6. Determine the island's function. When it comes to kitchen islands, form follows function. If you want to cook and eat on kitchen islands, plan enough space so the cooktop is safely separated from the dining area.
7. Plan landing space. When designing your kitchen, allow 15 inches of countertop on each side of a cooktop and refrigerator. Landing space is also important near the microwave.
8. Consider the countertops. Chefs who like to cook require more counter space -- ideally between the range and sink -- than those who cook infrequently or who prepare simple meals. In addition, incorporating two countertop heights makes baking easier and helps kids who are involved in meal preparations.
9. Double up. A second microwave oven and a mini refrigerator or refrigerator drawer positioned at the edge of the kitchen work center can keep snackers out of the cook's way. Add a snack bar with stools for an after-school spot for the kids.
10. Arrange the range. Place a shelf beside or behind the range to keep cooking oils, utensils, and spices handy. Place S-hooks on the side of the range hood to hang frequently used pots and pans.
Continued on page 3: Tips 11-15