Design principles seldom change, but technology changes as fast as we can flip through the pages of a book to read about it. Technological influences and instantaneous information have changed the way we live, and the way we design and remodel our home. In many kitchens, a laptop is an indispensable necessity.
What used to be a work triangle of stove, refrigerator and sink, is now becoming a work quadrangle of stove, refrigerator, sink and laptop. Kitchens have to remain safe and efficient while incorporating the advent of the laptop-loving chef. Laptop-loving chefs may find themselves inconveniently walking back and forth to read an online recipe, watching batter fly off a spatula onto a monitor screen while following a celebrity chef video, and shaking out crumbs and spices from their keyboards as they search for substitutions for exotic spices.
If you’re remodeling your kitchen and have found that your laptop is quickly becoming an indispensable part of your cooking routine, look over your floor plans and make sure your laptop puts an extra angle in your kitchen path that connects storage, preparation and cooking, and cleaning. In a properly designed kitchen, there should be no unsafe crossing of paths during meal preparation and cleanup. You laptop should be wisely incorporated into the no-crossing zone.
A laptop should not sit directly on a counter where food preparation is taking place. One solution is to add a separate counter-height station that is only steps away from the sauce that needs stirring and the batter that needs mixing – yet far enough to avoid any accidental spills. Shelves underneath the pedestal provide extra storage and quick access to kitchen wares, cookbooks, or even a wine rack for quick splashes of flavor. Surrounding elevated support for surround sound speakers can fill your kitchen with music streamed right from your laptop (that you can enjoy with your glass of wine).
Elevation is a convenient solution to a space dilemma in smaller kitchens. Add a pedestal on your counter that is similar to the pedestals that hold open cookbooks. Take a look at convenient monitor stands with flexible arms and slide-out keyboard shelving. You can always have a laptop pedestal custom built. If you still have a landline kitchen phone hanging on your wall or sitting in the corner, consider modernizing the area to hold your laptop as well as a charger station for cell phones, i-pods and e-book readers.
Two important challenges for a quadrangle design are ventilation and electrical wiring. Your laptop must not be up against a wall, and it must have proper ventilation so it will not overheat. Wires must be safely tucked away, yet easy to access, especially if you cherish the mobility of a laptop. You must also make sure that your laptop is out-of-reach from the splattering grease of fried foods. To keep your keyboard clean, you can cover it with one of the many keyboard covers that are on the market.
Technology will become more portable, wire-free and advanced, and it certainly isn’t going to disappear anytime soon – especially in the kitchen of a laptop-loving chef. If you’re designing a new kitchen or remodeling an out-of-date look, make your triangle a quadrangle and use your laptop to cook to your heart’s content.