Kitchen Traffic: The Overlooked Essential in Good Design
When designing your perfect kitchen, it is very easy to put a great deal of focus on the aesthetics of the space. Colours, styles and materials are often considered as the most important aspects to get right. Understandable, as the visual pleasure of stepping into your finished kitchen and taking it all in is perhaps the most exciting and satisfying moment of the whole project.
What is less considered, but just as essential, is how you step into your kitchen. How people move and interact throughout the space is a crucial concept that we call “kitchen traffic”. If plotted incorrectly, kitchen traffic can become a real pain and can make it difficult to use your kitchen to its highest ability.
To ensure your kitchen has that relaxed, enjoyable environment that it should, keeping the traffic in the right places is key. There should be as little traffic as possible around appliances and food prep areas. Not only is it frustrating to have people squeezing past whilst you try to cook, it is also dangerous. When removing a hot tray from the oven, you need a surface within safe, immediate reaching distance on which to place it, without having to avoid various passing family members and pets. Opening a fridge or cabinet door into a walkway can cause banged heads, and a chair left in the wrong place risks a serious tripping hazard.
That’s why it is essential that the layout of your kitchen is planned carefully. The positioning of doorways needs to be taken into account, as these will dictate where entry of traffic into the kitchen will take place. Identifying which doorways are used most regularly can help you to plan the easiest route for traffic to take through your kitchen to avoid work areas.
Dedicating a seating area, be it along an island edge, at a dining table or in a snug corner, drives traffic away from the cooking area, and is a great way of creating a safe, sociable kitchen, (see our post here for more on this topic).
If you’re a family with young children, consider an open-plan kitchen/lounge arrangement with a soft seating area for the kids, well away from any cooking risks, but still within view of the kitchen. Ensuring safe, easy access from the sofa to the fridge for snacks is also an extra precaution to contemplate.
At David Lisle Kitchen Design, we have over 35 years of experience designing kitchens centred around your personal lifestyle. We help our clients to easily understand how they and their families interact with the space and take these considerations to the design board. The results are kitchens that are not only aesthetically stunning, but effortlessly practical.