The Six Layouts for your Kitchen Design Ideas
Getting your kitchen layout right is the most important factor in ensuring a functional and practical kitchen area. Whether your kitchen is small and cramped or large and expansive, a clever layout will make all the difference in helping you to get the most out of the space. Especially in a kitchen, there is a lot more to layout than just placing furniture and cabinetry: ergonomics has a huge role to play as well. Getting the heights right, ensuring enough space for comfortable movement, placement of appliances and ease of use are all going to factor in your enjoyment of the room.
While the floorplan of your home will most likely determine the layout that your kitchen will have, you can always optimise the area to work better. Here are the most commonly found kitchen layouts, with tips to help you do just that
The Work Triangle
The work triangle was devised in the 1920’s as one of the first measures of efficiency in a residential kitchen. The triangle creates a clear path between the area for food preparation (stove top), the cleaning area (kitchen sink) and the food storage area (refrigerator).
The Principles of the Kitchen Work Triangle:
- The length of each triangle leg is between 1.2 and 2.7m
- The combined length of the three legs should be between 4m and 7.9m
- There should not be any appliances or cabinetry intersecting any of the legs of the triangle
- There should not be any major traffic through the triangle
Read on to learn about The Six Layouts for your Kitchen Design Ideas that are most often used to cut down on time spent in the kitchen and make working in the heart of the home just a little bit easier:
As the name suggests, one-wall kitchen remodels are a small-scale alternative to a full-on renovation. Often featured in apartment studios and more compact spaces, an elongated work-space provides an opportunity to save space without sacrificing function. A one-wall is a one-of-a-kind kitchen renovation.
Are you working with a long or narrow space? A kitchen remodel contractor will probably tell you to stick with a galley kitchen. This option features two opposing walls, fit with all the necessary appliances and cabinetry, with a narrow walkway in the middle. And, did we mention, no corner cabinets?
You’re probably already familiar with L-shaped kitchen renovations, after all, they’re a staple of traditional home design. Perfect for small family homes that like to host, these kitchens feature two adjoining walls cornering a central kitchen island. Chances are, your kitchen remodel contractor will suggest this design if you’re looking to achieve a classic family home design.
Looking for a supersized setup with sufficient storage? U-shaped kitchen renovations work well for homeowners who like to cook frequently but require a lot of open space to move around. If you like to get crafty in the kitchen, your kitchen remodel contractor may propose a U-shape kitchen layout.
Ready to turn your kitchen from an occasional cooking space to the center of attention? This type of kitchen layout can inspire homeowners to open up the neighboring spaces as well, bringing the living room or dining room in step with the newly refreshed kitchen. With the proper amount of seating and intuitive design based on your personal needs, your kitchen can turn into a place that the entire family can enjoy.
A peninsula is a connected kitchen island, that can often take on an L- or U-shape. It can also serve as a divider between two rooms, typically a kitchen and a living room. The difference between these two kitchen renovations can be little, so the final layout will likely be determined by how well you’re able to make it work in your existing home. Ask your kitchen remodel contractor which one could work best for your home!
How To Make Kitchen Layout Work:
How to Make A One-Wall Kitchen Layout Work:
Think vertical. You only have so much width to work with, so taking your cabinets up as far as possible will help create extra storage space. While the traditional work triangle is not possible in a one-wall kitchen, try to put your fridge on one end, oven and hob in the middle and the sink at the other end. If your cabinets do not go up to ceiling, utilise the space above them by storing lesser-used items there. Alternatively, you can use this space as a display area to strengthen the theme of your kitchen.
The Galley Kitchen
How to Make A Galley Kitchen Layout Work:
With an additional row of cabinetry, the galley kitchen already offers more flexibility when it comes to storage space. Especially for bigger families or multiple-cook kitchens, it is important to have the work areas along only one of the walls, not both. This will help you to avoid traffic through the work triangle and eliminate the risk of injury.
The L-Shaped Kitchen
How to Make A L-shaped Kitchen Layout Work:
Where space allows, make the most of the corner by installing a walk-in pantry cupboard. This way you won’t lose the valuable space that is usually lost in a corner, and you gain a huge asset to your kitchen. With an L-shaped kitchen, you may even be able to create a small breakfast nook in the opposite corner, further increasing your family’s enjoyment of the room.
