When most people think of a kitchen, they usually think of huge, stainless steel appliances being stacked high and lined with gleaming stainless steel cabinetry. An average Hoosier cabinet from the early 1920s was designed as an above-counter kitchen sink. A modern mid-class residential kitchen consists of a sink, a countertop for food preparation and a cabinet or range top for waste removal. The range top and countertop are usually equipped with built-in kitchen cabinet doors, which offer better security for food preparation items and help maintain hygiene in the kitchen. The kitchen island is an extra work space often built into a modern kitchen.
Countertops are normally raised above the work surfaces of cabinets and used for chopping utensils, slicing vegetables, or for easy access to the dishwasher and refrigerator. Sliding kitchen cabinets and rolling kitchen islands offer more flexibility in designing a kitchen by providing a smooth surface for the stove and refrigerator and the ease of sliding into the storage area beneath the island. Some kitchen islands have built-in microwave oven, built-in ice dispensers, built-in blenders, and bottle collectors for easy and efficient food preparation.
The term “galley” refers to the central area in the kitchen design that provides three places for food preparation, food storage, and clean-up. “Liner” means that the central area has a set distance from which food is prepared. In the United States, the galley kitchen layout is very common in small to mid-size homes. A “galley” in Europe is almost always a separate room with its own entrance. Almost all kitchens in the United States have a “galley” and a “liner”.
In the traditional kitchen design, the work triangle was as follows: the sink, the stove, the refrigerator, and the cabinets were at the side or rear of the kitchen. In today’s more innovative kitchen designs, the work triangle has been replaced by a “work table”, which may be placed in between the cabinets or front-and-back of the kitchen. This flexible working model gives the home cook more flexibility in preparing and cooking food. Many professional chefs advocate this change, since it creates an environment that is conducive to good food preparation, clean-up, and good health.
A refrigerator is a vital component of any kitchen, but the layout of many modern kitchens prevents the need for a large refrigerator. In the galley kitchen, the refrigerator is integrated into the cabinet right next to the sink. Under counter refrigerators have become very popular in recent years, replacing under counter units that required more counter space. A new style called “fiberglass” is starting to come on the market that combines stainless steel with fiberglass to provide a durable, lightweight refrigerator that incorporates the benefits of both types of cabinets.
Another essential part of any kitchen design is the kitchen cabinet, especially in small or lower grade apartments or studio apartments. Modern cabinets are made to fit into almost any space, while providing good storage capacity for all of the kitchen needs. They are available in different shapes and sizes to meet the storage needs of every kitchen. Whether you have a large kitchen or a small kitchen with limited space, or if you simply want to upgrade the appearance of your kitchen, the cabinet is the answer you are looking for.