Tips for Creating a Kitchen that is More Productive, Efficient, and Comfortable
It seems that making dinner these days is more of a workout than actually going to the gym. When we are cooking, we tend to use a number of different appliances and find ourselves reaching, bending, and twisting to get the items we need out of different cabinets. With the heavier focus on ergonomics, designers and architects are putting a larger effort into creating kitchens that are both comfortable and efficient to work in. Here are some tips that you can use to design an ergonomic kitchen all your own.
Make Your Floor Easier on Legs and Feet
Many traditional kitchen floors are made of stone, tile, or laminate, which can be a hard walking surface for tired legs and feet after a long day of work, especially for those women who wear heels all day! Designers suggest replacing these hard surfaces with materials that will give the floor “bounce” or cushioning, which is not as harsh on the body. When thinking about new floor materials, consider using cork, wood, or rubber. If replacing the entire floor is not in the budget, consider using strategically placed mats throughout the kitchen, such as in front of the sink, the stove or by a prep station.
Use Drawers Instead of Doors
Storing plates, cookware, and small appliances in a cabinet can seem like a great way to save counter space, but when it comes time to retrieve these items, how much stretching and reaching does it take to get them out? A great alternative to rummaging around in a cabinet is to install large drawers to store these items. This allows you to pull out the drawer, visually find the item you need and take it out without the extra hassle or workout. Another suggestion would be to install drawers for dishes on either side of the kitchen sink or dishwasher for a much quicker way to clean-up and put dishes away.
Don’t Forget About the Lefties!
Most kitchen designs do not take the primary cook’s handed-ness into consideration. So, if the primary cook in the household is a lefty, make sure to take that into account when designing the kitchen. For example, around the stove and oven, think about where to store cooking utensils and pots and pans for easy, seamless access for the lefty cook. Also, think about having that person rehearse cooking a meal and see how simple it is to get the items they need – this will help determine whether or not the placement of certain cooking utensils and appliances will work well for a truly ergonomic kitchen.
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