The U-Shaped Kitchen
How to Make A U-Shaped Kitchen Layout Work:
Keep window areas open and uncluttered in a U-shaped kitchen. This type of kitchen layout provides the perfect opportunity for an uninterrupted work triangle so make the best use of the space by having the work areas on the opposite end of the back- and entry doors.
The Island Kitchen
How to Make An Island Kitchen Layout Work:
Utilise the island as both a work- and social area where family and friends can interact while meals are being prepared. Because of its location in the centre of the kitchen, it is a great place to install prominent decorative lighting that can also serve as task lighting.
The Peninsula Kitchen
How to Make A Peninsula Kitchen Layout Work:
As with the island kitchen, the peninsula offers a great opportunity for interaction during meal preparation. It is a great solution for a small enclosed kitchen, where a wall can be removed to open the area up to an adjacent room without giving up on storage space.
Mixing and Matching
Don’t be afraid to mix and match floor plans. Remember that the kitchen is ultimately a personal space that should suit your individual needs. You could try combining the single wall layout with a peninsula, or even a double-island layout. While you’re mixing matching you can also think about the theme and whether you’re looking for a minimalistic Scandinavian feel, contemporary kitchen or a simple white kitchen,.
Here are a few novel variations from the six standard layouts:
Single Wall With Island
Single wall plans usually suffer from limited counter space and a cramped work flow. If you can spare the clearance, adding an island would solve both of these problems, transforming the space into something similar to a galley layout. Transferring one of the workspaces onto the island could create the ideal work triangle.
Another layout similar to a galley layout, a kitchen with two islands is a real treat! You can use one surface for cooking and the other as an informal dining space, allowing you to prepare meals while socializing with family and friends. Just make sure you plan your pendant lights to suit the space.
The double L is one way of using a tricky space, with one L flush against the wall and the other one freestanding, like an island. They can be a clever way of maximizing a corner, but can be difficult to pull off without the help of an experienced interior decorator.
Creative Storage Ideas for Cabinets
When choosing kitchen cabinetry, consider features that make it easier to reach your items. You remove every pot, pan, dish and groceries from your cabinets to prepare for all new storage. Cabinets are installed, and it’s time to put back your stuff. Except the problem is there isn’t room for everything. This scenario is all too common, according to Dennis Poteat of Blum Inc. The lesson: Look beyond the surface when choosing cabinets. Think about how tall cereal boxes are and where you keep them. Consider how you reach for a dish towel when you’re working at the sink. A drawer nearby should accommodate this. Plan for space to neatly store all of your plastic-ware (and all of the lids).
The Latest in Storage Options
The keyword with storage is: access. Here are some ways to make more room for your stuff in your existing kitchen space:
- Pull-outs. Access, along with ergonomics, is the reason for the move from doors to drawers in base cabinets. The issue with doors is when you open a cabinet with a door on it, you have shelving, and you can reach the first thing but everything behind it is impossible to get at. For the sake of storage and access, movement from a door to a pull-out gives you the ability to bring the content of the cabinet out into the room.
- Specialty hardware. The pull-out spice drawers and nifty utensil drawers that were once offered only by custom cabinet makers are now available in mid-priced fixtures
- Base cabinets. Designers today aren’t married to the idea of wall cabinets. Base cabinet drawers can organize dishes, pots, pans, utensils, basically anything. Pull-outs allow you to access everything stored in the drawer without straining your back.
- Floating shelves. Visually pleasing open shelves break up the monotony of standard cabinets and serve as a place to display beautiful vases, store cookbooks and keep ingredients in pretty jars.
- Extended wall cabinets. Say no to soffits if you want to expand storage. Extend wall cabinets to the ceiling and improve accessibility of those higher shelves with lift-up doors. Or, dedicating an entire wall to storage and building cabinets floor to ceiling creates a focal point and makes room on other walls for aesthetic features, such as a mosaic backsplash, windows, artwork or functional appliances.
- Fully-extended drawers. Full extension runners on drawers allow pull-outs to extend completely rather than just three-quarters of the way. This once high-end feature is now common to most drawers, but it’s a good idea to ask the supplier or designer about it.