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Small, Medium, or Large

  • Small: Cozy and Carefully Engineered. If your kitchen is tiny, try to steal some space from an adjoining pantry or closet, or even a few feet from the next room. If there’s just no way to borrow extra square footage, see if you can visually open up the space: Add or enlarge a window, install a skylight, break through an interior wall into an adjacent dining or family room, or even break through the ceiling to create a cathedral that will dramatically create visual expansion.To maximize work space, consider an island on casters or a peninsula with hinged, drop-down sections. To make the most of storage space, run cabinets all the way up to the ceiling, and use pot racks and other overhead hooks that make use of ceiling space. Outfit drawers and cupboards with clever interior fittings — dividers, lazy Susans, and so on — to keep physical clutter at bay, and avoid visual clutter by using solid, pale colors that blend into one another. For an eat-in option, include a slender snack bar with overhanging counters that allow the stools to be tucked out of the way. And enjoy the advantages of small kitchens: They’re naturally step-saving and cozily friendly.
  • Midsize: Convenient and Comfortable. Most homes have midsize kitchens, which, with a modest amount of intelligent improvement, can function like big ones. In both new and older homes, opening the kitchen to an adjoining family room creates a “great room” effect that gives the spacious feeling of an expanded kitchen. Other design tactics can make your midsize kitchen seem even bigger and better. Strive for maximum-length unbroken runs of work space; for example, locate the range at the end of a counter, not in the middle.By taking advantage of every clever, in-drawer storage solution recommended for small kitchens, you may be able to save enough space for a big-kitchen option like a second sink or a desk nook. If an island takes up too much space, consider a practical, tiered peninsula with work space on the kitchen side and a snack bar/serving counter on the family room side. Other dining options include a built-in dining nook with bench seating and a peninsula table, or a table with chairs on one side and a built-in banquette on the other. When decorating, keep colors light and patterns simple to maximize visual spaciousness, but if the kitchen opens into an adjoining room, repeat some elements in both rooms for continuity.

  • Large: Impressive and Entertaining. More than ever, today’s kitchens are rooms for living. Space for couple or communal cooking, doing homework, enjoying hobbies, watching TV, and more are all part of many people’s wish lists, and that translates into bigger-than-ever rooms. Following that trend, today’s new homes typically sport generously sized kitchens. In an older home, space for a big kitchen often comes from building an addition. More space allows homeowners to indulge in more work surfaces and more kinds of them (butcher block for cutting, marble for pastry-making, granite for everyday good looks, and so on).Large kitchens have ample space for amenities such as strategically placed islands; more than one wall oven and sink; a second dishwasher; and/or a full-size, side-by-side fridge plus state-of-the-art refrigeration drawers located within cabinets anywhere in the room. A comfortable snack bar or breakfast bar, an informal dining area, and a built-in desk or computer workstation are other options. A big kitchen also allows more latitude in decoration and design, including dark cabinets and wall colors, dramatic decorative effects, and sharply contrasting colors and patterns, so you can have it your way.
  • Ryan, Mary Wynn.  “How to Design a Kitchen”  29 September 2006.  HowStuffWorks.com. <http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/how-to-design-a-kitchen.htm>
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