The kitchen is one of the most important rooms to get right when considering kitchen design and renovations because there is so much to consider. A kitchen is more than just where you cook and keep all your food and appliances. Will, the family, eat in the kitchen as well and if so how do you want them to enjoy the space? Is your washing machine in a utility room or do you need the extra counter space to cleverly hide it in the kitchen? You may start off designing your dream kitchen by considering the aesthetic features like the colour schemes, materials and the details on the sinks and countertops, but first, you need to think about the layout. The following set of 6 kitchen layout ideas should give you an idea of the best option for your needs and your space.
The kitchen layout is the shape that is made by the arrangement of the countertop, major appliances and storage areas. This floor plan creates the kitchen’s work triangle – the path that you make when moving from the refrigerator to the sink, to the range to prepare a meal. When designing your new kitchen and choosing the best cabinetry solutions for your home, one of the first considerations is the overall layout of the kitchen.
Review the five basic kitchen layouts to identify which is most similar to your current kitchen. You and your kitchen designer may need to work within the space of your current kitchen, OR you may decide to remove or reconfigure walls to expand the area which would give you additional options for your kitchen layout. When looking at each layout, focus on the work triangle created in the room – you may find a kitchen floor plan that you prefer over your own. Keep in mind – even if you’re not making significant structural changes to the kitchen, you can still enhance the layout with the right cabinetry.
1. U-shaped Kitchen:
If you have a massive kitchen and a need for space, storage and a place to eat, the U-shape is perfect as it offers counters and workspaces on three walls and there is still the option of adding an island in the middle. Essentially, the U-shaped kitchen can offer the best of both worlds. You will have all the space you need to make sure that you can use the kitchen to its full potential – perhaps separating the cooking and preparation areas and giving yourself ample storage space, but the space in the middle is yours to play with. This is ideal for the homeowner that likes to not only spent lots of time in the kitchen, making meals and baking but also sees it as a communal family room where everyone can get together.
Pros/Advantages of U Shaped Kitchen Layout
Great for Big Family
U shaped kitchen is efficient for large or medium-sized kitchen. It can also provide plenty of access to work in a separate area when you have a larger family to accommodate.
Three-sided working tops can easily divide the kitchen into multiple work sites.
Free Traffic Flow
Disruption to work zones gets minimized. The travelling distance between the washbasin, stove and refrigerator is reduced, which facilitates smoother workflow. It allows your Guests/Family to walk through without getting into your (cook) way.
Plenty of Counters or Platform Space
Three walls are used with counter space which can easily create a dining area if it is open to the rest of the house.
No need to have a kitchen island or extra counter for cooking, as there is plenty of space to work freely in kitchen.
Flexible Kitchen Layout
The layout works well for the kitchens that are in between 3.00 to 5.50 meter or 10 to18 feet wide.
Cons/Disadvantages of U Shaped Kitchen Layout
Requires an Open Kitchen Plan
If one does not have a large amount of floor space, it becomes congested and even worse if a Kitchen island is provided!
Space-out the Work Triangle
U shaped kitchen can disturb your work triangle, depending on the amount of space between your countertops!
Not Competent for Larger Kitchens without a Kitchen Island
If you have a very large kitchen, you have to maintain the kitchen work triangle by providing kitchen island for manageable work lengths & flow to keep the work areas conveniently close!
Not Efficient for Kitchens with Fewer Dimensions
The kitchen required a minimum of 3.00 meter or 10 feet width with enough space for work centres, at least 1 meter or 42″ in front of each counter or platform for easy access.
Corner Base Cabinets can be Difficult to Access
They become hard to reach unless we use the accessories to enhance its functionality!
Hope these above points will help you whether to choose a U kitchen design for your kitchen! Share your experiences using this kitchen layout! If this U shaped kitchen layout doesn’t fit in your criteria, then read out other shaped kitchen layout information.
2. L-Shaped kitchen:
The difference between the L-shaped kitchen layout and the U-shaped layout can be seen in the shape of the letter – with the L-shape you are losing one wall of counters and storage. This is great for single occupants with small, separate kitchens as it makes the most of the space available while still maximizing the corner space. This dead-end approach is great for those wanting to cook in privacy, but if you don’t want the family shut out and like the idea of kids wandering through to check on dinner, the next option could be for you.
