Archive for July, 2015

3-Step Guide To Your Dream Kitchen Remodel – Part 2: Designing Your Kitchen Space

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

“To ensure your kitchen is functional, comfortable, and safe, use these key measurements and recommended clearances.”


In step one of this three-step guide to your dream kitchen, we discussed the importance of clearly defining what it is you want in your new kitchen.

For a refresher, or if you haven’t yet created your wish list … STOP.

Go back and create your wish list now!

If you’ve already created your wish list, you listed all of the pros and cons of your existing kitchen, took what you wanted and left the undesirable behind. You also added a bunch of great new features that you absolutely know you want in your kitchen when all of the work is said and done.

And because you’ve taken the time to write out your dream kitchen wish list, you have already made this next step — designing your kitchen space — much easier and less frustrating.

We’re going to keep the momentum going so you will have a clear idea of how your new kitchen is going to turn out.

Before we get started — two very important factors when designing your kitchen space are:

  • Proper measurements
  • Sufficient clearance

I’m going to give you both concrete measurements and expert guidance on how much clearance you need for you kitchen.

It’s the nuts and bolts kind of stuff that many homeowners — and hired contractors — tend to overlook. But armed with this knowledge, you won’t make that mistake.

All measurements are suggested minimums unless otherwise noted. The following recommendations were adapted from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) guidelines.

Are you ready to get started? Onward march!


Walkways should be 36 inches wide.

Work Aisles

The width of work aisles should be at least 42 inches in a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches in kitchens designed for multiple cooks. A U-shape kitchen should include a clearance of 60 inches between opposite walls.


If a kitchen has one sink, locate it next to or across from the cooking surface or refrigerator. For a primary sink, provide a continuous countertop at least 36 inches wide right next to the sink. For a cleanup and prep sink, provide a 24-inch-wide landing area to one side of the sink and an 18-inch-wide landing area on the other.


Include a 12-inch-wide landing area on one side of the cooktop and a 15-inch-wide landing area on the other. (Landing areas should be at the same height as the cooktop.) Allow 24 inches of clearance above cooktop (30 inches if there is unprotected cabinetry above it.)


The standard countertop height is 36 inches; maximum is 45 inches. Allow 15 inches of space between the countertop and the bottom of upper cabinets. A total of 158 inches of countertop space is needed to accommodate landing area, prep and work areas, and storage.

Food Prep Area

Include a 36-inch-wide surface for each cook (adjacent to a water source).


Locate the dishwasher no more than 36 inches from the cleanup and prep sink.


Provide a 15-inch landing area on the handle side of the refrigerator; a 15-inch landing area on both sides of a side-by-side refrigerator: a 15-inch landing area no more than 48 inches across from the front of the refrigerator; or a 15-inch landing area above or adjacent to an undercounted refrigerator.

Microwave Oven

The bottom of the microwave oven should be 3 inches below the principal user’s shoulder but no more than 54 inches above floor. Provide a 15-inch-wide countertop space above, below, or on handle side of the microwave oven.


Provide a 15-inch-wide counter space above or adjacent, or on an island or peninsula no more than 48 inches away.

Bar Counter

The height should be between 28 and 45 inches. Provide a knee space between 12 and 18 inches.

There you have it!

By following these minimum measurement suggestions and recommended clearances you will be well on your way to enjoying the fully functional, comfortable, and safe kitchen you’ve always dreamed of.

If you have any questions (many of my readers do) and would like to work with a professional contractor who guarantees his work, feel free to shoot me an email at or give me a ring at 213-232-4783.

Kitchens are my specialty!

Check out some of my work here.

3-Step Guide To Your Dream Kitchen Remodel – Part 1

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

3-Step Guide To Your Dream Kitchen Remodel – Part 1: Creating Your Wish List


“If you’re thinking about tackling a kitchen remodel project or planning a new home, the smartest thing you can do is create a plan that will guide you through the entire process from A to Z.”


This is true, even if you plan on hiring a professional for the job.

With 24 years of experience as a California licensed contractor and having remodeled over 75 kitchens throughout my career, I can make that statement with confidence. I’ve seen it all … the good, the bad and the ugly.

I can also tell you this …

By making the initial time investment of your bringing your dream kitchen into focus, the dreaming, planning and shopping (the fun part) stages can be done with peace of mind and supreme confidence.

This planning phase is a time for you to come clean about what you like and what you don’t like about your existing kitchen. It’s also where you’ll be able to list everything you absolutely want in your kitchen when the work is all said and done.

This handy guide will take you through the entire kitchen planning process.

In this first part of a three part blog series, I’m going to share a couple of important key insights and brainstorming techniques that will help you map out a plan to create your dream kitchen.

Let’s get the party started!

Create your wish list: The first step to planning your new kitchen remodel

An important part of creating your wish list is to understand what you will need in your new kitchen. The old architectural adage that “form follow function” certainly applies here.

Ask yourself the right questions …

What do you love about your current kitchen? What would you love to change most? 

How would you describe your dream kitchen? Do you want your kitchen to be open to a family room or other living spaces? How often per month do you entertain? Does anybody using the kitchen have physical limitations that need to be considered? How old and how many people in the household will be using the new kitchen?

This is only a handful of questions you should ask yourself off the bat, but these will certainly put you into that creative zone enough to jumpstart the brainstorming and planning phase.

Let’s take a look at some other considerations when drawing up your wish list for the kitchen remodel …

  • Kitchen activities. Knowing how you are going to use your kitchen is the key to planning an efficient layout. Of course, the primary activities of a kitchen cooking and dining, so you will need to determine what kind of cooking and dining you plan on doing in the kitchen. For instance, will you be engaging in light cooking … family cooking … gourmet cooking?

The same goes for dining; do you see yourself informally dining in your new kitchen or do you want more of a formal dining area set up? These are things to think about.

  • Storage (by item and by accessories). Other things to consider when putting together your wish list together are storage and storage items by type and accessories. Items like food and beverage, dishes, cookware and cabinets, to name a few. Knowing what kind of items storage items and accessories you would like to use will determine the layout and other functional considerations.
  • Physical properties. Once you have a vision for your new kitchen, you’ll want to consider the physical properties like room size, type of flooring and cabinets, door surfaces and styles, surfaces, sinks, lighting and appliances.

This is your kitchen remodel; ask yourself the right questions, create your own list of activities that you see yourself doing in your new kitchen and determine exactly what you will need based on function first.

Whether you’re remodeling an existing kitchen or planning a new home, now you have a jump-start on the planning phase of your new kitchen remodel. The next step, Part 2: Designing Your Kitchen Space.

And of course if you have any questions or you need one-on-one help with your new kitchen remodel, feel free to get in touch.

See what my satisfied clients have to say about my work. You can also take a look at some of my work here.