Kitchen Layout Ideas that Work
We all dream of having that perfect home with the perfect kitchen. You know, the one where you cook alongside your significant other in the early years of your relationship and then grow as a family, watching your children blossom – heading out for the first day at school or their first dance, struggling with homework, raiding the refrigerator with friends for a snack before dinner, and so on. Simply put, memories are made in the kitchen.
Whether you are looking to remodel your current kitchen or you are having a home built from the foundation up, you don’t want to skimp on the heart of the home, the kitchen. And, although the appliances are going to ultimately make or break it, you must first settle in on the perfect layout.
The Importance of a Layout
There are many aspects of a kitchen that bring the whole look -and experience – together. The flooring and cabinetry, for instance, play a big part in the way it looks. The paint and decor do, as well. The appliances are a different story – they may not only be viewed aesthetically, but functionally, as well. The way the doors open, the sizing, the finish… all these things need to come together to form a beautiful, unified, and well-running kitchen.
Consider This About Your Kitchen Layout
Before we get into specific design layouts of kitchens, there are a few things you need to consider in order to be happy with the outcome of your kitchen layout. Sometimes we can get so focused on what we want it to look like that we don’t stop and consider that life is going to revolve around and within this kitchen – and we need to plan for it.
Control the traffic. You already know that kitchens are one of the most high-traffic spots in the home, especially if there is a door from the outside leading in. The counter space makes it the perfect space to hold mail, school papers, backpacks, purses, and so forth. Walk in the room, drop it, and, unfortunately, leave it. This can make a space look very cluttered. By creating a mudroom or something similar before you enter the kitchen, you can keep the clutter centralized – and out of the kitchen.
Make Sense of Task Layout. You move around your kitchen cooking, cleaning. You grab food from the fridge and walk it to the sink or prep area. You then move on to the stove, grab plates, put used cooking utensils in the sink, then move all the dishes to the dishwasher. Think about how you work in your kitchen and have things placed conveniently – what if you had to carry your dirty dishes in the sink halfway across the kitchen to put them in the dishwasher? Or what if you had to walk around a table to get to the refrigerator. Convenience and ease of movement are crucial.
Watch the Island. Having an island in your kitchen can be a great addition. But it is important to make sure that it leaves enough space between the island itself and the surrounding countertop and appliances. You will have to open refrigerator doors, open the oven, and so forth – you need to have adequate space. At the same time, you don’t want them so far apart that they are no longer convenient.
Placing the Range. When deciding where to put your range, if possible you want to add it to an exterior wall – especially if building a new kitchen. A ventilation system will need to be installed and when it is on an exterior wall it is a much less labor-intensive job and, in turn, less expensive.
Vertical Storage. You need a pantry to store food. You also need to have storage for cookware, bakeware, extra china, cleaning supplies, accessories, small appliances, and more. You may want to consider open shelving and wall hooks – or opt for large storage cabinets that open up with ample space. One big vertical storage space rather than a lot of little ones for storage may be a great option.
Get a Clear Picture. If possible use a program that will allow you to create a 3-D image of your new kitchen. This will allow you to visualize it as a whole and see just how functional your design will be. It is much too costly to get it wrong the first time – and then have to renovate to fix your mistakes. Taking the time to make sure it is perfect before construction commences is the best way to go.
Most Common Kitchen Layout Ideas
Now, speaking of layouts, there are a few common layouts that help create the flow of the kitchen so it is smooth and effective. Check them out:
A One-Wall Kitchen. If wide-open spaces are your thing, then a one-wall kitchen with everything located against one wall may be your best bet. This works great in small spaces.
The L-Shaped Kitchen. An L-shaped kitchen is one that looks like the letter L. Small or mid-sized kitchens work well with this layout, giving cabinet space and countertop while still having the option for an island, too.
U-Shaped Kitchen. A horseshoe-shaped kitchen layout looks just like a U. There are three walls with cabinets and countertops with an island in the middle. These kitchens are often very roomy and offer a lot of prep and cooking space.
Galley Kitchen. A galley kitchen layout has a countertop or wall on either side and a straight walkthrough in the middle. There is no island and no turns. It is the best, most efficient use of space – and it makes it easy to maneuver your way around the kitchen.
We understand that having a new kitchen layout can be exciting – so can putting it all together. The important thing to remember is that you never want to just throw it together in a way you think will work. Instead, make sure that you have everything from countertops to cabinets to plumbing and appliances placed perfectly for the smoothest kitchen experience ever.