Before and After Kitchen Remodel: Going for Flow


A kitchen remodel can completely transform the look, feel, and functionality of one of the most important rooms in your home. When done right, kitchen remodels create an open, flowing space perfect for cooking, eating, and entertaining. This article will explore key design concepts for achieving an optimal kitchen layout focused on improving workflow and enhancing the openness of the space. Read on for an in-depth look at how to go from a closed-off, dysfunctional kitchen to an airy, harmonious environment optimized for food and fun.

Why Flow Matters in Kitchen Design

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of layout, it’s important to understand why flow matters so much when remodeling a kitchen. Some key reasons include:

  • Safety – Eliminating collisions and traffic jams makes cooking safer.
  • Efficiency – A logical workflow saves steps and makes cooking easier.
  • Enjoyment – Openness creates a more pleasurable cooking experience.
  • Functionality – Smart layout adds usable space for storage and tasks.

In short, optimizing kitchen flow improves the experience of using your kitchen on a daily basis.

Evaluating Your Current Kitchen’s Flow

Before making any design decisions, take time to analyze how you currently use your kitchen. Consider:

  • What traffic patterns do family members typically follow? Make note of collisions.
  • How far away is the fridge from the stove? Count the number of steps.
  • Do you have adequate counter space for meal prep tasks?
  • Are dishes, utensils, and cookware stored logically?

Document what works and what doesn’t to inform your remodel. Addressing flow issues will likely be a top priority.

Kitchen Flow Remodeling Tips and Tricks

Now let’s explore some key remodeling strategies to dramatically improve your kitchen’s flow:

Create Work Triangles

Position the sink, stove, and fridge in a logical triangular workflow pattern. Keep triangles compact, with no leg longer than 9 feet. This makes cooking tasks convenient and efficient.

Open Up the Space

Removing upper cabinets and walls creates an airier, less cramped environment. Add a kitchen island to define work areas without closing the space off.

Strategic Countertop Placement

Put landing space near appliances so you have room for task prep. Place small countertop appliances where their cords easily reach outlets.

Maximize Storage

Use drawers, pull-out shelves, and lazy susans to make storage accessible. Put everyday items in easy reach.

Specialize Work Zones

Designate prep, cooking, cleaning, and dining zones to streamline how you circulate. Keep major messes confined to one area.

Upgrade Appliances Strategically

Choose appliance sizes and styles that fit your remodeled space. Locate them conveniently within work triangles.

Putting it All Together: A Full Kitchen Remodel for Flow

Now let’s look at a complete before and after kitchen remodel showcasing how to transform a disconnected, cramped layout into a flowing, open environment.

BEFORE: Closed Off and Cluttered

The original kitchen had a number of flow flaws:

  • Fridge was across the room from the stove and sinks.
  • Peninsula jutted into the room, creating collisions.
  • Upper cabinets made it feel dark and closed in.
  • Clutter filled counters, making for a chaotic workspace.

AFTER: Open and Organized

Strategic redesign choices completely transformed the kitchen:

  • Island replaced peninsula to open up space. Created landing area between sinks and stove.
  • Work triangles designed around compact sink-fridge-stove relationship.
  • Wall removal opened sightlines and made room feel airy.
  • Custom storage solutions reduced clutter and made items accessible.
  • Specialized work zones designed for efficiency.

The final result is an inviting, logically-arranged cook spaceoptimized for how the homeowners use it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Improving Kitchen Flow

Here are answers to some common kitchen remodel questions as they relate to improving kitchen flow:

What’s the best way to create an open floor plan?

Strategically remove upper cabinets and non-load-bearing walls. Replace peninsulas with kitchen islands. Limit tall appliance placement to maintain sightlines.

How wide should a kitchen island be?

Allow for enough landing space on both sides – typically 24-48 inches. Size it to fit your remodeled space without disrupting flow.

What small changes can improve kitchen flow?

Rethink cabinet contents, adding smart storage like pull out shelves. Install outlets near appliances. Change lighting to make the space feel more open.

Should I put the fridge near the sink?

Yes. Position the fridge directly across from or next to the sink as part of an efficient work triangle.

How do I add storage without cluttering up my kitchen?

Use drawer inserts, under-cabinet organizers, and pull-out cabinetry for discretely storing items off counters.

What’s the best layout for a small kitchen?

Create a compact work triangle and locate appliances on perimeter walls. Use an island or peninsula for additional workspace. Go vertical with shelving to maximize space.


The right kitchen remodel can completely transform an enclosed, cluttered cook space into an open, harmonious environment optimized for prepping, cooking, and enjoying meals. By focusing on flow-enhancing design strategies like work triangles, specialized work zones, and strategic storage, you can create a kitchen perfectly tailored to your needs. With some vision and smart remodeling choices, you can gain a kitchen that seamlessly supports all your culinary endeavors.