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Make your kitchen great with the right layout and best appliances

For many families, the kitchen is the most important room of the home.  How the kitchen functions and looks directly impacts how they feel about their house.  The kitchen impacts every type of person.  In fact, many architects start their home designs with the kitchen and build the rest of the house around it.  There are many decisions to make about your kitchen when remodeling or building a new home.

The first decision to make is the layout.  Most designers create kitchen layouts around the "work triangle" of a kitchen.  This means that the refrigerator, stove top, and sink form a triangle.  The sink should either be between the fridge and the stove, or directly across from one of them.  For greatest efficiency, there are also specific distance minimums and maximums.  The sum of all three legs should not exceed 26 feet, and each leg should be between 4 and 9 feet.  The kitchen work triangle creates a more efficient space for preparation, cooking, and cleanup.

Should I get a gas or electric stove?

Once the triangle is set up, you can fill in the layout with the rest of the appliances and cabinets.  Make sure to think about functionality when finishing off the layout.  For example, make sure the dishwasher is near the sink to make loading dirty dishes quicker and easier.  Likewise, make sure if a trash compactor is being installed to put in a spot that is convenient.

Next it’s time to pick the appliances.  With so many options available for each appliance, it can be daunting to try to research each one in the search for the perfect fit.  Here's a simple rundown to make things easier.  For ovens and stoves, there are two basic types.  Ranges are a combination of an oven and stove top in one unit.  The other option is doing a separate stove top and oven.  You can also choose between a gas or electric range.  Many chefs prefer gas, but it can be more expensive, especially if a gas line has to be added to an existing space.

What kind of fridge should I buy?

The next choice is picking a refridgerator and freezer.  With fridges, there are too many options to list.  Most people will want to find one with as much space as possible.  There are all different types of configuration, such as French door, traditional side by side, and the older style with the freezer on top.

You can also look at the secondary appliances.  Usually the dishwasher is the next item to select.  How the racks work and the size are both important.  One feature that many people like is a timer to start the wash cycle at night.  This is important in areas that charge less for power used during off-peak times.  Ice makers and trash compactors are also appliances that can add value to your kitchen.

Most people will want a matching finish style for their appliances.  The most common type is stainless steel.   Black and white are both classic, and some appliances are also available in other color options.  When picking the finish or color, bear in mind the type of cabinets and countertops you'll be using.  This will create a useful and beautiful kitchen.