How Much Storage Do You Need in Your Kitchen?
It’s time to remodel your kitchen and if you are like most people you want your new kitchen to look beautiful but you also want it to function properly.
You have probably thought about what kind of cabinets, countertop, flooring, lighting and appliances you want but this is just the starting point. In order to have a well designed kitchen that will meet the needs of your household your kitchen must function properly and have adequate storage.
My favorite place to start when designing a kitchen is with storage! It sounds boring at first blush but believe me a designer who cares about the proper placement of your kitchen essentials is worth their weight in gold.
So how do you determine the proper amount of storage for your space. Let’s start with a few basics.
There are three sizes of kitchens defined by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. They are small, medium and large.
The small kitchen consists of less than 150 sq feet. The medium kitchen starts at 151 sq feet and goes up to 350 sq feet. While the large kitchen is defined as a space greater than 350 sq feet.
The first step to designing a kitchen with proper storage is to figure out what size kitchen you have. Each sized kitchen has its own set of guidelines set forth by the NKBA to ensure the proper amount of storage is accounted for.
Here’s how it works. A designer will take the over all design of a kitchen and break it down by cabinet frontage. Each cabinet can be calculated in the following way.
Cabinet width in inches x number of shelves and drawers x cabinet feet in depth = shelf and drawer frontage.
A small kitchen requires 1,400″ of shelf/drawer frontage. A medium kitchen clocks in at 1,700″ while a large kitchen requires 2,000″.
Once you know the amount of frontage required you can determine how many cabinets are needed in your design to give the space the proper storage needed to function.
When determining what cabinets to use not all cabinets are created equal. There are cabinets for pots, pans, utensils, cookie sheets, dry goods, garbage cans, appliances, lids, chemicals and food. If it belongs in the kitchen you can guarantee there is a cabinet or in cabinet accessory specifically designed to house it.
After you determine how many cabinets will best fit into the sq footage you have to work with you must then look at each cabinet and what it will house. This is a very important step in the design process often overlooked. Many professional remodeling companies will put in basic cabinets to fit the space without diving deeper into what is actually going to be stored in each cabinet. A cookie sheet holder cabinet often called a tray divider cabinet will be of little use if it’s far away from the stove while a garbage can pull out will lose its effectiveness if it’s not in reach of the sink.
Then there are guidelines specifically related to storage within proximity to the sink. The sink is one of (if not the most) important fixtures and work zones in the kitchen. NKBA guidelines state that a small kitchen should have 400″ of storage within 72″ of the main cleanup/prep sink. A medium kitchen should have 480″ and a large kitchen 560″.
Bottom line a kitchen can not just be designed for looks it has to also be designed to function.
A proper kitchen has to have storage for every item used and will function best if NKBA guidelines are accounted for.