Every week several customers come to us with designs created either by architects, themselves, or less knowledgeable designers. Quite often these designs create spaces so tight that they simply don’t work.
Homeowners need to be extra careful that they understand the spaces that designers are creating.
Something that appears in a design doesn’t mean that it actually fits and works. Architects constantly draw very tiny chairs and tables that bear no relation to real sizes, making it look like up to double the number of people can fit at a table or island.
Designers without proper training can believe that 36″ of space between work countertops, in front of refrigerators, or in back of Islands with seating is adequate. And these same untrained designers always neglect to include the 1 1/2 inches that countertops overhang base cabinets making their tiny spaces even more ridiculous.
In reality 48″ is the NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) recommended MINIMUM clearance for these spaces. Expert kitchen designers sometimes break the rules and make things a little tighter, but when you don’t even understand the recommended distances, breaking design rules is beyond your abilities.
One ridiculous design feature we see over and over again in Toll Brothers Homes is leaving 36″ of space between a refrigerator and an island countertop. Test this out yourself by placing a chair 36″ in back of your refrigerator and try to open the refrigerator door. YOU CAN’T, at least not while standing in front of the refrigerator.
When spaces are too small to work, they don’t get used for what they were intended. I have seen hundreds of islands with overhangs but no stools because no one could fit seated there. Or breakfast rooms without tables used as toddler play areas because no table and chairs could ever fit in the space the architect designed.
Cabinets and walls are scrapped when spaces are so tight people can’t help damaging them trying to get up from sitting. Think about the person that parked so close to your car you can’t get in. Is the designer doing the same thing in your kitchen?
The list of things that go wrong is extensive when proper spacing isn’t considered during the kitchen design process. Helping customers make sensible space decisions is what the best kitchen designers focus on first. Style, color, cabinet and countertop selections, and the coordination of a customer’s selections is secondary. Every good design must work as intended.
Main Line Kitchen Design’s staff places good design first. We make sure every space works and don’t sugar coat spacing requirements that less knowledgeable or ethical professionals might overlook.
We hope you will let us help you create a kitchen that is not just beautiful but one that also WORKS!
And as always,