The kitchen is one of the most important rooms to consider when designing a home. They come in many different shapes and sizes, and there is no one-size-fits-all layout for every house so it is very important to do your research even if you're engaging with a kitchen designer and look at different kitchen ideas before you begin building your dream kitchen.
Home kitchen design follows the specific needs and constraints of the individual household. Some people value more floor or counter space, while others want a decorative area to showcase to their guests.
In this article, we’ll be looking at six designs for kitchen spaces, and the kitchen work triangle.
What Do I Plan First?
Many interior designers feel that it's important to decided where the sink goes first and then we use that spot and plan out from there. This is probably because in a traditional kitchen had to cater for a long time of dish scrubbing. Lucky for most of us we're able to get a dishwasher to do most of the scrubbing for us, so now the focus is more making the use versatile and planning for a beautiful kitchen that we're not shy of showing our guests.
So whether you're doing a DIY or getting a designer kitchen the next step after you've placed your kitchen sink is to look at the kitchen work triangle.
Kitchen Layouts and The Work Triangle
When designing kitchen layouts, the three most important areas to consider are:
- The Kitchen sink for cleaning and preparation
- The refrigerator and freezer for food storage.
- And the oven, range, or stovetop for cooking.
These three work areas or work zones 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, cooktop, and fridge no more than 1.8-2 metres apart from each other can make your workflow much faster and smoother.
The Six Layouts for Your Kitchen Design Ideas
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. Try and use overhead cabinets for more storage, and if you want to open the space up a bit look at having open shelving. If you can use a window as a splashback to lighten up the space it'll really open the space for you.
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, some may also use a stainless steel backsplash in hope to have light reflect off.You could try for a colourful style kitchen, using a bright feature wall colour and a contrast joinery colour to brighten the space.
Pros: Very compact, needs very little clearance
Cons: All three work spaces are in a straight line, cramped for multiple cooks
L Shaped Kitchen
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 nook of the dwelling. Keep the legs of the L less than 2 metres 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 spaces to medium spaces
Cons: Appliance placement can be tricky
Made up of cabinets along three adjacent walls, the horseshoe or U-shape 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, dedicated area for cooking
Cons: Needs a lot of room, can feel confined and cramped
A kitchen island or an Island Bench adds more kitchen 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 or breakfast bar.
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. It also opens up the area and allows natural light to flow to and from the living area.
It is also very popular for open plan living environments because the design can help remove a wall and open up the air around the kitchen floor plan.Check out the dark subway tile home renovation and the use of dark timber on the island bench wall and bar stools. This a perfect example of a kitchen trend which is a fusion of elements from a country kitchen with an urban kitchen.
Pros: Island kitchen layouts are versatile and multipurpose
Cons: Needs a lot of clearance
Also called a G-shaped kitchen, a peninsula is basically a kitchen design that has a connected island benchtop. 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 lack 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. 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, Hamptons style, country style the options are endless.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.
The Modern Kitchen and Functional Kitchen Area
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.
When planning for your kitchen renovation, whether it's a small kitchen or large kitchen it's important to read as many design tips as possible because it'll help get your new kitchen ideas flowing, visit as many websites and showrooms as possible. There are a lot of small things that you might have forgotten to consider like, how much bench space do you need or where should you install your dishwasher. Some people might want to have a clean and minimalistic design but forget about where they will store all their kitchen equipment without enough kitchen cabinets which is why cabinetry planning is also very important.
Keep these basic tips and ideas in mind for your next build or renovation, and you'll have a great kitchen plan that will serve you for many years to come.
More Kitchen Renovation Tips
Browse through our articles for more tips and tricks in helping you plan your Kitchen renovation.
- Benefits of Buying Kitchen Sink in Thicker Steel
- Do I need a Draining Board with my Kitchen Sink?
- What Sink is right for me?
- Large Kitchen Sinks Require Planning, How Big Should I Get?
- A Guide to Laundry Tubs