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Whether you’re doing a kitchen remodel for a public use kitchen, as part of function hall updates, or for another purpose, keep these tips in mind for remodeling a communal use kitchen.

1. Save Space for Standing Room

If you’re remodeling for communal use, the tendency is to utilize every available square foot for prep work and cooking. But keep in mind that the more people using the kitchen, the more people will be in the kitchen watching or having conversations with the cooks. The kitchen has always been a natural magnet for congregating, so be sure to save plenty of space for standing room and seating areas. Standing and seating areas can be designed around the perimeter of the kitchen.

2. Consider a Hand Washing Station

If you only have room for one full-size sink, consider installing a smaller, separate sink solely for hand washing. That way, cooks who are already in the middle of cleaning vegetables in the sink and filling pots with water for boiling food won’t be interrupted by newcomers who first need to wash their hands to get started. The hand washing sink should be placed out of the way of the cooking area.

3. Multiple Cooking Surfaces Are Optimal

During cooking, it’s often necessary to stand watch, stir constantly or maneuver sauté skillets. If you only have one cooking surface, space can get tight very quickly. Install multiple cooking surfaces so that cooks won’t get in the way of each other or miss out on the advantage of tending to food cooking on stovetops.

4. Multiple Ovens Are Necessary

Various foods need to cook at different temperatures. Communal cooks shouldn’t have to wait to put food in the oven or compromise with inadequate temperatures. Multiple wall ovens can provide the extra cooking options without sacrificing floor space.

5. Install a Square Versus Rectangular Island

When remodeling a communal kitchen, a square kitchen island works better than a rectangular one. Rectangular islands are too narrow, which limits the amount of space each cook has. Square islands give equal space to every cook, all around the island.

6. Don’t Neglect the Natural Light

The more bodies there are in a communal kitchen, the less light flow there will be from traditional windows. Natural light is essential in a communal kitchen because they can often get crowded. Opt for ceiling skylights and solar tube lights, which let in natural light from overhead where it won’t be blocked out. This type of lighting will also help cut down on utility bills, which will be a factor with highly active communal kitchens.

If your organization has a community center; be it a church, a synagogue or a Grange hall that has a kitchen that needs to be updated, make sure that these suggestions are followed so your group will end up with an attractive and functional kitchen.

Kathleen S. is a real estate expert with over 10 years of experience writing in the real estate industry. During the day, she works as a real estate assistant, specializing in high end and luxury homes. With over 25 years of experience in writing, Kate has honed her skills in a wide variety of writing mediums. Her work has appeared in such publications as Top Agent Magazine, Parents Magazine, Business.com, Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, Mashable.com, Realtor.com, SheKnows.com, and many more.

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