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Plan home design to add kitchen storage and better traffic flow

May 19, 2014

Hand-Scraped FloorsThere's often such a bustle of activity in the kitchen that you wish some of its essential features could be moved into another room. But if you're trying to come up with ways to improve traffic flow, factor in the flooring needed to withstand wear and tear. The engineered hardwood flooring in Anderson's Lone Star hand-scraped collection, for instance, can meet all the needs of a busy kitchen and still offer the beautiful wood tones with Southwestern flair.

To improve foot traffic in a busy room, you have to consider storage first. By adding storage, you eliminate things that take up too much floor space or create clutter zones that are difficult to change. If you don't have one, a kitchen island may seem contrary to saving floor space and reducing clutter. But Better Homes and Gardens magazine reported that homeowners find the extra storage provided by an island opens up more counter space for food preparation and creates a natural traffic pattern with the island at the center.

An island also serves as a main gathering spot in the kitchen, with bar stools pulled up along one or two sides for casual dining and conversation. In islands that have a cooktop or sink, some of the traffic that hovers around the appliances is redirected to the middle of the room design. After adding some seats and a few decorative accents, you may wonder how you functioned in your kitchen without it.

Expand into shelving
Not all shelving has to be anchored so densely in rows of cabinets and drawers. Floating wall shelves can add a distinctive, open look to your kitchen and still provide extra storage that frees up space somewhere else, according to Houzz.

Some examples of where floating shelves can be located are over the range, on a bare wall or inserted between cabinets that surround a window. These are good places for spices, dishes you use everyday, cookbooks or, in the case of window shelves, a compact herb garden. You can also compartmentalize many of your kitchen accessories like tongs and spatulas into containers on shelves to save space in your cabinets and drawers.

Another way to make your kitchen larger is to blend the color of wood furnishings and cabinets with your wood floors to create a sense of uniformity. It may not actually add footage to your kitchen's dimensions, but it will provide the feeling of a more open atmosphere as the bustle of kitchen life continues.