The Magic Numbers You Need to Know to Design Your Kitchen
Ergonomics, the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment, has been gaining relative importance in recent years. In fact, interior designers and architects have been designing homes with the science of ergonomics in mind, by discreetly coupling ergonomically designed fixtures based on homeowners’ needs and the way they intend to interact with the home interiors together.
The Kitchen as Workplace
The kitchen has since evolved into a social center for family members or guests to gather and mingle while they dine and wine.
With careful planning, cooking in your kitchen can become a pleasure and more comfortable place to work in or socialize. Therefore, it is imperative that you take note of the following ergonomics considerations, and remember the key measurements when you D.I.Y your kitchen renovation.
1. & 5.
Accessible Upper Cabinets
Accessing the upper cabinets can be a challenge for vertically challenged homeowners. Thus, you should consider installing pull-down shelf mechanism which allows you to pull the shelves out and down towards you, thereby making the upper kitchen cabinets more accessible. The storage cabinet depth should not go beyond 12″ since anything deeper, the upper cabinet will block the view of the countertop during food preparation. In the similar vein, depending on your height, the ideal distance between the wall mount upper cabinets and countertop varies from 15″ to 18″. If the upper cabinet is too low (relative to your height), it will block the view of the countertop during food preparation too. Also, the minimum clearance of 15″ allows for installation of large electrical kitchen appliances.
Interior Designer: Crescendo Interior & Lifestyle
Distance between Countertop and Kitchen Island
The ideal minimum distance between the countertop and the kitchen island or dining table should be around 48″ for the ease of movement if you have two people working in the kitchen at the same time. In addition, this distance will facilitate the ease of access to the pullout 80cm deep jumbo drawers when they are fully extended.
Interior Designer: DB Studio
3. & 4.
Customizing the height of the counter height is one of the most important steps in getting the ergonomics right in the kitchen. Therefore, instead of conforming your body to adapt to standardized sizes, you should consider adjusting the height of the countertop in relation to the height of your elbow while you are tailoring the kitchen counter to your specific height.
Kitchen counters could come in at varying heights — a lower one (around 36″) is suitable for food preparation while the higher counter (around 42″) is suitable as a holding area for food that is ready for serving. In addition, the comfortable clearance between the kitchen stool and countertop should be around 10″ for you to slide comfortably in and out of the stool easily.
Distance between Vent Hood and Cooktop
If you are blessed with height, you should raise the height of the range hood to the maximum allowable distance above the cooktop so that you do not bump into the bottom edge of the range hood or stoop while you are cooking. Do note that the maximum allowable distance actually varies by manufacturer.
Interior Designer: Inside Living
Food Preparation Area
It is important for the sink to have landing areas on both sides for you to rest food items or cookware. Hence, it is recommended that the sink have a minimum 24″ of landing area on one side and 18″ on the other. Similarly, it is ideal to have at least a continuous 36″ of countertop located directly next to the sink in the food preparation area.