Pros of L-Shaped Kitchens
The L-shaped kitchen layout provides several benefits. Here are a few of the pros of L-shaped kitchens:
L-Shaped Kitchens Provide Plenty of Space.
Thanks to the 2-wall layout, appliances can be spread out to provide multiple work zones, which also means more available prep space. The layout of this kitchen also lends itself to allowing multiple chefs and guests in and around the kitchen without feeling cramped. This makes it an ideal kitchen design layout for families that cook together and entertain guests.
They are Open Concept.
L-shaped kitchens are a great option for open concept design and great rooms. Their shape inherently lends itself to open concept design and the kitchen island is optional. A kitchen island is typically included in an L-shaped kitchen to provide extra storage, workspace, or seating, but it’s not necessary if you don’t need it. Some homeowners opt for a longer “L” and forgo the kitchen island in order to keep a high-traffic area open and uninhibited.
L-Shaped Kitchens Can Increase Home Value.
Because an L-shaped kitchen is often part and parcel of an open concept design, it can be a highly desired element for potential homebuyers. The benefit of that added popularity means that having an L-shaped kitchen layout can often increase your home value.
Cons of L-Shaped Kitchens
As with anything, there are also some potential downsides to an L-shaped kitchen layout. Here are a few of the potential cons of L-shaped kitchens:
L-Shaped Kitchens can Become Frustrating for Single Cooks.
An L-shaped kitchen can become frustrating for a solitary cook. Traditionally, the appliances are spread out in this layout, which can make a single cook have to work harder to make a meal. Although this is a traditional layout for an L-shaped kitchen, you can choose how things are laid out in a custom home. So, if you know there will only be one cook in the kitchen most of the time, the placement of appliances and other elements can be customized for them and their usual workflow.
There is More Workspace to Clean.
Although an L-shaped kitchen offers more work and prep space, it also means that there is more space that needs to be maintained and cleaned. And, there is more space for clutter to build up. This has the potential to become a chore for busy families. However, by creating drop zones and enlisting the rest of the family to help, cleaning and organizing an L-shaped kitchen can be easily managed.
Corner Storage in L-Shaped Kitchens can be Difficult.
L-shaped kitchens are characterized by two walls that meet in a corner. Because of this, there can be difficulties and complications that come with dealing with cabinets near the corner or storage in that area. With a custom home, you can plan for this and install corner cabinets or a carousel that gives you storage and easy access to what you need.
To be honest, this approach to kitchen design has gone out of fashion in recent years because the strict shape and closed-in feel doesn’t suit open plan living. There are plenty of advantages to galley kitchens in the right home, however. Firstly, they can provide a two-walled approach to storage and facilities in a small space. Everything that a home cook needs are available on both sides, but it is still a great way to save space in the kitchen with minimal room to move. Secondly, the long walkway between the two work areas can open up space on either side, allowing for a constant stream of traffic between the back yard and the dining area and a communal feel.
Pros of Galley Kitchens
Everything has its pros and cons. Here are a few pros of galley kitchens:
Galley Kitchens Focus on Efficiency and Function
The setup and layout of a galley kitchen are specifically built to be functional and efficient. Everything someone needs to cook is on one side of the kitchen and is within reach. There’s no need to run all over the kitchen just to prep a meal. The two entrances and middle walkway also make a galley kitchen easily accessible from multiple points.
Galley Kitchen is a Great Fit for Small Spaces
Because of the standard galley kitchen layout, they are a great fit for smaller spaces or for someone that doesn’t want a large kitchen. And, because they are generally longer than they are wide, a galley kitchen has a lot of versatility and flexibility when it comes to placement in your custom home design. They can also be an open concept or a closed concept in design.
Galley Kitchens Offer Plenty of Work Space
With two walls that each feature a counter, there is plenty of workspaces available in a galley kitchen. Someone using the kitchen can easily move from one work centre to another as needed. At the same time, two people can also easily work in the kitchen as there are two walls of countertop available.
Cons of Galley Kitchens
There are plenty of pros to galley kitchens, but there are some cons to consider as well. Here are a few cons of galley kitchens:
Galley Kitchens Tend to be Narrow
The fact that galley kitchens tend to be narrow and a good fit for smaller spaces is both a pro and a con. Because this type of kitchen layout does tend to be narrow, it can also be tight on space. This also can make it difficult to provide enough overall lighting in the space, especially if it’s built with a closed concept design. This also means that, although there are two counters, the counter space is limited to a galley kitchen.
