How Can I Remodel My Kitchen to Be More Efficient?

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Q: I have a kitchen that is small and cute, but has two problems: Problem 1: the stove, sink, and fridge are so close together that it's impossible for two people to cook at the same time without colliding. In other words, it needs to accomodate two cooks, since I have housemates who need to use the kitchen, too. Problem 2: we need more storage space.

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These photos are from the home staging, and the space-inefficient bar stools/table aren't there anymore. Now, there's also a butcher block table across from the fridge that is filled with stuff: microwave, trays, a hanging pot rack above it, vitamix, food processor, etc. My goal is to make the kitchen efficient because I (and my housemates) cook ALL the time. I have a few more appliances than the average cook due to my love for cooking. Some ideas I had: get rid of wall cabinets and replace with open shelving + magnetic spice rack (two full cabinets hold spices); tear down the wall across from the fridge (with the butcher block table o' stuff, that is not pictured) and replace with a kitchen island cabinet; move the sink to the windows where the bar table is pictured, to form a "U" shape to the kitchen; OR, move the sink to the right side of the stove at a perpendicular angle, which would go into the living room a bit and mean moving the doorframe to the wall by the two windows. I'm totally baffled about what's best… does anyone have ideas? I'm frugal but willing to spend money on remodeling, because what's a home without a comfortable kitchen?

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and son in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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