The 7 must-consider kitchen zones.

Thinking about remodeling your kitchen? Don’t neglect these 7 important areas.

Good food and a warm kitchen are what makes a house a home. – Rachael Ray

Is it time to refresh or remodel your South Bend area kitchen? Let’s talk kitchen zones. The zone concept focuses on what you want to accomplish in a kitchen and then seeks to ensure that you have space designed to fit your specific needs by designating a specific zone to that task.


There are four basic zones in a modern kitchen, although each may have sub areas within it:

Preparation: At a minimum, this area consists of adequate counter space for food preparation. This may include custom counter tops for chopping or a granite slab at an appropriate height for kneading if you’re an avid baker. Those with children may want an adjustable counter or space for a step stool that makes it easy for everyone to get involved.

Cooking: Cooking zones include the expected ovens and stovetops, but also microwaves, toasters, and perhaps even a built in deep fryer or grill. You’ll need to consider whether single or dual ovens are more appropriate to your needs, whether you want your stovetop and oven in one, and whether gas, electric, or the newest option, induction, best fits your stovetop heating preferences.

Cleaning: Here, we’re talking primarily sinks and dishwashers. A deep sink with a modern arcing faucet makes it easy to fill pots and clean even large kitchen items. Dual sinks allow for easy rinsing. In this zone, most people place the dishwasher to the right of the sink for convenient filling, but some left-handers may prefer to situate it on the left. You may want to consider dishwasher drawers. At about half the size of a traditional dishwasher, single drawers work well in compact kitchens while double drawer models allow for maximum efficiency.

Storage: Kitchen storage goes beyond cabinets and cupboards. Today, we see doohickeys (yes, it’s a technical term), dividers and sliders that maximize both the use of storage space and its organizational capacity. There are angled drawer inserts for showing off spices, to roll-out pantries for can and bottle storage even in small spaces. The key for successful storage involves placement of objects near where they will be used, and ensuring easy access to those items needed daily.

The reality is that kitchens are often called upon to serve double and triple duty, whether due to space limitations or to take advantage of meal preparation time as an opportunity for gathering with family and friends. You may also want to consider zones dedicated to:

Eating: Eat-in kitchen spaces range from full dining tables in large open-concept rooms, to built-in nooks, to counters with high stools. Some people are looking only for space for one or two to enjoy a cup of coffee together, while others are looking for the primary space for informal family dining. In tight kitchens, well-designed counter space can double for both preparation and service.

Office: A kitchen office may be a primary workspace or a satellite desk for doing homework while a parent cooks. Here, you likely want to ensure that you have shelving, a desktop with leg space underneath, and a comfortable chair at an appropriate height. Tight on space? We can build fold-down and pull-out versions for transient use.

Socializing: It seems like whenever people gather in a home, they end up in the kitchen anyway. So, why not devote an area to socializing? This could be a dedicated bar space or even a mobile island bar. It could be accessible preparation spaces that invite collaboration with friends and family. It could be a place to watch the game with neighbors while you whip up your famous buffalo dip.

We haven’t even discussed lighting and sound, or issues related to special adaptations for those with particular physical needs, or creating a connected high-tech kitchen. Those will all have to wait for future posts.

Today, we’re sticking to thinking in terms of zones as you plan your kitchen remodel to ensure that your design meets your full range of needs. Taking a zone approach can also allow for a smaller-scale refresh focusing on a single zone whether it be to revamp your cleaning space or to add a zone that rivals your favorite coffee bar. If you’re looking for a South Bend kitchen remodel we’re ready to help you create the kitchen (or just the latte) of your dreams. Call 574.318.WORK or Contact Us for a consultation.

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HomeWorks Construction
1511 N Pulaski St.
South Bend, IN 46613
Phone: 574.318.WORK (9675)