Everything easy to reach, everything convenient to use: that's one way to sum up what makes a kitchen comfortable. Although nothing can replace a good layout, any kitchen can be reorganized so that cooks don't keep tripping over their own feet. One tactic is to store equipment and tableware close to where they're most often used: pots near the stove, coffee machines and colanders near the sink, dishes between the dining room and the dishwasher. When you think about making your kitchen a more pleasant place to work in, consider these 10 additional strategies.
The Big Picture
1. If you're starting from scratch, plan plenty of counter space between your stationary appliances, and place the sink close to the stove. There are ways to get extra counter space into even the tiniest of kitchens: a narrow table on locking wheels, perhaps, or one that pulls out of a cabinet. In larger kitchens, the surface that an island (or a peninsula) provides is always a plus.
2. The refrigerator can stand outside the cook's traffic area--and it should in homes with kids constantly running in to ransack it. With Sub-Zero's smaller, drawer-based units, items can be stored where they'll be used: fruits and vegetables in or near the island, say, and meat and fish near the range. (Sub-Zero: 800-222-7820.)