Small kitchens are in general more convenient than large ones. In shape the oblong is more economical of floor space than the square and fewer steps are required in crossing the room from one work center to another. For the average family in a house of six or seven rooms, a kitchen with from 90 to 108 square feet is satisfactory. The exact size should be determined by the number of activities to be accommodated, by the size of the large pieces of equipment, by the number of doors, and to some extent by the kind of fuel used in cooking.
The chief work in most kitchens is food preparation. In addition the kitchen must sometimes be used as the family dining room, as a laundry, .... and as a playroom for small children. More floor space is then required than if it is limited chiefly to work connected with food. Even so, efficient arrangement is possible in a large, general-purpose kitchen by planning work centers for the various activities. At the other extreme is the kitchenette where every foot of wall and floor space must be utilized and sliding and drop shelves and other ingenious devices studied out to provide the needed working surfaces.
Stove, sink, table or cabinet, or both, cupboard for dishes and utensils, and sometimes a refrigerator are the large pieces of equipment for which allowance must generally be made. By careful planning such economical use can be made of walls and floor space that all these can be conveniently placed in a comparatively small area.
Two doors, one to the dining room and the other to the back porch or entry, are the minimum in the kitchens of most houses. Two or three more doors leading to cellar, pantry, and hall are not uncommon. In many cases the kitchen is made larger than would otherwise be necessary in order to provide wall space for these doors, when by forethought they could have been placed elsewhere to better advantage.
Coal or wood as the cooking fuel generally makes necessary a larger kitchen than gas, oil, or electricity. A coal or wood stove takes up more room; facilities for storage of at least a day's supply of fuel must be provided in the kitchen; and the greater heat radiated from such a stove makes it impossible to work near it with comfort.....