Tips To Tackle Kitchen Design

April 19, 2012 General, Interior Design 1 Comments

Karen CarpinoArticle written by Karen Carpino, a Harrington Interior Design alumna, as featured in Chicago Now’s TCW

Kitchens have proven to be one of the most important rooms to a homeowner. However, most people select a kitchen design on how it "feels" for their lifestyle rather than its functionality. The art of a good kitchen plan is scientific.

Before planning a new kitchen, become familiar with the rules that make up a good kitchen design. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) is the best source for kitchen planning guidelines. Its website is There you will find tested precepts.

For instance, did you know that the best kitchen plans are based on the work triangle? The work triangle is comprised of the three primary kitchen work centers: the range, sink and refrigerator. The NKBA recommends the work triangle should total no more than 26 feet, with no single leg of the triangle less than four feet. This is just an example of the useful information you need before you create your dream kitchen to not end up with a design nightmare.

I asked Harold Olin, FAIA, co-author of the textbook “Construction,” to share some useful observations from his many years of expertise in kitchen planning and design, and this is what I found out:

1. Many glossy magazine kitchens are too large to get around in and make preparing a meal difficult. For the most comfort and efficiency, space the three work centers a few steps apart. (The work triangle is illustrated in Olin's book.)

2. Many finishes used in kitchens and dining room designs are highly polished and show every fingerprint and dust particle. They require a lot of cleaning and are more suitable for showrooms than homes.

3. Kitchen cabinets with narrow spaces between doors, common in flush-door modern designs, frequently end up sagging enough to make the shadow lines conspicuously different and not very attractive. Be certain your cabinet installer is experienced.

Are you planning a new kitchen or remodeling your current one? If so, I recommend that you first spend some time researching the current kitchen options available on the market. Visit a few kitchen cabinet shops. Look for the quality of construction. Take note of current styles and finishes. Go to the appliance store to see the latest appliances available. The more informed you are will result in the best planned and designed kitchen for you.

About Karen Carpino

Karen Carpino is a professional interior designer with more than 25 years of practice in the Chicago area and is an alumna of the Harrington College of Design. Karen's extensive design experience spans creating interiors for residential and commercial clients. Visit her site at

Photo and article courtesy of Karen Carpino


Latest KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer value for money April 21, 2012 at 01:35 PM

Thanks for sharing this information on planning on how to prepare a kitchen that is suitable for our taste. It was really a big help on how to choose the designs and tools for putting inside the kitchen.I was such an interesting to read on.

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