Thursday, August 9, 2012

Making It Work - NKBA Guideline #4

In the last Design Tips we beat up on the work triangle a bit and talked about work centres and how they need to relate to each other.  I'm feeling a little grumpy today and want to go after the stodgy old rules a bit more.

Anyone who's spent any time in the kitchen understands that it makes little if any sense to put obstacles in the way of your work flow.  NKBA Guideline #4 states that a full-height, full-depth, tall obstacle (such as a tall pantry, refrigerator or wall oven cabinet) should not separate two primary work centers.  Thanks for the clarification.  Seriously, we needed to be told this?

In the top illustration on the left we see a wall oven cabinet to the right of the cooktop (it's the one with the red "NO" symbol on it). If I was only ever going to spend time at the cooktop this could be viewed as a convenient location; sear your roast then pop it in the oven.  of course, if you needed some water from the sink, well you're in a bit of trouble right?

There is a sneaky solution to this.  In the next drawing the tall unit is recessed into the corner.  Let's not worry about how much space this wastes for now, but rather focus on how it allows us to maintain a work flow from one side of the wall-oven to the other.  It's a great solution for the right situation, but an expert's eye is needed.  I try to avoid it whenever possible.

Our next guideline (#5 for those of you following along at home) is so obvious I'm a bit embarrassed to even bring it up, but you'd be surprised how many designs miss it completely.  No major traffic patterns should cross through the basic work triangle.  Think of it this way:  if the primary path to the back patio runs directly across the path between the sink and the fridge, how many times will you be interrupted by stampeding kids while preparing for a BBQ?  If it was my house I'd just knock the rugrats on their backsides, but if you're not as mean as I you need to find away to keep the traffic flowing.

The illustrations shows one of the simplest ways to avoid this mistake.  An island can clearly define the footprint of the kitchen, and will nicely direct non-kitchen traffic away from the work spaces.  A peninsula works as well, as will a Jack Russel Terrier with an attitude.  The point to take away from this: pay attention to the traffic patterns in your kitchen.

1 comment:

  1. Designer must used these tips to design kitchen. To design a kitchen these guide lines are very helpful for the designers.

    Bathroom Designer Chicago


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