Building & Renovating Tips
6 Different Kitchen Layout Types
Kitchen Layouts And The Work Triangle
When designing kitchen layouts, the three most important areas to consider are:
- The Kitchen sink cleaning and preparation
- The refrigerator and freezer for food storage
- And the oven, range, or stove top for cooking
These three work areas form the work triangle and the way they are connected determines how easy it is to use your kitchen.
All this means that a larger kitchen may not necessarily be the most efficient. Keeping your sink, cook top, and fridge no more than 6 feet apart from each other can make your work flow much faster and smoother.
The Six Layouts
With the guiding principle of the work triangle in mind, let's look at six of the most popular kitchen layout types:
Also called a corridor kitchen, or a parallel kitchen, this design features two parallel walls opposite each other with a walkway or galley in between. Popular with celebrity chefs, galley kitchens are great for smaller homes, and they typically have more cabinet room than a single wall.
When designing a kitchen with a galley or walkway, consider placing all three work areas along a single wall, to reduce cross traffic.
Pros: Great use of smaller spaces for storage and counter tops
Cons: More foot traffic, somewhat out of fashion currently
The single wall or one wall kitchen is perfect for dwellings where space is limited. It's particularly common studio flats and lofts because of its efficient use of space. In this layout, all three work centres are placed in a single line, with a bit of room between each of them.
One wall kitchens need to make efficient use of vertical as well as horizontal space. Try to have your fridge on one end, the sink on the other end, and the stove or oven in the middle. Consider adding an island to this layout, making it more similar to the galley kitchen layout.
Pros: Very compact, needs very little clearance
Cons: All three workspaces are in a straight line, cramped for multiple cooks
With cabinets along two perpendicular walls that meet at a right angle, the L-shape is perfect for maximizing corner space. This is an efficient design for integrating all three work stations.
This kitchen layout eliminates cross traffic because it is tucked away in a corner of the dwelling. Keep the legs of the L less than 6 feet for ease of use. Also, keep in mind that cooking in an L-shaped kitchen means turning your back on the rest of the room, which could make it more difficult to entertain guests or keep an eye on kids.
Pros: Out of the way from foot traffic, good for small to medium spaces
Cons: Appliance placement can be tricky
U-Shaped Or Horseshoe
Made up of cabinets along three adjacent walls, the horseshoe or U-shaped kitchen is perfect for homeowners with a surplus of kitchen space and a need for lots of storage. This large kitchen layout allows for great workflow and lots of counter space, as well as multiple cooks working at the same time.
To avoid feeling enclosed or confined in a U-shaped layout, consider installing open shelves along the upper walls, or cabinets. Also, make sure your window areas are open and uncluttered when employing this kitchen design.
Pros: Lots of room for countertops and storage spaces, a dedicated area for cooking
Cons: Needs a lot of room, can feel confined and cramped
A kitchen island adds more storage and counter space to any kitchen. A working island can include appliances and cabinets for storage, and it can also serve as an impromptu dining table.
Kitchen islands are an easy way to add additional work surfaces and storage to your home kitchen, but not every home has the space and clearance for a kitchen island.
Cons: Needs a lot of clearance
Also called a G-shaped kitchen, a peninsula is basically a kitchen design that has a connected island. Because this island is connected to the rest of the countertop, it can be accessed from three different sides.
A peninsula offers all the benefits of an island while using less space. This freestanding space can be used as a countertop, storage, or eating area. It's a great design if you want the functionality of a true island but lacks the space for one.
Pros: Uses less room than an island
Cons: Still requires a lot of clearance
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. 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 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 work spaces 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.
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.
The Modern Kitchen
Remember that your cooking area won't just be used for cooking, but for other activities as well, such as eating, doing homework, and entertaining guests. Make sure you have space for other things. You are designing a space that should not only be functional but beautiful as well.
Keep these basic tips and ideas in mind for your next build or renovation, and you'll have a great kitchen Sink plan that will serve you for many years to come.
- Jimmy T
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