchen is the layout. You can only do so much with kitchen features if you're working uphill from a poor layout. Every design should utilize the 'kitchen work triangle' to the best of its abilities with the space given. The work triangle creates an easy flow to the three most used items in the kitchen – the stove, the refrigerator, and the sink. You want these three features close, but not cramped. You also want to be able to move seamlessly between them (no kitchen islands in the way for example). Finally a perfectly laid out kitchen triangle will make it so two people can work simultaneously and seamlessly alongside each other preparing a meal.
Making the Most Of the Kitchen Work Triangle
Designing the 'where' of things go in a kitchen is a start, but the perfect ergonomic kitchen design makes work easier as a whole. A huge asset in this battle is counter space. Some principles of the features of the work triangle include:
- Work aisles should be at least 42” wide.
- Sinks should have available countertop space on both sides.
- Refrigerators have clear counter area on the handle side.
- Cooktops have open counter space on either side.
- 3 ft of food prep area allocated by the sink.
Obviously you can do more with countertop space the more room you have available which is why initial design and layout is so key.
How Features Can Assist With the Ergonomic Kitchen in Ottawa
The features of the kitchen can also help with the comfort of the ergonomics. One of the most important features is lighting as kitchens should have a variety of task, accent, and ambient lighting. Other features such as pull-down shelves can help avoid using step-stools to reach high items. Even something such as a custom counter height can increase the comfort and safety in your kitchen. Installing pantries and other storage features also helps de-clutter the kitchen making your work triangle more clean and efficient. If you'd like more information about what type of features we can create to help you create an ergonomic kitchen in Ottawa give us a call today. If the kitchen is the most important room in your home, this is one investment where the ROI is going to be astronomical.