A Galley Kitchen can be Difficult for Multiple People
Two people could likely use the galley kitchen just fine as long as they are doing tasks on either side of the kitchen. However, the narrow space does make it difficult for multiple people to be in the kitchen at the same time. This can make the galley kitchen layout a less useful layout for families or someone who often has guests.
Galley Kitchens Provide Limited Storage
If you need ample kitchen storage, you may not be able to find it with a galley kitchen. Although there are cabinets, drawers, and more, and there are two walls available for some storage, you will be limited on storage space. You can get creative with kitchen storage and keep everything organized to make it work, but if you need to expand the kitchen or need to add more storage to your kitchen, you may not be able to do so.
Island kitchens are incredibly popular because not only do they provide a whole host of new design options for new builds and renovations, they can enhance the layouts mentioned above. An island can give great depth and opportunity to an L-shaped kitchen and a new purpose to a galley kitchen, as long as both spaces are wide enough to accommodate them. Galleys are typically narrow, but in a larger room, an island gives a stopping point in the middle for families to sit at. In other kitchens, like the large U-shaped kitchens, islands can be a great focal point in the middle of a large, dominating kitchen. Some kitchens that are short on space can use them for preparation while others will gain an alternative dining area.
Pros of Kitchen Islands
A kitchen island brings plenty of advantages to the table. Here are four of the big ones:
Increases counter space for small appliances and prep space
Offers addition storage for cooking utensils and specialty tools
Adds seating options with bar stools or dining chairs along one or more sides
Creates defined space in an open concept home
Becomes the heart of the kitchen and where everyone spends their time
Cons of Kitchen Islands
An island can create problems in some kitchens. Here are a few common issues:
Disruption in-room flow if the island interrupts the work triangle
Appliance placement problems because the island can be hard to vent and requires special wiring and plumbing
Budget problems if the island is too large or if the finishes are too costly
Space constrictions in tight kitchens
Ideally, a kitchen island should have 42-inches of space on each side for optimal movement and appliance use. An aisle can be 36-inches if it’s meant for walking only, but that would cause that side to be useless for prep. Seating along an island is great unless the walkway behind it gets restricted.
A kitchen island can be a great addition to many kitchens. If you find your home is an ideal candidate, you will next be wondering what the perfect countertop material will be. Granite? Porcelain? Quartz?
5. Peninsula Kitchen:
As the name suggests, when you add a peninsula to a kitchen, you are really adding an island that is just connected to the rest of the kitchen. The result is often referred to as a horseshoe shape, but it is also a little like having the counter space of the U-shaped kitchen layout, just without the wall behind it. This is ideal for homes that want an island to work on or eat but don’t have the space to build one out in the middle of the room. There are limitations to this approach in terms of its use and accessibility, but it can be a great compromise for enhancing a small, L-shaped layout.
Pros of Peninsula Kitchens
As with any kitchen design layout, there are benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few pros of peninsula kitchens:
Peninsula kitchens can offer more space along the island.
Because the peninsula kitchen layout is characterized by a connected island that juts out, it can be shorter or longer to fit your space and your needs. It can also offer more space along the island than a standard kitchen island. This potential extra space could be used for more cabinets, more appliances, and even more seating. Plus, regardless of the size, a peninsula offers additional counter and prep space, which is almost always a benefit.
They are a great option for narrow kitchens.
A peninsula is a great option for smaller kitchens or narrow kitchens that can’t accommodate a full standard kitchen island. The peninsula’s length may not be able to be very long depending on how you want to design your kitchen. But, a small peninsula allows you to get the benefits of an island even if you don’t necessarily want a full-size one.
Peninsula kitchens can help provide more definition and separation.
The peninsula in this type of kitchen layout can be placed to act as a room divider. Not only does this help you further define the kitchen and cooking space, but it also allows you to add a little more separation between the kitchen and the living room or dining room area.
