One of the biggest complaints about kitchen design is the lack of countertops. You want your countertops to be decorative, but they have to be functional, too. When updating your kitchen, make sure that you have enough countertop workspace by evaluating how you use your countertops now and planning for your future needs. The amount of space you need will be specific to your circumstances and will vary with the size limitations of your room and budget.
Understanding how traffic will flow through the kitchen is a useful tool in organizing countertop space so that it will be efficient and comfortable. Make a list of the types of activities you need specific countertop areas for, and evaluate how they may overlap when more than one person uses the kitchen.
Materials matter, too. Where laminates are rugged and heavy-duty, some of the high priced stone, concrete, metallic and natural wood countertops need regular maintenance and special handling.
Lastly, you'll probably need to have some appliances permanently located on the countertops. This may be a can opener, toaster oven, food processor, coffeemaker or a host of other gadgets. Having outlets where you need them and choosing what appliances you want to place in specific locations will help you plan your space better and control appliance creep, the tendency for appliances to start accumulating on countertops, taking up precious workspace.