5 Kitchen Layouts worth Considering for your new Kitchen
The kitchen is, without a doubt, the most used room in our homes. Over the years, this area has evolved from the utilitarian place made to whip up dinners into a warm, social hub where families congregate for fellowship. Kitchens come in all shapes in sizes, from the classic galley style, expanded U-shape, to the out-of-the-box modern curvaceous layouts.
The kitchen work triangle is used to determine the efficiency of a kitchen’s layout. The primary tasks in a kitchen are performed between the cooktop, the refrigerator, and the sink. When these three elements are in close proximity (but not too close and not too far!), the kitchen will perform optimally. Here are the five most popular layouts for today’s kitchen.
When short on space, this style is a cut above the rest. Two parallel counters make all work points easily accessible, while the narrow walking space provides cozier quarters. A sink on one side and a range on the other make for easy food preparation. A galley-style kitchen makes the best use of every square inch of space. If the walkway between the counters is tight (36”-48”), this becomes a challenge for more than 1 person to work in the space. On the contrary, if the space gets too wide (7’+), which is still too tight to add an island, there will be a lot of carrying across the middle. (A rolling cart can be the solution in this case.) 60”- 78” in the middle is the sweet spot for ample workspace and traffic flow.
An L-shaped layout takes advantage of 2 adjoining walls. Typically used in small to medium spaces, this design comes standard with a main wall of cabinets with the sink or range and a short grouping of cabinets in an L-type configuration. Incorporating an island is also an option for added storage and food preparation area, and keeping guests out of the work zone.
A U-shaped layout maximizes the cabinetry and countertops but utilizing all 3 walls. If the room is large enough to accommodate an island in the center, while maintaining 42”-48” walkways on all sides, this becomes a central landing spot between the major functions. A prep sink sometimes finds a practical home on this center island. Word of caution: if the major appliances end up on opposite sides of the room, the island can also become a walk-around obstacle!
A beefed-up version of the U-shaped layout, this design is best suited for those who want to maximize every square inch of the kitchen, but don’t have space for the clearance required around an island (mentioned above). The G-shaped floor plan ideally includes a peninsula to keep the space feeling open, and to keep guests/kids out of the work zone. This layout can feel cramped, especially if the cook ends up trapped, and the many cabinet corners in the layout can be difficult and expensive to accessorize for the best access.
Generally found in lofts or studio spaces, the one-wall kitchen, or “Pullman kitchen,” maximizes the efficiency of the main interior wall. Including an island with the main sink opposite is ideal, but often a narrow table might have to serve as a central landing, prep and serving point. This may also sound like a simple layout, but great design is needed to pull off the function, visual balance, and overall aesthetics of this one-wall kitchen.
Still not sure of the best layout for your new kitchen? Space planning by a professional is the first critical step. This is truly the passion and expertise of our JWH Team. Check out our new Before and After Photos to see the dramatic results of our “out-of-the-box” creative thinking. Then give us a call at 914-967-6020, and let’s explore the possibilities together!