12 Kitchen Layouts You Need to KnowAugust 4, 2017
The kitchen has often been described as the heart of the home. It’s where meals are prepared, family members and friends gather and it serves as the hub for all other areas of your home.
Whether you’re remodeling your existing home or trying to decide how you want your kitchen in your brand new home to be, the layout of your kitchen is a fundamental decision. Lifestyles and technology are constantly changing and kitchen spaces have been changing along with them. For example, one trend over the last 20 years is to make appliances look as if they are a part of the kitchen cabinets.
Whether you want something retro or sleekly modern, the layout is the foundation. Here are a few of the different configurations to choose from.
L-Shaped – In homes where there is a large amount of kitchen space available, an L-shaped kitchen can be ideal. Kitchen cabinets can be configured to run along a far wall to provide a space that is directly connected to common areas. This layout gives a feeling of openness and casual efficiency.
Double-L Shaped – This is another great kitchen layout if you have space to work with it. A double- L kitchen layout is also popular in new home floorplans. This configuration often opens up to a dining room, great room or family room to take advantage of the extra space. Prep space is maximized in this configuration and there is a whole lot more cabinet space for storage. Additional work space can be made by adding a kitchen island, providing casual eating space when entertaining guests.
U-Shaped – A U-shaped kitchen layout is one of the most popular configurations with home cooks. A U-shaped kitchen can help greatly reduce the number of steps between the areas that make up the work triangle (the route between the stove, fridge, and sink). There’s plenty of prep space in a U-shaped kitchen. This configuration offers a great deal of flexibility in where to place sinks and appliances in order to maximize efficiency.
P-Shaped – The P-shaped kitchen layout is similar to both the U and L –shaped but adds extra work and cabinet space to the perimeter. This can be achieved by adding an additional curve or line of counter space or including large appliances such as refrigerators or incorporating a breakfast nook into the space.
Small Kitchen Island – If you have space, any of the kitchen configurations above can become more efficient and luxurious by adding at least a small kitchen island. This can be a butcher block or a table that is counter-height, yet adds more prep space that can do double duty as an eat-in area.
Deluxe Island – A deluxe island is a much larger kitchen island. These are a great addition to a kitchen space if there is room for one. They often feature not only additional prep space but can have an additional sink to wash produce, small refrigerators, and drawer microwaves to help with food preparation. This type of kitchen island can also be an ideal place for casual dining when kitchen stools are added.
Combined Layouts –The only limitation for layouts which combine, L, U, or P layouts are available space, budget and your imagination. More homeowners are cooking at home today and kitchen spaces are reflecting taking full advantage of appliances and equipment that have been in chef kitchens for decades.
Galley-Style – If you only have a small amount of kitchen space to work with, a galley kitchen can be ideal. This is a kitchen with two parallel rows of working space and an aisle in between. The distance between appliances, the sink and available counter space is minimized, making galley kitchens are one of the most efficient configurations in terms of the kitchen work triangle.
Eat-In Kitchens – Today, families are constantly on the go and kitchens that offer a space to eat in the same area can be a great choice. Add 2-4 kitchen stools to a kitchen island or bar area and cooking, dining and cleanup can be managed efficiently. Look for an island with a breakfast bar to easily add this option to your kitchen.
Studio Kitchens – Some living spaces have very little space for a kitchen. In cottages, tiny houses or studio living spaces, often a kitchen can only consist of the bare minimum in terms of cooking areas, preparation, and available cabinet storage. Appliances are very small and every square inch of space has to be well-organized and serve multiple purposes all at once. While this isn’t many people’s ideal configuration choice, a studio kitchen can be the ideal choice in separate living spaces such as those used by teens or elderly family members.
Efficiency Kitchens – Any kitchen layout mentioned above can be created in an efficient format. Efficiency kitchens maximize the use of space by using smaller appliances and other space-saving tricks. It’s basically using studio kitchen tricks in larger spaces.
Built-In Breakfast Nooks– When eating out, most restaurant patrons will choose a booth over a regular table. Breakfast nooks that incorporate the feel of a booth have been popular in the past and are making a comeback. These intimate eating spaces can also offer additional storage space under the bench seats.
Outdoor Kitchens – You can extend your kitchen and entertaining space greatly by adding an outdoor kitchen. An outdoor kitchen will often have its own cooking surfaces, ice making, and refrigeration units in addition to grilling space. However, even with extra cabinet storage and prep space, extra trips to the indoor kitchen will be necessary. That’s why locating an outdoor kitchen directly adjacent to the kitchen can be can make cooking and serving more efficient as well as combining indoor and outdoor living spaces.
Whichever layout you choose, it’s best to start with a consultation with a kitchen designer to get suggestions on the optimum layout for your space. Remodeling can be expensive. A consultation can save you quite a lot of money and time if your layout doesn’t work for your home.