Many kitchen renovations are motivated by a desire for a better work space. When planning a kitchen layout it is important to make sure that all the elements work well together. There’s one key element that ties all the elements together: traffic patterns.

Walk Ways

The walk ways within the space are as important as the work surfaces. In many homes, kitchens aren’t dead ends – you often have to walk through kitchens to get to other rooms or exterior doors.

By paying attention to the traffic patterns through the room, it is possible to plan a work area that avoids the walk ways. This helps the cook by preventing interruptions and even possible accidents caused by collisions.

You can read our previous post about the kitchen work triangle here. We’ve also profiled the most common kitchen layouts.

Door Ways

Traffic isn’t just about flow through the room, it’s also about the flow between appliances.

Appliance placement should always take into consideration not only the size of the appliance, but also the swing of the appliance doors.

Dishwashers and oven doors open down, and doors for fridges and microwaves swing out. No matter which way they open, they’ll need to be factored in to your traffic pattern plan because they’ll effect your ability to access areas nearby.

For example, if the fridge door opens too far into the corner of a countertop, the counter and cabinets won’t be accessible.

Another consistent issue: microwave doors are hinged on the left. Never place a microwave at the right of its landing zone – the microwave door itself will obstruct the ability to reach into the appliance.

Another tip to keep in mind: appliance doors may require extra space at the corners of the room.

Dealing With Small Spaces

Not all spaces are configured to allow optimum access to all areas. In smaller kitchens the appliance door swing may impede traffic patterns at times.  In cases like this it is best to prioritize the placement of frequent use appliances so they are out of the way.

Need Some Professional Advice With Your Kitchen Design?

Laurysen Kitchens offers a design service to assist you with your kitchen dreams. Bring us the dimensions of the space and your appliance wish list to see what solutions we can come up with for you.