When it comes to designing your home, the kitchen is one of the key spaces you have to keep in mind. However, when you start to design the kitchen layout, you have to remember that the layout is not just a simple blueprint on paper. The layout is key to ensuring your kitchen is functional.
There are a wide number of kitchen layouts out there. A kitchen is no longer a traditional space where one person makes meals. It has evolved into a multipurpose room that needs to fit more than one person.
As such, it is important to take a look at all the layout options and understand their different advantages and disadvantages. This article will take you through those different options and kickstart your thinking about what kitchen you want.
Designing Your Ideal Kitchen Space
Remodeling or home makeovers always seem like fun projects. However, they can quickly turn into a disaster if you are not thinking about the realities of what that project entails. Before you go diving into making drastic changes to your kitchen space, here are a few things you have to consider.
- Pick a kitchen layout that matches the typical traffic pattern of your home. Consider how your family uses the space and provide ample room to move around. Make sure your kitchen feels inviting and not cramped, so the kitchen space looks comfortable.
- Outline a budget and stick to it. Designing your dream kitchen is all fun and games until you look at the price tag. Consider getting help from a kitchen designer to ensure you are using the best tips and tricks to save yourself some money.
- Think about your island design. Islands have become popular fixtures in kitchen. They are gathering spots for people. As such, you have to think about the space around the island and its varying accessories.
- Be cautious about the corners. When designing your kitchen space, you want to ensure there is enough room to clear doors and corners and safely open cabinets or appliances.
- Be smart about your use of color. Especially in small layouts, the right color can help make your kitchen space look and feel more open. Specifically focus on light colors like whites, grays, and blues.
- Lastly, think about the focal point in your kitchen layout. From a designer range hood to an ornate backsplash, focal points can help give your layout personality and a more completed vibe.
Types of Kitchen Layouts
The kitchen work triangle was a concept devised in the 1920s. It was the first iteration of how we could measure efficiency and space in a home kitchen.
The work triangle specifically refers to the clear path between the cleaning area (sink), the food prep area or (stove), and the food storage area (refrigerator) in a kitchen. Here are some specific principles of the work triangle:
- The length of each triangle leg or distance between the different areas’ lands between 1.2 and 2.7 m.
- There should not be cabinets or appliances going through any of the legs of the triangle.
- Lastly, major traffic should not pass through the triangle.
Ideally, you want this to be spacious and organic for everyone who enters your home.
1. One-Wall Kitchen Layout
Also known as the “Pullman Kitchen”, the one-wall layout is a typical kitchen space found in studio or loft apartments because of its space-saving qualities. It is called a one-wall layout because all of the key appliances and cabinets are on a single wall.
A modern interpretation of this layout includes an island. This is more common in slightly larger spaces, and also turns the space into a galley-style layout.
One of the critical things to remember about this space is to make use of your vertical space. With this layout, you have more vertical space to work with than horizontal space. As such, take your vertical cabinet space as far as possible for ample storage options.
2. Galley Layout
An official galley layout is like the one-wall layout in that it is an extremely “lean” space option. A galley kitchen is an ideal kitchen for small spaces and kitchens that accommodate one cook. This is due to the galley kitchen’s construction.
A galley kitchen is made up of two walls running parallel from each other with a walkway running between them. This is why a galley kitchen is also referred to as a “walk-through” kitchen.
Galley kitchens are an economical option in terms of kitchen design. They tend to make the most of every inch of space and lack any troublesome cabinet configurations.
A key thing to remember with this layout is to keep active workspaces limited to one of the walls, but not both. This will keep the work triangle free of traffic and avoid potential cooking accidents if more than one person is working in the kitchen.
3. L-Shaped Layout
An L-Shaped kitchen is one of the most traditional kitchen layouts out there. It creates a natural work triangle with counter space on two adjacent walls, which form the characteristic “L” of this layout and comes with several benefits.
First and foremost, an L-shaped kitchen layout gets rid of the issue of trying to figure out how to maximize corner space. Moreover, it works well in both small and medium-sized spaces. You can even specialize the length of the “legs” of the “L,” depending on how much space you need.
Additionally, an L-shaped layout has the added benefit of eliminating traffic. Since it does not have a corridor or walkway, the kitchen does not become a high traffic area.
It also has enough space to add multiple work zones and a dining space, if you need it. As such, it is easy to entertain multiple people.
If you can, try and add a walk-in pantry or cupboard to the corner of the L-shape layout. This will ensure you are making the most of the space and eliminates issues with corner space maximization.
4. Horseshoe Layout
The horseshoe or U-shaped layout is another traditional layout. However, it is the most versatile layout.
In a horseshoe layout, there are three walls of cabinets, counter space, and appliances surrounding the cook. This makes an extremely natural workflow in the kitchen because the cook can easily go back and forth between the sink, stove, and refrigerator.
In a larger kitchen, this layout also provides enough room to have more than one cook in the kitchen. And the ample amount of counter space allows each cook to have their own workstation. With this kitchen layout, cooking with friends and family will not be a hassle.
To make a U-Shape layout more comfortable, consider adding windows. The U-shape has an ideal working triangle to begin with, so adding windows will simply enhance it even more by making the space feel cluttered.
5. G-Shape Layout
The G-Shape layout is very similar to a horseshoe layout and provides the same workflow and storage options. However, the G-Shape layout adds an extra “peninsula” or partial wall of extra cabinets.
The downside to this type of kitchen is that it can easily become too cramped. To avoid this, try and open up one of the kitchen walls to the living room or dining room. A breakfast bar or passthrough can help open up the space.
6. Kitchen Island Layout
A kitchen island can be a versatile addition to any kitchen layout. They can include extra appliances or more cabinets for storage. More importantly, they add more surface for you to work on.
By adding stools, it can be an additional place to eat. If you add a wine cooler, you have additional ways to store beverages.
Moreover, it can quickly transform and modernize several traditional kitchen layouts. With an island, a one-wall kitchen can become a galley. An L-shaped layout can become a U-shaped layout.
However, the key thing to remember about kitchen islands is that you don’t have to have one. Kitchen islands are popular and extremely useful, but you must be mindful of your space. Some kitchens simply do not have the space or clearance to fit an island.
Choose a Suitable Kitchen Layout
So, there you have it. These are some of the most popular and basic kitchen layouts out there.
While some of these floorplans provide more spacious options, remember that each layout can be enhanced. With the right accents and cabinets, a kitchen layout can become more than its work triangle.
As such, before you start picking out your layout, take into consideration the needs of your home. If anything, I suggest working together with a professional kitchen designer to ensure you are making the right changes.
That being said, I hope this article was helpful to you. Review these layouts and get inspired!