A kitchen won’t be complete without the appliances. It is the appliances that aid us in cooking and preparing food and drinks. These are very valuable for every kitchen, although the kind of items may vary depending on the needs of the homeowners. But how do you arrange your kitchen appliances?
You know that you can’t just place them anywhere you want. You have to see to it that you will arrange them depending on their functions and how you will use them. You also have to make sure that they are not cluttered and are well-kept. So, we looked into some kitchens and checked how they arranged their kitchen appliances. To my surprise, they didn’t just keep their kitchens functional and organized but also visually appealing!
Unlike other rooms in the home, a functional space like the kitchen offers limited flexibility in terms of its contents. In order to prepare meals, large appliances like a refrigerator and range are necessities — and in some homes, other appliances like a dishwasher, microwave, coffee machine and toaster are non-negotiable items as well. But while these items are necessary for making meals, they take up a lot of room. Choosing the right arrangement for your kitchen appliances is key if you want to maximize your space and keep the room clutter-free.
At one time or another, we’ve all stood in our kitchens and said, “this would work so much better if it were set up differently.” More often than not, we’re talking about our kitchen appliances.
How many times have you bumped into someone using the stove while you’re trying to reach the fridge? Or found your cooking constantly interrupted because your stove is right next to the snack cupboard your family likes to raid everyday?
A bad appliance layout can ruin what should be one of the best and most enjoyable rooms in your house. It can also be overwhelming, trying to get everything to fit in without having to sacrifice counter space or visual appeal.
We have some tricks to help when it comes to arranging kitchen appliances so that your new kitchen is the best kitchen for all situations.
Evaluate your appliances
Before you can organize your appliances, the first thing you should do is to evaluate every piece you have in your kitchen. While looking through each one, ask yourself: Do I use this item regularly? Once you know which pieces you use and which ones you don’t, it will be easier to distinguish which items need to be kept in your kitchen.
Also, take into consideration the appliances you have that may have multiple uses. It would be better to keep these in place of one-use appliances since you will be able to maximize them more—unless you also use those items frequently.
Pick out the items you use often
Now that you’ve picked out the kitchen appliances, you’re keeping pare it down further into the items that you use most frequently, or daily. What these appliances are will likely depend on your lifestyle and what type of cook you are—for example, if you’re a coffee-lover, you probably use your coffee maker every day.
Be smart about storage
The next step is to find the perfect storage for your appliances. One rule of thumb that you should remember when deciding on storage is that you should place your most-frequently-used appliances right on the countertop, or on the lowest shelves of your cabinets so that they’re easily accessible. You may choose to invest in extra storage units as well, such as drawers, hooks, or racks.
Consistency is key
It’s going to be fun and convenient to have a very organized kitchen, but the only way you’ll be able to keep it that way is if you put in the effort to stay organized. Aside from not buying appliances that may just end up collecting dust in your cabinets, you may also choose to put labels on your cabinet doors, so that you know where each item goes.
It may also be good for you to make kitchen organizing a chore you do at least twice a year so that you constantly get rid of appliances that may just be serving as clutter.
Find a new home for your unused appliances
Once you’ve organized your kitchen, you may now find yourself left with the items that you have decided to let go. There are different ways to get rid of these items—you may choose to sell or to donate them to people who will actually need them.
It may also be possible that you have items you need to have but only use during certain occasions, like parties or holidays. Unless you have extra space at the topmost levels of your cabinets, you can place these in another area in your home where they can be kept in good condition. Make sure to remember where you’ve kept these items, so you know where to go when you need them.
Use the Triangle for Major Appliances
When it comes to major appliances in your kitchen like the refrigerator, range and dishwasher, a traditional triangle layout typically offers the most efficient arrangement. The layout calls for the refrigerator, sink/adjacent dishwasher, and range to be placed in a triangle where each leg is between 4 and 9 feet in length. This arrangement allows you to easily maneuver between the appliances as you prepare meals and clean up afterwards. In most cases, the sink and refrigerator are placed next to one another, and the range is located across the open space. However, you can customize the triangle to fit the dimensions and features of your kitchen as long as all three kitchen work areas are located in proximity to one another.
A microwave has become an essential kitchen appliance for a lot of homeowners, so it’s important to find an effective spot for it. But they’re on the bulky side and take up valuable space on your countertop. Instead of placing your microwave on the counter, consider installing it beneath one of your cabinets so you can still use the countertop space below for food preparation or other small appliances. Your microwave may come with a wall mounting template to make the installation process easier. In many cases, you simply need to attach a mounting plate to a wall stud and drill a hole for the power cord, so it makes a fairly straightforward do-it-yourself project.
