Whether you are building a new home or redesigning an old one, choosing the ideal kitchen layout is not an easy task. Among the things that influence the layout of kitchen, besides one’s taste and preference, is the size of the space as well as overall design of the house. In a home with an open plan design, the kitchen should carry through the airiness in the rest of the home. In a smaller apartment, a layout that optimizes storage and workspace may be the most suitable option. Nowadays, kitchen layouts with islands are popular, but they don’t suit every space.
Deciding on the best option can be a confusing process, which is the reason we have put together this guide to help you. Here are the most popular kitchen layouts along with the pros and cons of each one.
A U-shaped kitchen is designed along three walls. Usually, one finds this layout in an older home or apartment, but it can suit modern homes as well.
- Irrespective of the size of the kitchen, the U-shaped kitchen layout offers the most storage, since cabinets can extend over three walls.
- In terms of functionality, a U-shaped layout makes the workflow in the kitchen smooth, since the stove, sink and refrigerator are near each other.
- The U-shaped layout encloses the kitchen, providing privacy and making it the best solution for a homeowner who wants to separate the kitchen from the other social spaces.
- It can work just as well in an open plan home, when one of the kitchen walls is knocked down to make a breakfast counter.
- In a small space, the U-shaped kitchen layout might cause the area to appear too crammed, making it difficult for more than one person to work simultaneously in the kitchen.
- In a large kitchen the U-shape can place the main elements – stove, sink and refrigerator – too far from each other, thereby reducing the efficiency of the space as one has to walk several steps to access things.
- Designing corners can prove a challenge in a U-shaped kitchen but using storage that swings out or rotates can help to solve this problem.
- Unless the kitchen is spacious, designing a U-shaped kitchen layout with island will be next to impossible without restricting movement within the space.
It’s best to consult a kitchen layout planner for advice on whether a U-shaped layout will work in your home.
In an L-shaped layout, the kitchen extends along two adjacent walls. This style is ideal for a home with an open-plan design as it carries through the openness of the living and dining room.
- This layout is ideal for integrating the kitchen with the other social spaces of the home.
- The L-shaped layout presents a spacious feel in the kitchen, especially when compared to a U-shaped design. This is a primary reason for the popularity of L-shaped kitchen designs for small kitchens.
- By planning the arrangement of the stove, sink and refrigerator close to each other, the efficiency of workflow in the kitchen is enhanced.
- Since the design uses only two walls, the storage space is limited compared to a U-shaped layout. However, this can be solved by designing an L-shaped kitchen layout with island storage.
- In a large kitchen, the L-shaped layout might be unsuitable, especially if it increases the distance between the stove, sink and refrigerator to an extent that it disturbs the workflow.
Find inspiration from these L-shaped kitchen layouts.
A galley-style kitchen has a layout wherein the cabinets are set parallel to each other and have a passage in the centre. The two sections can be set along closed or partially open walls.
- Galley kitchen layouts are ideal for long and narrow spaces, but they can also work in small kitchens.
- The best part of this design is that it eliminates hard-to-access corner storage.
- While it’s usually seen in older homes, a galley kitchen can be designed with one side partially open, so that it blends into a modern-style home with an open plan.
- A galley kitchen with two walls is unsuitable for a modern home that needs integrated social spaces.
- Since the layout has a narrow passage at the centre, it’s very rare to find a galley kitchen with island storage or workspace.
- This design can make the kitchen seem a bit claustrophobic and crammed, especially in a tiny home.
Usually, this design is seen in very small homes, such as studio or loft apartments that have limited space. In this design, the entire kitchen is set against one wall.
- This kitchen layout is a space-saving option in a tiny home.
- It can be an efficient layout, when the design has the sink set in between the refrigerator and the stove.
- Accessibility is the highlight of this design as everything, including the utensils, appliances and ingredients are within easy reach.
- The length of the wall determines the size of the kitchen. Therefore, the storage and counter space can be restricted if the wall isn’t long.
- In this layout, you can’t play master chef while entertaining your guests, as you will have your back to them when cooking.
- Unless the kitchen layout plans include sufficient storage to hide away appliances and other kitchen tools or accessories, this design can make the counters look cluttered.
Get ideas for your tiny kitchen from these 5 small and fashionable kitchens.
In this kitchen layout, the island stands in the centre of a space, presenting an area for cooking and entertaining.
- It can work in a tiny apartment with an open plan as it can integrate the dining and kitchen areas into a single unit.
- In a well-planned layout, the island can work along with built-in storage cabinets on a nearby wall to provide sufficient storage for ingredients, appliances and utensils.
- In a narrow layout, the space around the island will be limited, restricting movement in the area.
- There’s hardly any work space, especially when the island doubles up as a dining counter.
- This kitchen layout offers no privacy from the other social spaces.
The size of your kitchen, your lifestyle as well as the design of your home is among the significant factors to consider when deciding on the best layout for your kitchen. Before you start renovating or designing your kitchen, it’s advisable to contact a professional interior designer or kitchen planner as they can give you practical suggestions on how to make the most of the space. Additionally, they can guide you on how to change your kitchen layout to improve efficiency. For example, by knocking down a wall in a small kitchen, a galley kitchen or a U-shaped kitchen can get an open feel that makes it easier to integrate into an open plan home. Similarly, an island can be added to a straight-lined or L-shaped layout to merge it with the dining space or to provide additional seating in your social space. The advantage of working with professionals is that they will understand your requirements and present you with kitchen layout plans that are perfect for your needs.