Kitchen Design Don'ts

Designer Dave Stimmel deconstructs the successful kitchen.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionStations, not the old kitchen triangle, are the key to today's modern working kitchens.
Don't Insist on the Triangle

He has designed a kitchen around intricate pink toile wallpaper, created a modern kitchen for a converted pre-Civil War stone barn and even worked on a kitchen for a woman who didn't cook but wanted a beautiful kitchen — without appliances. Flexibility and versatility are integral elements of the design process, says Philadephia-based designer Dave Stimmel, whose Stimmel Consulting group has won numerous awards including multiple Kitchen of the Year Merit Awards from Kitchen & Bath Business magazine. Yet, perfection is never the goal, Stimmel says. Here, he talks about some of the biggest kitchen design mistakes.

The "working triangle" philosophy the refrigerator/sink/range was "developed in the 1950s to sell cabinetry," Stimmel says. "It's not apropos for this day and age." In fact, in today's large kitchens, design works better in "stations" — a station for clean up, a station for food storage, a station for cooking. "You can't have a triangle in a 25 by 40-foot room," he says.