This a great article from Dwell Magazine.
If boiling eggs is not your forte, and you’d much rather eat out than experiment with new recipes, then a basic kitchen may be all you need. But if you’re serious about cooking and love nothing more than spending hours trying out new dishes that’ll impress guests at your next dinner party, then here are some elements to incorporate for a professional-grade kitchen.
1. The Magic Triangle
When planning the layout for your kitchen, refer to the “kitchen work triangle” with the cooking area, sink, and refrigerator at its three points. Though modern kitchens have evolved, and it is sometimes geometrically impossible to abide by this configuration (for example, in a single wall kitchen), the triangle is a good concept to keep in mind when designing to maximize functionality and ease of movement.
What they did not talk about is the new triangle, where the refrigerator is off to the side and a little out of the way. There needs to be space across from it or beside it to put food when cooking, but it does not absolutely need to be part of the triangle anymore. I love the cooktop part of my triangle, as I am working there, more than in the refrigerator. (unless I am really hungry)
2. Two Sinks
Install two sinks so that you can clean fruits and vegetables in one while washing or stacking used pots and pans in the other. Ensure that the sink is deep and the faucets are high, so you don’t have to worry about water splashing onto the countertop as you strain your pasta or wash your dishes.
I have a little different take on this. My utility room is adjacent to my kitchen, so I added a large stainless sink in there if I need a place for pots and pans. If I am entertaining, I do not want my guests to see dirty pans in my kitchen, so this works great!
3. Plenty of Durable Work Counters
As a home chef, you’ll be engaged in many food preparation tasks, so think about how to maximize counter space. Surface counters made of quartz, laminates, and solid surfaces are good choices for their durability, and antibacterial and anti-staining properties. Such surfaces are ideal for areas where you’ll do the most peeling, chopping, and blending.
Quartz is the new popular countertop and it is great, but if you select a plain one, be prepared to constantly be cleaning it, as it shows every spot. I love a good granite that hides a little.
4. Built-In Appliances
Integrated appliances are your best bet for freeing up space, hiding unsightly electrical cords, and getting a clean, streamlined look. Wherever possible, choose built-in ovens, dishwashers, coffee machines, microwaves, and pullout fridges. This will help free up more counter space and make your kitchen look much more inviting.
I love making my dishwasher and refrigerator look like cabinets. Now there are drawer refrigerators and freezers. I hide my microwave and toaster oven in my pantry. Clean is the new look!
5. Good Lighting
A bright kitchen is not only healthier for your eyes, it makes preparing food safer and will probably put you in a cheerier mood. Locate your kitchen close to windows or incorporate skylights to increase the amount of natural light it receives. When choosing light fixtures, consider ambient lights, task lights, and accent lights. Use down lights to prevent glare and shadows, strip lighting under cabinets, and wide-rimmed pendant lights above the bar or island counter.
In my last home I had windows under the cabinets that looked out to the garden. It had a wonderful effect. We added another window when we remodeled last summer to take full advantage of our water view.
6. Ample and Intelligent Storage
Easy and intuitive access to a large pantry, spice racks, pots and pans, utensils, dinnerware, and cutlery can make all the difference when you’re preparing a feast for a large group. Consider storage systems which hold all your kitchen basics neatly and beautifully like a secret armoire.
I personally think that although this is “cool”, there are a lot better use of space, than hanging your utensils and knives. One knife block on the counter is quite practical.
7. Wine Storage Facilities
Good food isn’t complete without great wine, so consider including wine storage facilities. We love ours and use it every day.