Thursday, September 11, 2014

Kitchen Remodeling Tips for the Serious Home Cook: Part One

At MKBD, we work with a variety of client tastes. Some homeowners want purely stylish kitchens with beautiful amenities like hardwood cabinets and granite countertops. Other homeowners simply want a basic space suitable for a busy family, with just enough storage and work space to be efficient and economical.

Of course, for MKBD, each family and each unique preference deserves a special attentiveness. Yet, in our experience, no preference requires as much attentiveness as the demands of a serious home cook.

A serious home cook's kitchen must be easy-to-navigate and easy-to-clean. The serious cook requires plenty of counter and storage space. Of course, most cooks enjoy company, but when space is a premium, the serious cook also demands efficiency. Yet, efficiency is not the only goal. The serious cook rarely skimps on quality or beauty.

Perhaps most importantly: the serious cook's kitchen must make him/her feel happy. After all, they'll likely be spending a lot of time in the space.

If you’re a serious home cook, or live with a serious home cook, and you’re considering a kitchen remodeling project, you'll want to read our first installment of Kitchen Remodeling Tips for the Serious Home Cook. And remember, if you have any questions about your next kitchen remodeling project, please feel free to call MKBD for an individualized consultation. MKBD is currently offering a FREE Kitchen remodeling estimate, FREE design, and FREE custom layout to all new customers.

Let's talk cooking and more!

Call now! 215-355-4747 or visit us online at

Many cooks believe that a perfect work triangle--like this MKBD-exclusive professional kitchen-style project--is a design must.

A Kitchen Layout for the Cook

By far, the most important element of a cook-friendly kitchen design is the layout. So if you're working with a professional remodeling company or kitchen designer make sure you express your needs clearly. Ideally, you want the efficiency of a professional kitchen scaled down to your available space.

Professional kitchen are organized around the concept of the work triangle: the three-point work station, from the range, to the refrigerator and/or pantry, to the sink, and back to the range. Many cooks believe the work triangle is a must as it segregates the three functions of kitchen work: cooking, storage, and cleaning. However, as we've noted before, disputes this doctrine:

"The work triangle isn't without its flaws though...It assumes that a kitchen will only have three major work stations and one person cooking. As kitchens grow in size, and feature more than three workspaces, the regular work triangle isn't always practical. And in many households today, two or more people share cooking duties. Because of these issues, designers do not always play by the triangle's rules when it comes to drafting kitchen plans."

Your kitchen layout, then, will be largely defined by size and the number of cooks. If you have one serious cook and limited space, we suggest a design with a traditional work triangle. If you have more cooks or space, however, you might choose to add additional work spaces for preparation and/or cooking.

A gas range is a must for the serious home cook. In this Philadelphia MKBD project, the client demanded only professional-grade appliances, and this range certainly fits the bill!

Kitchen Appliances for the Cook

A cook-friendly kitchen design is a must, but most cooks get really excited about the appliances, especially the range. Obviously, ranges come in a variety of price levels with a seemingly infinite number of options, but for the serious cook the most important option is the energy source.

Any cook worth his/her salt will tell you this simple truth: gas is preferable to electric. You'll want to look for sealed burners, cast-iron grates, and easy ignition controls. And keep it simple. A true cook doesn't really need extra features--all he or she really needs is a reliable flame with steady temperature control--the true advantage of a gas range. 

Many serious home cooks opt for separate ovens with convection option for perfect, even baking. Look for an ample oven space with easy-to-remove grates and a powerful broiler with 3000+ watts of power.

A quality refrigerator is not only the provenance of the serious cook--homeowners across the country demand refrigerators with abundant storage space.However, remember, larger is not always better. A refrigerator might take precious countertop space, and if you have a small family, you simply might not need a large refrigerator. And don't waste your money on a built-in unit. A free-standing model will be deeper, which can be helpful when the holidays roll around and you need a place to store your brined turkey!

Finally, a cook's dishwasher merely needs to perform its function--and stay out of the way! Serious cooks should opt for better ranges and basic dishwashers, although it's nice to have cleaning options for heavy duty jobs like pots and pans. 

Ample cabinet space is a must--especially for smaller kitchens like this Center City MKBD project.

Cabinets for the Cook

Serious home cooks, by nature, need more storage space for the tools of the trade. The cook will have more pots and pans, more ingredients, and more seemingly obscure gadgets, like potato ricers or food mills. (Please don't tell your home cook that we called the potato ricer and food mill obscure!)

Choose simple closed cabinets with deep shelves for storing larger plates and bowls. Skip the ornate patterns that might prove hard to clean; ditto decorative hardware. Install adjustable shelves. And for the most efficient use of space, build your cabinets all the way to the ceiling.

Your choice of material should be guided by efficiency and durability. For an in-depth look at some of the most popular cabinet materials, please read "Kitchen Cabinet Materials: Learn What's Best for Your Kitchen Remodeling Project."


Want more remodeling tips for the serious home cook. Stay tuned next week for our next installment of Kitchen Remodeling Tips for the Serious Home Cook!

 FREE In-Home Remodeling Estimate!

If you have any questions about your next kitchen remodeling project, please feel free to call MKBD for an individualized consultation. Let's talk budget and more! Call now! 215-355-4747.

Better yet, check out our Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate on this very blog!

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