Architecture + design
6) Storage
There is nothing sexy about storage, but when you don’t
have enough it is very annoying.  The only way to assure
you have the proper amount of storage is to do an
inventory of all the items you need in your kitchen and
design a home for each of them.  Although kitchen
designers (who make money by selling cabinets) won’t tell
you this, an open walk in pantry is the most efficient and
convenient storage method.  Vary your shelf depths, 6”
for cans, 12 inches for boxes, 18” for appliances; 24”
shelves are usually too deep and bury things out of site.  
They should only be used sparingly for tray storage or
larger appliance storage.
7) Workstation Organization
Each work station in the kitchen (sink, stove, refrigerator,
prep counter, etc) should be thought out and organized.  
Everything you need for that workstation should be at
your fingertips. Too often this step is overlooked and
items are just spread around the kitchen as you unpack.  
For example, at the range you should have instant access
to your pots and pans, oven mitts, spices, and cooking
utensils.  Each one should have a home before you finalize
your cabinet design.
8) Counterspace
The need for proper counterspace seems obvious, but is
so often overlooked during the design process. Avoid
being tempted to exchange clear useful counterspace for
a desk area or multilevel counter which ends up cluttered
and inefficient.  Make sure you have plenty of room on
either side of the sink and range, and always have a
counter on the side of the refrigerator as a staging area
for items going in or coming out.
9) Lighting
Every kitchen needs a good mix of general lighting, task
lighting and accent lighting.  Hopefully, much of the
general lighting can come from the sun during the day if
the kitchen is properly placed in the floor plan.  Task
lighting should be directly over the task.  If lights are
placed behind you, you will cast a shadow over the
workspace.  Accent lighting should be used sparingly to
cut down on cost and avoid visual clutter.
10) Ventilation
If there is nothing sexy about storage, ventilation is downright
unsexy, but it does not make it any less necessary.  There are
very hard and fast rules one must follow to achieve proper
ventilation at a cooktop or a range, and these are often
disregarded in the name of aesthetics. But aesthetics suffers from
off-smells and that ever present layer of grease on all high
shelves and trim.  If you work the proper sized hood into your
design from the beginning you will see that it is easy to achieve
great looks as well as great function.
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