Build Appliance Garage
If you have small kitchen appliances that you regularly use like a coffee maker and toaster, leaving them out on the counter provides easy access. However, having them out in plain view gives your kitchen a messy, cluttered look. Instead, add an appliance garage to house all of your most frequently used appliances. An appliance garage is a specialty cabinet that rests on your countertop and features a flip-up or roll-up door to you hide them from view when not in use, but still offer easy access when preparing meals. Place your appliance garage in the corner of the kitchen near your food preparation area since you may use many of your small appliances like the food processor and immersion blender to prepare meals. Just make sure that there are electrical outlets nearby to plug in your appliances easily.
Use Pull-Out Trays
For larger kitchen appliances you don’t want to leave out on your counter, pull-out trays inside a cabinet are ideal options. By storing your stand mixer, blender, toaster or other larger appliances inside a cabinet, they won’t take up counter space or become an eyesore. When you need to use the appliance, however, you simply pull out the tray the appliance is stored on for easy access. The tray provides a ready work surface for the appliance, and you don’t have to worry about straining your back to lift the appliances out of the cabinet.
Design It with An Open Flow
Kitchens are typically designed with a triangle in mind. This generally refers to the refrigerator, stove, and sink – the area of greatest activity. You want this area to be unobstructed at all costs.
The goal should be to allow you free, open-flow access to the main appliances in your kitchen. There should not be anything that gets in the way of you moving from the refrigerator to the stove, for example. And, if you have many doors or entryways, you will want to be sure not to have the flow of traffic disrupt your major kitchen zones. This will be crucial in the design of the space.
Depending on the size of your kitchen, it is best to keep your working area on one side and leave the other side for those who are either eating or just keeping the cook company.
Keep Appliances Proportionate
It’s best to have your appliances be proportionate to one another – and the space. Be honest about the size of your kitchen. If you know that you don’t have space for a full dishwasher, then don’t get one. If you go for an oversized refrigerator, don’t opt for a small range.
These types of details can make or break the look of a kitchen. The key is to make it look well put-together and uniform. When you don’t buy appliances in matching sizes or buy something that is either too small or too big for the space, it is going to be noticeable.
Consider the Details
The details about your appliances are important. Those with doors and drawers will require space for you to utilize them. However, if you don’t take the time to measure and research which appliances will best fit your space, you may find yourself with something that just won’t work.
For instance, most professional ranges will need ample space so you can open the door and work comfortably. If you put this appliance in your kitchen directly across from the island, you will want to make sure there is enough room for the door to open. Otherwise, you may find using your stove to be a hassle.
Refrigerators are the same way. Placing one near an entranceway, for example, means that you will want the door to open in just the right manner. You will also want to keep in mind that you will be blocking the entrance every time you choose to open the door.
Store Kitchen Appliances based on their Purpose
If you look up the various ways to organize or arrange a kitchen on the net, you’ll get some twelve thousand answers all telling you the different things. It’s understandable when people become confused and give up on the task altogether. However, one thing you might find in common among all that expert advice is the mention of kitchen zones. Getting to know about the Kitchen Zones is the easiest way to figure out how to arrange your appliances.
The Preparation Zone
In the preparation zone, you store everything that is required for preparing the meal, which includes cutting, peeling, slicing, chopping, etc. For example, the knives, cutting board, the blenders, mixers, food processors, etc. It is quite possible that you’ll be confused when storing appliances that have multiple functions, simply keep them in one designated space.
The Cooking Zone
The cooking zone will take up the majority of space in your kitchen. The stove range goes here, but in addition to that, the microwave oven, heating drawers, etc. also go in this zone. Try to keep all the appliances required for actual cooking here, which are not that many, to begin with. You can also hang the microwave oven above the countertop to use space effectively.
The Wash/Cleaning Zone
The next comes the cleaning zone. Ideally, it should be right next to the preparation zone so that you can conveniently discard the waste and peels of the ingredients. However, some experts say that it should be opposite to the cooking zone, on the kitchen island to reduce the chances of accidents while cooking. The wash zone will include your sink and the dishwasher. Tip out drawers and any other appliance related to cleaning/washing goes here.
The Non-Consumables Zone
In this zone, you basically store your chinaware, glassware, the pots, and pans that are too huge to fit in regular drawers. Corner cabinets with revolving shelves are the easiest solution to this problem. The non-consumable zone should be next to the cleaning zone where you can keep your pots and pans right after washing them.
The Consumables Zone
Probably, the most tricky zone to plan and arrange in any kitchen is the consumables zone. This includes your refrigerator, pantry, spice rack, etc. It is sensible to think that the consumables should be kept alongside the cooking zone due to the ease of use. You can conveniently grab anything from the refrigerator while cooking. However, this arrangement is wrong because children will hinder your work when they need snacks from the fridge.
