Building a Home – Plan Your Kitchen to Reflect Your Lifestyle

For many, the kitchen is a social place – the spot where kids and spouse come to visit with the cook, away from the distractions of TV, games, etc. In fact, in many homes, the kitchen is the social center, where even visits with friends occur around the kitchen table.

If that describes your family, then plan a space for “non-cooks” to sit, out of the way, so visiting can take place with out disrupting the cooking. A breakfast bar, or a table tucked into a corner can become a place of comfort, where some of the most important events of life are discussed. It’s also a great place for kids to sit when they need a bit of parental help with homework. 

In addition, if someone in your family is a serious cook, the design and placement of counter tops, refrigerator, range, and sink become paramount. Many of the new house plans I’ve seen ignore the old “triangle” rule and stick the refrigerator out of the way, around behind the breakfast bar or a center island. It might look nice, but it will become a serious annoyance very quickly.

And then there’s the range itself. If you cook a lot, splurging on an oversized kitchen range isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. But most house plans allow only for the standard size.

How many times have you wished that two large pots or pans could fit on your range top at the same time? Now, when you’re building from scratch, is the time to indulge yourself and create the space you need.  Ease of cleaning is a second consideration – if your family loves fried foods, invest in a powerful range hood and avoid a range with too many nooks and crannies to clean.

Talk to your builder about altering those plans just a bit to allow for the kitchen range that will make you smile every time you prepare a meal.

Are there two cooks in your kitchen? Allow enough counter and floor space to let you work together without crashing into each other. Even the addition of a “salad sink” is a good idea if two of you will work together regularly.

On the other hand, if you eat out most of the time and only use the kitchen for toast and coffee in the morning, a quick bowl of soup, or a snack before bedtime, scale back and use the space for activities more suited to your lifestyle. There’s not much sense in spending a lot of money on a room that is hardly used.

Remember, this is your house, and it should suit your life.

Marte Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter and former real estate broker. Her husband is a retired home builder.

Because they met so many people who had suffered financial loss over an uninformed choice of land for home building or from choosing a “bogus” home builder, Marte has written two inexpensive e-books for consumers. “The Land Buyer’s Guidebook” outlines the questions you must ask before purchasing land, while “Home Building Simplified” will help you enjoy the home building process and get the home you really want.