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Jkath Design Build + Reinvent / Cabinet Shop  / Creating Work Zones in Your Kitchen
Custom kitchen renovation featuring double white oak islands with overhead brass linear chandeliers and natural quartzite countertops, white perimeter custom cabinetry with natural soapstone countertops, black cabinet hardware and custom plaster range hood.

Creating Work Zones in Your Kitchen

Here at Jkath, we can do any type of renovation. However, we’ve leaned into historic homes in the most recent past. When working in older homes, we’re often constrained with smaller spaces, even when creating an addition. The city lots are condensed and additions have parameters on depth, and height. Creating work zones within the kitchen is a big topic for our team and homeowners, creatively using the space to add function, aesthetic and maximizing the flow and zones within each space.

Twin Cities dining room renovation with custom dark hutch and chandelier.

Some great tips to getting started are here:

What are the six main work zones.

Prep zone: Where you wash, chop, and prepare food. This zone should include the sink, countertop space, and a roll out trash.

Cooking zone: Where you cook food on the stovetop or in the oven. This zone should include the range, wall oven, speed oven, or any additional cooking vessel.

Baking zone: Where you bake and mix ingredients. This zone should include the countertop space, countertop mixer, measuring cups and spoons, and baking supplies, usually adjacent to the pantry.

Cleaning zone: Where you wash dishes and put them away. This zone should include the sink, dishwasher, and accessible dish storage.

Coffee/Bar zone: This space will include your coffee maker, mugs, coffee supplies, often a beverage fridge or other dry bar accessories.

Drop zone: Consider your junk drawer a drop zone, a place to plug in electronics, drop mail or homework.

Custom black stained hutch cabinet with brass decorative grilles and solid brass hardware.

Group Related Items Together

In each zone, store the items you need for that specific task. For example, in the prep zone, store your cutting boards, knives, and measuring cups and spoons. In the cooking zone, store your pots and pans, utensils, and spices.

Custom luxury kitchen with white oak and glass countertop hutch cabinet, white oak cabinets with dark soapstone countertops, double white oak islands with natural Vancouver quartzite thick countertops, black cabinet hardware, plaster range hood.

Place Work Zones Within Reach of Each Other

This will minimize the amount of walking you have to do when cooking and cleaning. For example, the prep zone should be close to the cooking zone and the cleaning zone.

Light blue painted custom cabinetry paired with warm walnut cabinet tones. Quartz backsplash and vintage lighting.

Create a Sensible Traffic Flow

Think about how you move around your kitchen when you’re cooking and cleaning. Try to arrange the work zones so that you can move easily from one to the other. Consider adding a prep sink into your island for an additional zone while prepping or near the coffee station for access to water.

Twin Cities kitchen renovation with white perimeter cabinets, dark stained island, and custom dark blue hutch.

Use Vertical Space

If you have limited counter space, use cabinets and shelves to store your kitchen supplies. You can also install a pot rack above the stovetop to hang pots and pans. Some lucky homeowners have 10′ or taller ceilings, while cabinetry can be hard to reach its great for seasonal storage.

Custom kitchen renovation featuring double white oak islands with overhead brass linear chandeliers and natural quartzite countertops, white perimeter custom cabinetry with natural soapstone countertops, black cabinet hardware and custom plaster range hood.

Here are some additional tips, considerations our design team makes when planning out a new kitchen space:

1. If you have a small kitchen, you may need to combine work zones. For example, you can use the same countertop for both prepping and dish collection.

2. If you have a large kitchen, you may have room for additional work zones, such as a coffee station, baking station, or a double island.

3. Consider your lifestyle when planning your work zones. For example, if you entertain often, you may want to create a dedicated serving zone. If coffee is the best way to start your day, create a coffee station or garage.

4. Be flexible and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you find that a particular work zone isn’t working for you, rearrange things. The goal is to create a kitchen that is both functional and efficient.

5. Read our blog post on Hidden Storage, for ways to keep clutter off your countertops and hide appliances, while prioritizing work stations.

By following these tips, you can create a kitchen that is easy to use and enjoyable to spend time in.

Sharing a few recent St. Paul, Minnesota projects we think you might like:

Palace Avenue, Fairmount Avenue, Princeton Avenue

Interested in connecting about your home renovation?

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