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Best kitchens are all in the layout

Consider efficiency first, then style

Every home builder knows that a drop-dead-gorgeous kitchen will sell a house, and the kitchens in model homes always look fabulous. But fabulous-looking kitchens can be impossible to work in. To avoid such a distressing situation in your new house, spend some time in the kitchens that grab you and study them carefully. Pay particular attention to the sink and appliance locations, the size of the food prep area, the cabinetry and the lighting because these are the things that will make your kitchen a joy or a pain to work in. A well-designed kitchen can be large or small; the critical element is the layout. The counters, appliances and sink should be arranged so that you can prepare a meal with a minimum of steps, especially when you are carrying anything large and heavy like a water-filled pasta pot. The most efficient arrangement for the sink and stove, and one preferred by most professional chefs, is a galley with a single aisle. The stove and sink are opposite of each other, so t...

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