1. Eliminate wasted steps. Think about how and where you use items. Store breakfast foods and bowls near the breakfast table. Keep wraps and plastic containers in one handy spot near a work surface for wrapping leftovers. Locate dishware and flatware near the dishwasher to ease the process of unloading.
2. Design wide walkways. Paths throughout a kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide. Paths within the cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide for a two-cook configuration. When planning, adjust kitchen islands and peninsulas accordingly.
3. Direct traffic. For kid-friendly kitchen designs, keep the cooktop out of traffic areas so children don't catch handles and cause spills when running through. Also, make the refrigerator accessible to both passersby and people working in cooking and cleanup areas.
4. Stay clear of corners. To make cabinet and appliance doors fully functional, plan space for the door's clearance and swing direction in your kitchen design. Keep appliances away from corners, and make sure doors won't bang into each other if open at the same time.
5. Find the right height for the microwave. The correct height and location for a microwave oven may vary depending on the chef or the kid-friendly character of the kitchen. For adults, 15 inches above countertop level is a good microwave height. For kids, a below-countertop setup may be safer and more suitable.
Continued on page 2: Tips 6-10