Which Appliances Belong out on your Kitchen Counter?
Before we dive in, you will need to do a little exercise first. Take a piece of paper and list out all the appliances that are in your kitchen. Try to be thorough with your list. Include the refrigerator, oven, even the dishwasher. This is key to ensuring that every single appliance is listed and nothing is forgotten.
Once your list is complete, go down the list and highlight anything that is in a permanent position. This would be your refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, and oven, just to name a few.
Those kitchen appliances that are left on your list are what you will choose from. Pick your top favourites that get to stay out at all times.
To decide the top favourites, you need to ask yourself a few questions.
- Which appliances do I use the most?
- Which appliances does my family use the most?
- Which appliances are way too heavy to move when I need them?
As you look at the appliances on your list, ask yourself each question above. Write the number down next to the appliance that it applies to. Note that some appliances will have more than one number. This will better help you decide what appliances and gadgets can be kept out and what needs to be stored away.
Once you are done that, go over the list of appliances and make a note of the ones that contain 2-3 numbers meaning they fall on more than one of the three categories above. These are your top picks. The ones you can keep out on your counter at all times. Some examples would be your toaster, toaster oven, microwave, coffee maker, and/or blender.
The rest are appliances that you should be able to store away without causing inconvenience to you whenever you need to use them. Such as your mixer, juicer, crockpot, instant pot, or can opener.
Get a lift for your stand mixer.
For many, myself included, a stand mixer is a small appliance you turn to on a fairly regular basis. Maybe not every day, but maybe once a week — or more if you’re an avid baker! If your stand mixer is a looker, you might feel pretty good about giving it some prime real estate on your counter.
On the other hand, maybe you like your countertops to be completely clear of appliances (I can relate). Or maybe your counter space is just enough for prepping, with not an inch to spare.
The answer is a mixer lift, which is, well, just what it sounds like: It’s a lift for your mixer that’s installed in a below-the-counter cabinet. When you’re ready for mixing, you just pull it out of its little hide-y hole — no heavy lifting required. And you can use the mixer right on the lift, leaving your precious counter space for your mise en place!
Keep your toaster on a cutting board.
Your toaster belongs on a cutting board. Here’s why: When you use your toaster, you want it to be out from underneath your cabinets (because, heat and steam!), but you also want to be able to tuck it back away when you’re finished with it. With a board underneath, it can easily slide in and out without dragging those little rubber feet. Kind of brilliant, right? (P.S.: You can also use this trick for other small appliances, like your stand mixer, if you decide to leave it out.)
Store your slow cooker low.
I’m just going to say it: Slow cookers are not cute. Even the cuter-than-usual ones. They tend to be big and bulky and not something you want on your counter.
That said, I’m always mystified when people store their slow cookers above their cabinets in that space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. Honestly, I would never use my slow cooker if I put it up there. A better solution: a low cabinet, or a sideboard, if you have one. It’s much more accessible (no ladder required), but still out of the way when you’re not using it. Oh, and when you’re ready to use it, we recommend setting it up on your stovetop.
Invest in a cart for your Instant Pot.
If you are an Instant Pot believer, and many of you are, we urge you to consider a cart dedicated to your precious Instant Pot. But not just any cart! This $30 cart from Target! We’re not sure if the makers of this circular cart intended it for pressure cookers, but its shape and size make it ideal for storing the cult-favourite kitchen multi-tasker. Keep your Instant Pot on the top shelf, use the lower shelves to store accessories, and wheel it out of sight when you’re not using it.
Put your air fryer on a plant stand.
If you have any extra floor space in a pantry or even a coat closet, consider putting your air fryer (and your food processor and your Instant Pot) on a rolling plant stand. These are less than $9 each and are the perfect shape and size. This way, you can just wheel out whatever you need — no awkward bending and lifting.
Storage Ideas for your Small Appliances and Kitchen Gadgets
Now that you know what can safely be store away, we need to find the best location for those items. The trick here is to find a location that is easy to get to yet doesn’t take up any prime real estate from the room. Top real estate is those areas that are super convenient to get to. A cabinet next to the stove or one above the dishwasher are a few examples that come to mind.
Yet we do not want to store these appliances in a basement either. You need to find a happy medium that will keep your counters cleared yet still allow you to have efficient space to work in.
Sometimes, you realize all the things that are wrong with your kitchen only after you’ve remodelled it. It might be too cluttered, you could always be running into things or never finding what you need and unnecessary things might keep popping up. No matter how perfectly furnished your kitchen is and how beautiful it looks, if it’s not functional, it can take all the pleasure out of itself. The reason behind this dysfunctionality is often the arrangement of appliances and the way things are mapped out. Fortunately, it is easy to remedy that, but most people are too daunted by the task even to contemplate it.