Cons of Peninsula Kitchens
When evaluating the pros and cons of peninsula kitchens, it’s important to consider both sides. There are plenty of benefits to peninsula kitchens and, as with anything, there are some potential drawbacks as well. Here are a few cons of peninsula kitchens:
Peninsula kitchens can be prone to traffic jams.
One of the biggest drawbacks to peninsula kitchens is that they can be prone to traffic jams, especially around the lower or corner cabinets. When used as a room divider, they also tend to limit entry into the kitchen as there is often only one way in or out in this case. Working with a custom home designer can help mitigate these potential flow issues. Peninsulas are flexible and, if your kitchen is laid out and designed well, they can enhance the flow instead of hinder it.
They can have tight corners.
Because a peninsula tends to jut out of a wall or counter, they can have tight corners. This can make cabinets, storage, and access to those areas difficult. This too, is often resolved with proper design and layout considerations. A carousel or turnstile in the corner or corner cabinets can help make access easier. It may just take a little creative space planning to get the right combination that works for you.
Peninsula kitchens can be less efficient for larger kitchens.
Although additional counter space is usually a good thing, especially in larger kitchens, peninsulas can sometimes be less efficient in them. Depending on where they are placed, they can disrupt the space and get in the way. Oftentimes, a standard kitchen island is a better fit for larger kitchens because they have the space to handle a true island. Peninsulas can work well in larger kitchens but may require a little more finesse with the design layout to make the flow seem natural.
6.Two Island Kitchen:
Last but not least, we come to a kitchen layout idea that is probably the most extravagant of all. If you are planning on creating a massive kitchen in your new home and have a large open space in the middle, there are two approaches to filling it. You could go for a traditional island kitchen layout, or you could have two islands. The two island kitchen layout makes a lot of sense in large spaces because one large island can become impractical. The question is if you split the space into two and have two separate islands, will you use both? There are lots of options and design ideas to play with when considering two islands. You could have one island for cooking and one for eating or perhaps one for the kids to mess up and one to keep nice. The idea is appealing but requires a lot of thought.
Extra Counter Space
Even in larger kitchens, sometimes it’s hard to get as much counter space as you want. An island can help create an extra landing space for hot dishes, extra prep space, or even a spot to do your baking. It can also play into the visual/aesthetic portion of the design if you choose to make that countertop a contrasting or accent colour.
Similar to counter space, an island can provide more cabinet space under the counter. This can put frequently used items in an easy to grab location within the work area.
An island can also be used for kitchen seating by adding a breakfast bar to one side. Keep in mind, if there is seating in one of your walkways, the NKBA says that the walkway should be at least 44″ as opposed to 36″ or 42″, but it can save you space by not having to include a kitchen table.
In an open concept plan, there are no walls on one or more sides of the kitchen. An island can not only provide added countertop space where there are no walls but can also form a virtual divide between a kitchen and the adjoining areas without closing it off. This can even out the work triangle and also make a space for the cook to work while still visiting with a company in the other room.
The refrigerator, sink and range create a work triangle that, when designed correctly, can vastly improve the functionality of a kitchen. An island can disrupt this structure and put obstacles in the way of preparation, cooking and cleanup.
Appliances are often placed on an island. This can be problematic in two ways. Sometimes, the side of the kitchen opposite the island can be rendered a bit of a dead-zone, an expanse of countertop that goes unused. Or, you’re putting a cooktop in an island, it’s not only hard to vent, but a hot surface in an open area can be dangerous for children or people reaching across.
Adding an extra workspace in the kitchen means adding more materials which could mean higher costs. The extra countertop and cabinets might add up to more than the flooring that would otherwise take the island’s place.
Try Something Different
An alternative to a full island is a peninsula which has two usable sides of countertop. This could take the form of a working side and a breakfast bar, or two working sides. A peninsula can add the extra space you desire without disrupting the workflow of the kitchen. When it comes to designing a kitchen, there are many possibilities for adding functionality and style to the design.
Getting your kitchen layout right is the most important factor in ensuring a functional and practical kitchen area. Whether your kitchen is small and cramped or large and expansive, a clever layout will make all the difference in helping you to get the most out of the space. Especially in a kitchen, there is a lot more to layout than just placing furniture and cabinetry: ergonomics has a huge role to play as well. Getting the heights right, ensuring enough space for comfortable movement, placement of appliances and ease of use are all going to factor in your enjoyment of the room.