My former kitchen had been unchanged for decades. It was designed and built on site when I knew very little about kitchens. Over time, I improved the flow of the space by moving certain things around: The pots went under the cooktop, the china shifted closer to the dishwasher, and the dry food and spices relocated to any available space that remained. I also exchanged the original Formica countertops for Danby marble. Still, the room never worked particularly well. It is remarkable what you can get used to!

In contrast, my new kitchen is a model of practicality and saved steps. Here are a few examples: The dishes are now stacked directly across from the dishwasher, while the silver rests in a drawer directly above the dishes. Similarly, I keep my glassware in a cabinet close to the dishwasher, so I can put it away without taking a step. The pots, meanwhile, are stored on a pull-out, self-closing, specially-designed corner rack that is adjacent to the stove; the arrangement keeps bending to a minimum and — when the rack is out — lets me see all of my pots at once. All wine glasses stay together and all dry food is stored in the same type of container (it just looks so clean) on roll-out drawers.

What I have learned in the process is that taking the time to plan your kitchen for efficiency as well as aesthetics is worth every minute and dime! This is, of course, no different from planning your bath, except that the space is larger, has considerably more components, is used by the entire family as well as your friends, has multiple functions (cooking and eating, gathering, studying and storage, to name a few), and gets much more wear and tear.

A thoughtful design installed with precision will bring a lifetime of pleasure. Do it right and do it once.


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