More careful planning should go into the kitchen than into any other room in the house for several reasons. First, the fixtures needed for a complete kitchen are more expensive than for, any other room and, therefore, well-planned kitchens are necessary if the user is to get the most value from them.
Secondly, during a day's work, the housewife may spend more time in the kitchen than in all the rest of the house. It is important, then, that this room and its facilities be so arranged as to afford her the maximum convenience with the least amount of extra work.
From an economical standpoint, if kitchen fixtures are grouped correctly, installation problems are kept to a minimum and the amount of construction and materials is reduced. Considering this, it is necessary that the planner investigate the central lines of his plumbing system to see what kind of fixture placement will make connections with water distribuating lines and waste lines easiest.
In addition, the planner must decide what activities will be going on in the kitchen. At first the answer seems overly obvious until we stop to consider it. For example, will the family eat 0 or some of its meals in the kitchen, or will a dinette be needed? Will the kitchen include laundry facilities, or will these be housed somewhere else? Will cabinets be provided for storage above and below fixtures or will a pantry be necessary? What is the height of the housewife, so that cabinets and working surfaces can be made to accommodate her?
These and many other considerations are all part of the prior planning which must go into deciding on a kitchen long before the work actually begins. Of course, in planning which, activities will be going on, adequate provision is made for all the steps in food preparation. This includes the receiving and storing of food supplies, the cleaning and preparing of food before cooking, the cooking and baking, serving, dishwashing, and the disposal of refuse.
Activity or work centersIn every kitchen there are three major activity centers. The first is the receiving and storing area, which centers around the refrigerator and the pantry. The second is the preparation area, which centers around the sink. The third is the cooking area which has as its center the range or stove.
In planning your kitchen layout, these three areas must be placed in some logical sequence to each other. Work should progress in a continuous fashion so that you can eliminate unnecessary steps involved with these activities. Crisscrossing and backtracking along work paths should be kept to a minimum.
Each work center should be convenient for the user. It should be laid out so that needed utensils and supplies can be easily seen and picked up. To this end, plan cabinet and storage space for those supplies and utensils necessary at each of the work centers. Within each area, divide the storage space so that the most-used items are nearest at hand. This space should also be designed for the articles to be stored.
A second consideration in planning is the surfaces of working areas. These should be easy to maintain and clean. Since no one material will have all the qualities you may desire for wall coverings, table and counter tops, and floors, it will be necessary to choose the one which comes closest to your needs and the price you can pay.
How high a cabinet or working surface should be depends on the height, posture, arm length, and eyesight of the individual housewife. A short woman should not have her shelves on the same level as one who is taller. In this case, it may be necessary to plan for most of the storage space to fall below the fixture line, whereas for the taller woman, much of the storing can be done on shelves or in cabinets which are placed above the fixtures.
The question of light and ;air are of prime importance also. Allowances for installing proper lighting and for obtaining the maximum natural lighting from proper window placement should be an integral part of the kitchen plan. Ventilation should provide cross-airing of the room and may include one or more fans to freshen kitchen air or to draw off kitchen odors.
The safety of the users should be protected by properly containing all plumbing and wiring. No sharp edges should protrude and corners should all be rounded. Adequate seating, if provided, will materially reduce the fatigue of the housewife. A small but strong kitchen ladder will decrease the chance of falls.