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It’s All In The Way It Flows


Many kitchens in the Greater Sarasota-Bradenton area were designed decades ago, long before builders considered the needs of those who cooked for the family. The only concerns were that the proper tools were available and that the room was mildly pleasant in appearance. We’ve come a long way since then, and modern kitchens are often the highlight of modern homes.

The Old Way

Older kitchens were built with the bare minimum in mind. Basic tools like an oven, cooktop, dishwasher, and fridge were all you could expect. As for space, the concept was that all you needed was space enough for one person to run around getting the meals ready. And looks? Nice enough was good enough.

Back then, kitchens were workspaces only and not very well organized ones. Workflow wasn’t even a consideration. After all, it’s a home, not a restaurant, or so they thought back then. And entertaining was a rarity, so good enough was plenty for any household kitchen.

The lighting in these kitchens was usually a single, anemic fixture set tight against the ceiling. If you were lucky, you had a fan over your range with lights in it. Outside of that, you spent your time cooking either in the daytime or you prepared dinner in what felt like a narrow tomb.

And the presentation? It’s as though old-timey builders never even considered that the homeowner might want their fridge in the kitchen. Fridges were left to stick out like linebackers waiting to get in your way. It’s a bad look and a worse design.

The Kitchen Workflow Triangle

Most kitchens can be separated into three main areas: Cooking, Cleaning, and Storage. What you want is the shortest possible trip between each of these three tasks. You should be able to draw an unbroken triangle (with the sink at the tip) between your sink, cooking area, and refrigerator to maximize the usefulness of the space.

The triangle guarantees that whether you’re chopping vegetables, setting pots and pans in the sink, or adding food to what you’re cooking, you’ll have a short and unobstructed path to your goal. Restaurants have been using this system forever, and now it’s the standard setup in modern homes.

The First Fix

Many years back, builders started opening the walls around your kitchen to make them more inclusive. Then, kitchen islands became the answer for solving limited counter space. Unfortunately, their placement wasn’t well thought out, and many kitchen islands were set firmly in everyone’s way. They broke the triangle, but nobody knew what the triangle was back then, so they didn’t care.

Sure, you had extra space, but you had to detour around that crazy island each time to get anything done. Plus, more often than not, the space under the island wasn’t utilized. It was just dead space under there or it came with an overly deep storage area with maybe one almost unusable shelf. A poor answer at best.

Modern Kitchens

The modern kitchen is all about multiple cooks and ease of use. Ranges have given way, once more, to cooktops and wall ovens to open the space up. Overhead cabinets are shallower, allowing better use of the counter space below, and lighting is available everywhere without being obtrusive.

Plus, the counter space is more extensive than it used to be, with work areas wide enough that several people can work in the kitchen without getting in each other’s way. Kitchens are now so spacious that you can chat with friends while cooking and not bump into them even once.

Modern designs also take into account the workflow triangle and arrange your kitchen to support ease of movement at all times. And those annoying kitchen islands have been moved out of the way and are now often multi-purpose kitchen features.

Modern kitchen islands have clever storage areas underneath to keep things organized and have roll-out shelves, so you don’t have to ask your kids to reach for everything to save your aching back. You can even add appliances such as wine coolers or an extra dishwasher under your kitchen island.

And the backsides of the islands often serve the added purpose of casual dining, with stools for your family to sit on to eat a quick breakfast at the counter before starting their day.

Kitchens As Showpieces

Modern kitchens are rarely tucked away and out of view like the old days. They are now often the centerpiece to your home and one of the main areas where you entertain your guests. They are spacious and designed with beauty and comfort in mind. These days, if you put your home up for sale, your kitchen better be amazing, or you’re in for a long wait before it sells. And if your kitchen does “wow” potential buyers, you’ll be able to choose between competing buyers.

Better, Easier Cooking

Once your custom kitchen is built to be everything you’ve ever wanted, cooking is a breeze. The organization is no longer a make-do exercise but planned as part of your design. With every cooking appliance you could want placed exactly where you want them to be, you’ll be able to spend more time experimenting with recipes and less time trying to maneuver around the space.

Your new level of comfort will be reflected in your food to the delight of your family and friends.

How Far You Can Take Kitchen Remodeling

Some homeowners worry about how much they can change their kitchens with a remodel. The truth is, you can change as much as you want. At Gilbert Design Build, we can do pretty much anything you want with your custom kitchen design.

We’ve even moved a kitchen to a whole other part of a customer’s home to take advantage of a particularly nice view. The homeowner knew that their kitchen was where their friends gravitated when they entertained, and that nice view was wasted on the rooms that faced it. So, we moved the whole kitchen to the other side of the house and it looked amazing with a view to die for.

The only barrier to your dream kitchen is your imagination. We can take your kitchen down to the studs and start over with a new floorplan, or we can just reface or refinish your cabinets to give them a more modern look. Whatever you want, we can make it happen and do it with surpassing style.

We are also CAPS certified, so we can take your kitchen and make it match your level of mobility with lowered counters and appliances that, combined with open space underneath, you can easily use everything from  a wheelchair. Or we can simply redo the floors with material that helps prevent slipping or tripping. Whatever adjustment you need, we can get it done — all without losing the beauty of your home.

If you aren’t happy with the kitchen in your Greater Sarasota area home and want to see how we can make it match your dreams, contact us at Gilbert Design Build to schedule a consultation.