Beyond Craft: Happy Dancing in the Kitchen

Whether you love to cook or entertain or simply understand the importance of having a kitchen workspace that allows you to multi-task, designing an efficient workspace is a key ingredient to enjoying one of the busiest rooms in your home.

1. Food Preparation and Storage Work Center

Be sure to plan for lots of organized kitchen storage for canned and dry goods, mixing bowls, cookbooks, and small appliances. A pantry with rollout shelving makes reaching those rarely used cans of vegetables in the back of the cupboard a snap. Place your primary food storage area near the longest stretch of countertop for easy access to items while cooking. The best place to store food is in cabinets that line the outside walls — away from the heat source. If possible, try to avoid placing food next to cabinets that touch the stove, refrigerator and dishwasher.

2. Cooking Work Center

The main ingredients for the cooking center are the cooktop/range and the microwave oven. Be sure your cooking center has ample storage for pots and pans, utensils, spices and seasonings and additional food products that you frequently use. A cooktop is safest and most efficient when you have at least 18 inches of counter space on each side — don't skimp on the material you use for your countertop since you need it to be durable, heat-resistant and easy to clean. This enables you to have extra space for your handles and provides a quick landing space for hot pots. Don't forget to design a ventilation system around your cooking center.

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