Five Key Elements of An Effective Kitchen

So you’ve finally moved into your own home. You no longer have to cook and bustle around in the cramped and user-unfriendly kitchen that seems to come with every rented property, and now you’re faced with the blank slate of a new kitchen. What do you do?


While this may seem daunting, it represents a whole new opportunity to reshape the kitchen experience for yourself, your family and your future guests. The smallest details such as your kitchen work triangle, appliance sizes, and kitchen lighting make a huge difference. Before you’re overwhelmed, here are five key elements of an effective kitchen to guide you in the process:

1. Get The Basics Wired Up…

Look for a reliable electrician to upgrade the electrical circuits in your newly bought home to ensure that it is set up for all the high-tech kitchen conveniences you want to enjoy. Note that this is an important step that can also increase the value of your home.

There is a minimum of seven kitchen circuits that every home needs in order for basic lighting, small appliances and specific larger appliances to function. Work with a dedicated electrician to ensure that your fridge, range, microwave, food disposer, dishwasher, assorted small appliances and kitchen lighting each has its own circuit. Depending on the function your kitchen serves in your household, you may need a few more circuits for other appliances.

2. And Then Get Your Basics

Here’s a checklist of basic kitchen necessities for owners of both furnished and unfurnished new kitchens:

For Organizing Your Kitchen:

  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Countertop, wall and sink organizers
  • Kitchen carts
  • Drawers

For Cooking and Eating:

  • Oven and stovetop
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave oven
  • Cooking utensils
  • Eating utensils
  • Dishware
  • Cookware
  • Bakeware
  • Food processor
  • Trash cans
  • Recycling cans

3.Determine Your Kitchen Work Triangle

Image Credit: 2008_kitchen

The concept of a kitchen work triangle is simple: it’s about how you arrange your refrigerator, stove and sink in relation to one another. A well-considered the kitchen work triangle allows you to conveniently reach for all that you need while cooking and cleaning. It maximizes efficiency and provides you with great ease of mind.

While designing your work triangle, always ensure that you have clear and direct paths to travel between food preparation, cooking and cleaning up. If you’d like to use your kitchen for entertaining, plan your work triangle so that guests can enjoy proximity to the chef at work, without interfering with the cooking process.

4. Appliance Sizes Matter

Carefully consider what you need from each appliance, and how important each one is to you when selecting them to fit in with the rest of the kitchen. Spending that extra money on a larger oven when you bake mostly cakes and small casseroles is clearly uneconomical, when a smaller oven heats up so much faster. Also, a larger appliance like an oversized refrigerator can take away essential storage space, and might seem disproportionate to your other appliances.

5. Choosing Optimal Lighting

A well-designed kitchen lighting plan can transform your kitchen from an ordinary and purely functional one with a warm, inviting space. Survey your kitchen and how lighting would serve its purpose in each area before making any solid decisions. A thoughtful selection of overhead lights, under-cabinet lighting, recessed lights and ambient lighting chosen to work together will serve you more efficiently and effectively.

Your kitchen will be a place where you will laugh, talk, share, sit and dine with the ones you love. With a little strategy and the right help, the possibilities can be  endless when it comes to designing your perfect kitchen space.

Author Bio: Mike Hoffman is the owner of Hoffman Electrical with locations in Tampa, Largo and St. Petersburg, Florida. With over 20 years experience in the electrical industry, Mike Hoffman is a trusted master electrician.

Erin Emanuel