Designing a Functional Kitchen in Tucson

My kitchen is the heart of my home. Running around Tucson, I’m often so busy I only see my other half when we grab a bite to eat.

In addition, when I throw a dinner party, everyone gravitates to the kitchen and lets the couches hold up their own weight.

Yes, my kitchen has all the fun gizmos and gadgets. More importantly, it is laid out to fit my needs. I cannot tell you how often I see kitchens where the layout does not match the homeowner’s lifestyle. I see bakers with little to no counter space and wine lovers without easy access to their wine. Here are a few recommendations to ensure your kitchen remodel is not just beautiful, but functional:


As you plan your kitchen remodel, make a list of how the space will be used. Which appliances do you use frequently? Are you a one-woman cook or are you a more-hands-the-merrier kind of man? Do you bake? Are you a canner?

Kitchens are a personal matter. Make sure you give them personal consideration.

Work Stations that Work

The stove, sink, and refrigerator are traditionally placed in a triangle for easy movement. However, our kitchens today have so many appliances the “triangle” design isn’t always relevant. Are you a frequent Cuisinart user? Do you pull out the vacuum sealer on a regular basis? Does your stand-mixer never quite fit on your counter? Plan work stations around frequently used items, giving them at least 15 inches of counter top for a landing area.

Island Paradise

The popular center island is a fantastic way to add informal seating, extra prep space, and storage. While flat countertops may be ideal for making your own phyllo dough, adding different levels and customized details can help you utilize space. Built in prep sinks and second dishwashers help with pre and post dinner work. Under counter wine storage is a fantastic option for wine enthusiasts and the addition of warming drawers gives you added flexibility when timing dinner. Just remember, kitchen designs with islands should allow at least 42 inches of space around them.


State and local codes also regulate kitchen design. The National Kitchen & Bath Association provides helpful principles that result in a more functional space. For example, in kitchens with one sink, they recommend it be located adjacent to or across from the cooking surface and refrigerator.


Have you ever tried to dice an onion with your eyes closed? Hopefully not! Then why would you try to dice one in the dark? A properly lit space is imperative to your kitchens functionality and safety.

Make the heart of your home as welcoming and enjoyable as possible by designing it with your particular needs in mind.