Architectural design is a combination of art and science. Put more simply, it's about how things look and how they work. Many view design as largely subjective, but when it's done well it can be broken down into realistic, objective directives. These deal not only with aesthetics — form — but also with function, especially for kitchens.

In my experience, designing a well-working kitchen has much more to do with understanding specifically how the users will work in that space than with applying basic kitchen design principles like the "work triangle." Kitchen design guidelines are just that: They indicate a certain way a problem can be solved. If a guideline goes...

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