If you have kitchen remodeling on your mind, you may be thinking of changing the current layout of your kitchen. A kitchen is arranged for optimal functionality, then cooking, baking, cleaning, and stocking items will be simple and efficient. If the layout impedes those processes, it’s time to consider alternatives.
Remember when generally only one person prepared meals? At that time, the “work triangle” created in the early 20th century – formed by the sink, refrigerator, and stove, was appropriate for one person to cook, bake, stock, and clean comfortably. Although this configuration can still work for certain families, kitchens are often multiple-use and have multiple cook rooms. A work triangle has now merged into various zones. If your kitchen resembles this older design, you may want to redesign the space to accommodate these different zones.
Possible zones in a kitchen:
- Food storage zone – the refrigerator and food cupboards
- Preparation zone – kitchen counter worktops, kitchen island
- Non-food storage zone – cupboards and drawers for cutlery, dishes, and glasses
- Cooking zone – stove, microwave, and other cooking appliances
- Cleaning zone – sink and dishwasher
However, when you change your kitchen layout, an adequately planned design will add function and style to your home. But you may ask, how do you decide which layout is good for you and your family?
First, think about your family size and your lifestyle. Do you plan to entertain a lot with dinner parties? Or, will it be a place only for daily cooking? Will you want a kitchen where you can also dine? Will your children do their homework here? These are just some questions to help determine the correct kitchen remodel layout.
Let’s look at the advantages of each type of kitchen design layout and which one suits your remodel goals:
1. The One-Wall Kitchen
The one-wall kitchen layout is as it sounds: all appliances, counters, and cabinets are along one wall. Usually installed in loft apartments and smaller homes, this is a simple and economical layout that makes the most of its space. It’s also suitable for larger homes. Create more storage by placing your cabinets higher on the wall, or use the area above your cabinets for lesser-used items. Since the classic kitchen triangle doesn’t work in a one-wall kitchen, having your fridge at one end, the oven in the middle and the sink at the other is practical.
- Offers unobstructed traffic
- Budget-friendly option
- Although generally used in smaller homes, it is versatile enough to work in all types
- If large enough, adding an island will create more functionality, i.e.: eating area, kitchen work area
2. The L-Shaped Kitchen
One of the most common and popular kitchen layouts, this design is excellent for small to medium-sized kitchens. This type of layout has cabinets along two perpendicular walls, which makes the placement of appliances and work zones quite flexible. Designers suggest that each leg of the L shape be no more than 12 feet long so efficient use of the space is not lost. It’s wise to add a pantry cupboard to the corner of your L-shaped kitchen, as regular corner cabinets are deep and hard to reach. A pantry will also add a lot of storage. This layout is more suited to a one-person cook as extra traffic in this configuration is not generally practical. If you have or are planning to have a huge kitchen, or you will have multiple cooks, other arrangements may be more helpful.
- Generally has a lot of counter space.
- Usually gives enough room to add a kitchen table, breakfast nook or island.
- Adding an island or pantry will add storage space.
3. The Galley Kitchen
This kitchen design has cabinets along two walls facing each other, creating a galley effect or passageway in between. Because of the abundance of cabinetry, storage space multiplies, which can be good for larger families, depending on the size of the kitchen.
However, for a multiple-cook kitchen, work areas should be along one wall only to help avoid run-ins with your fellow cooks and avoid spillage or injury. Smaller galley kitchens, like those in condos, tend to be a bit restrictive in size and are more suitable for one person to cook.
- Uses every square inch of space to its fullest
- Economical design, due to its simplicity
- No awkward corner cabinets to deal with
- Suitable for use in condos or homes, depending on how vast the inner space is
- Having two walls of cabinetry adds more storage
4. The U-Shaped or Horseshoe Kitchen
The U-shaped kitchen generally has cabinets along three walls. It is similar to the galley kitchen, with the addition of an extra counter connecting each side. This design works well for larger kitchens, and multiple users can feel comfortable working simultaneously since it can be designed to have a great workflow.
With this type of layout, one thing to keep in mind is that it can feel claustrophobic if upper cabinets are along all three walls. Open shelving on at least one wall can create a more open space. This type of kitchen is best left as uncluttered as possible. Unless the kitchen is expansive, it does not leave much space for a table or island.
- Great layout for large kitchens
- It offers lots of storage space
- Allows for good traffic and workflow
- Works well for multiple users
5. The Island Kitchen
This is a popular choice in open-plan homes. Due to its flexibility, an island can make a one-wall kitchen feel like a galley kitchen and turn an L-shaped kitchen into a horseshoe design. Such is the versatility of a kitchen island that depending on your preferences can provide cabinets for storage, wine shelf, a stovetop, and more work surface. With seating, you can eat or socialize while cooking.
Since the kitchen island is often in the center of the kitchen, it is also an excellent place for hanging decorative lighting, which can double as task lighting.
As long as your kitchen is large enough to incorporate an island and there is enough clearance for traffic flow, this is a versatile, excellent use of space.
- Adds counter space for small appliances.
- Adds storage space
- Adds workspace
- Adds seating options along one or more sides
- Defines the area in an open concept home
- It can become a welcoming place where everyone likes to spend time
6. The G-Shaped or Peninsula Kitchen
This type of kitchen has similarities to the island kitchen. However, the kitchen island juts out from a wall or cabinetry. This makes it ideal for smaller kitchens, where an independent island in the middle of the room would be unwieldy and cause problems with workflow. As in the island kitchen, the attached island offers more storage and adds a workspace and an eating space with the addition of stools or chairs.
- Great for kitchens not big enough to add a separate island
- Adds much-needed storage for the smaller kitchen
- Adds a food preparation space, eating space
- Works well in small, enclosed kitchens
- As in the island kitchen, social interaction is enhanced
Sunshine Sunrooms excels at helping homeowners remodel their kitchen and bathrooms. We offer individualized services based on each of our client’s specific budgets, vision and needs. Call us at (972) 243-5390 for kitchen and bathroom renovations or contact us online to request a quote.