The practicality and functionality of your kitchen depends largely on the type of layout of the physical space and how you used it. The floorplan of your home will determine the layout of your kitchen, but it does not determine the use of the space. Below you will find the most commonly found types of kitchen layouts along with tips on how to optimize your space.
1. The One Wall Kitchen
This layout is simple and very space efficient without compromising on functionality and is usually found in smaller kitchens. The One Wall Kitchen has cabinets installed against a single wall with cabinets and shelving along the base and even upper cabinets above them. This creates a clean and sleek look.
How to Make the One-Wall Kitchen Layout Work: Think up or vertical extension. You cannot add more width or horizontal space so you work upwards. This means having cabinets from the ceiling down to the floor to create extra space for storage. If you have a gap between the top of your cupboards and the ceiling you can keep lesser-used items there like trays. There is also the option of using this space for decorative displays to land the theme of your kitchen. Instead of the traditional kitchen work triangle, you go linear with this layout. This means placing your fridge on one end, oven and hob in the middle and the sink at the other end of the kitchen.
2. The Galley Kitchen
A typical galley, like in a ship, consists of two linear walls facing each other. You typically have cabinets top and bottom on each wall also facing each other with a passage or galley between them. Every bit of storage space is used as no corner cupboards are used. Those dead spaces right at the back of the corner cupboard are avoided. The simple design also requires fewer special cabinet gadgets and thereby making it more cost-effective.
How to Make the Galley Kitchen Layout Work: Storage can be maximized with cabinets to the ceiling and you can also avoid traffic flow problems with some clever designs. When you have a big family or many cooks it is best to have the countertops for prepping at one side of the kitchen only. This way you avoid traffic through the work triangle and eliminate frustration and accidents that can cause injury.
3. The L-Shaped Kitchen
The L-shaped kitchen has cabinets along two perpendicular walls and is a very practical layout choice for small and large kitchens. The open plan design of the L-shaped kitchen allows you a lot of freedom on where to position your appliances and work zones. You will require some clever ideas and cabinet solutions to maximize the corner space. The walls forming the legs of the L shape may be as long as the space can accommodate, but it is advisable to keep it under 4.5m for ease of use.
How to Make the L-shaped Kitchen Layout Work: A great use of the corner space in this design is to install a walk-in pantry cupboard where the space allows for it. This adds a lot of value to your kitchen and fully utilizes the corner space that can be tricky to use. At the end of the wall of your L-shaped kitchen, you could create a small breakfast nook to give functionality to your kitchen and create a family space. This way you can have a morning family gathering while you cook.
4. The U-Shaped Kitchen
The U-shaped kitchen consists of cabinets and shelving along three adjacent walls and is a popular layout option for larger kitchens. This payout offers a lot of storage space but it can feel a bit closed in if the walls are close together and there are double rows of cupboards on all three walls. You can prevent this feeling by not adding an upper row of cupboard on one of the walls but rather using open shelving and focal tiling. Place a hob in between the cupboards on the opposite wall to break the cupboards. The great thing about this layout shape is that it caters for great workflow, especially with many users at the same time.
How to Make the U-Shaped Kitchen Layout Work: You can optimize the kitchen work triangle by creating an uninterrupted flow. This is achieved by placing work areas on the opposite end of the back wall and entry points. Always keep window areas open and uncluttered to create a feeling of space and provide light to this layout shape.
5. The Island Kitchen
The island kitchen offers a large work surface and storage areas in the middle of your kitchen. This is a very popular choice for homes with an open plan layout. The kitchen island can include a cooking surface, prep bowl, vegetable rack drawers and a bar or wine fridge. You can also replace the fridge with a wine-rack. The island can of course also be a place to enjoy meals or perhaps only for prepping your meals. Placed in the right place the kitchen island can create an effective and natural workflow in your kitchen, but your kitchen has to be big enough to accommodate an island.
How to Make the Island Kitchen Layout Work: A great blend of functionalities is to set up the island as an area where you can prepare food while family and friends socialize and interact in the same space. This blend creates a social atmosphere and keeps you part of the conversation even though you are cooking. The kitchen island is in the middle of the kitchen and is a natural focal point that should be used accordingly. You can make this prime position count by installing prominent decorative lighting that can also serve as task lighting.
6. The Peninsula Kitchen
The peninsula layout, much like a geographic peninsula, consists of a kitchen counter that juts out from a wall or cabinetry. It is like an attached kitchen island. This is a great option where you have too little space to fit a loose standing kitchen island. You can get the benefits of a kitchen island and use less space. You can use the peninsula to prepare food or eat while the cook is preparing the meal.
How to Make the Peninsula Kitchen Layout Work: Just like the island kitchen, the peninsula creates a social environment for friends and families to interact and prepare the meal at the same time. If you have a small enclosed kitchen and you are able to remove a wall to open the area up to an adjacent room without compromising on cupboard space, the peninsula is a great option.
It is possible to make the most out of any kitchen, be it big or small, with the right layout choice. Even the most expansive kitchen can be impractical and a disaster to use with the incorrect layout, while you can cook up a storm in a well laid out small kitchen. There is a lot more to planning the layout of a kitchen than just positioning furniture and cabinets. You also have to take the ergonomics of the usage of the kitchen into account. You need to know how to select the right heights of counters and cupboards, create enough space for comfortable movement, and place the appliances where they can be easily used and add to the natural workflow of the kitchen. These are just some of the things that can make or break the design of your kitchen layout.
Has any of these kitchen layouts sparked your attention for your next home remodeling? Feel free to give us a call whether you have decided on your layout or not. We are happy to work with you to get your kitchen remodeling project underway so you can create the kitchen you have been dreaming of.