The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the modern home, but it doesn't always get the attention that it deserves. With as much time as some people spend in their kitchens, the spaces themselves aren't always designed with function in mind.

If you like to cook and spend a lot of time in your kitchen, maybe it's time for a custom kitchen remodel to make things more functional and comfortable. Here are some tips that you should find useful.

1. Rethink Your Storage Space

One of the keys to having a functional kitchen is knowing where to store everything. For example, cereal bowls and cereal should be stored close to your breakfast table, while plastic containers and plastic wrap should be kept where you would prepare leftovers for storage. Thinking of how you use space will help you determine where to add extra cabinets, shelves, and so on. The idea is to eliminate the need to walk all over your kitchen over and over to complete the same task.

2. Leave Walkway Space

You may think that you're stuck with narrow walkways if you have a small kitchen, but the best kitchen design consultants know how to make the most of any space. When you're designing your kitchen's layout, remember to keep all paths through your kitchen about 36 inches wide. You should also allow for a 42-inch wide walking space around the cooking area. If you want a two-cook kitchen, expand that to 48 inches.

It should be noted that walkways through your kitchen shouldn't go past the stove, especially if you have small children. It's easy to knock a pot off the stove while walking by, so you should do your best to discourage that. You should also design your kitchen so that the refrigerator is easily accessible both to people working in the kitchen and those passing by.

3. Determine How Islands Will Be Used

An island is a great thing to have in your kitchen, but you should know how it will be used. Some islands are used as dining spaces while others are used for cooking. Some islands are even equipped for multiple functions. If you plan to use a kitchen island for food preparation and dining, make sure there is sufficient space for both; you don't want to cook and prepare meals in the same space where people will be eating them.

4. Keep Trash and Recycling Hidden but Accessible

There are few things worse in a kitchen than a smelly or overflowing wastebasket, but you need to have somewhere to throw your trash and recycling. Keep a wastebasket in a lower cabinet near the sink or the stove. You can also design a special space for it if you wish. The same goes for recycling bins. This maximizes the actual area you move through in your kitchen and removes some of the visual clutter.

For more kitchen design tips or kitchen remodeling help, contact Legacy Remodeling.