A kitchen layout is the shape made by the arrangement of the major appliances, storage areas, countertops and sinks. When designing a new kitchen, the overall layout is one of the first design considerations. It is the layout – not the style or colour – that will determine how easy it is to prepare meals, eat or socialise in the kitchen. The layout can also influence the placement of windows, doors, and furniture. Whether you designing a modern or provincial kitchen, various layouts can be utilised, depending on the size of the room, the space needed to move about the kitchen, and personal preference.
An efficient kitchen depends more on the layout than on the amount of space available. Kitchen layouts have a line symbolising the working triangle that helps illustrate the movement between every one of the primary activity areas, for instance, when moving from the refrigerator to the stove, and then to the sink in order to prepare a meal. Importantly, a natural work flow has to exist between the various work centres.
The most common layouts in designer kitchens are the Galley Kitchen, the G-shaped Kitchen, the U-Shaped Kitchen, the L-Shaped Kitchen and the Single Line Kitchen. While certain floor plans form a more efficient and spacious, every kitchen layout can be enhanced using the right cabinetry. Depending on the kitchen’s overall size, it is possible to add an island to some of these layouts in order to create extra counter space and expand storage. It is also possible to create islands in a variety of sizes and shapes – the homeowner is not restricted to a standard rectangular or square shape. The width of walkways between the island cabinetry is also important, and your kitchen designer can determine whether there is sufficient space to accommodate an island.
In the L-shaped kitchen layout, the arrangement of benchtops, the sink and major appliances resembles the letter L. In this layout, a natural work triangle is formed from continuous work stations and the benchtops on two adjacent walls. A wall of cabinets surrounds the sink, range and benchtops. Additionally, many cabinets are along the kitchen’s lower half. This layout is perfect for homeowners who like to keep their working area clear, and it allows the user to move freely in the space. An additional benefit of this layout is that in addition to providing the homeowner with an efficient work area, it typically opens to an adjacent room, making it easy to interact with guests. What’s more, there is freedom to arrange kitchen furniture like a dinner or island table in a variety of ways.
The U-shaped kitchen layout follows similar principles to the L-shaped layout – the only difference being that it has a larger surface area. It is an ideal working arrangement to facilitate cooking, and is great for the ultimate food enthusiast. It is the most versatile layout for both small and large areas as it offers ample storage and continuous benchtops that surround the cook on three sides. For larger kitchens, this layout has sufficient space to be divided into several work stations, allowing multiple people to prepare meals together easily without getting in each other’s way. The oven, cooktop or refrigerator, and sink can be spaced for complete convenience and efficiency. In order to keep benchtops clutter free and to maximise storage, the microwave can be concealed in a wall or base cabinet while large cooking essentials can be stored in a corner Lazy Susan. When designing a U-shaped kitchen, use of a single colour scheme like white or any other bright colour can pull the room together.
The Galley kitchen layout is the choice of most professional chefs as it provides the most efficient utilisation of space. It has two rows that allow ease of movement between activity areas, and moving to a new work-surface is as easy as turning around. However, if the corridor is open at both ends, it can lead to traffic congestion, meaning that this type of layout is not always ideal. It is also important to ensure that there is sufficient room for opposite drawers to be opened at the same time. Cooking and cleaning areas should be on the same side so as to prevent the likelihood of accidents when moving hot pans between the cooktop and sink.
The Island kitchen layout is ideal for homeowners with large families that enjoy socialising while preparing meals. This is because it has two working spaces that make it possible for family members to face each other while cooking. It also allows for ease of movement. Keep in mind that his layout requires quite a big space in order to facilitate the two working areas.
The G-shaped kitchen layout is somewhat similar to the U-shaped layout as it allows similar storage options and counter space that surrounds the chef on three sides. The difference occurs in that the floor plan of the G-shaped kitchen uses the partial fourth wall for extra cabinets or a peninsula. Smaller G-shaped kitchens can be made to appear more spacious by opening up the wall in an adjacent room, and then creating a breakfast bar or pass-through for the family.
The single line layout is ideal for smaller homes and in some instances, this is the only available solution. While this layout is not the best in terms of forming an ideal working space, the homeowner can place the sink next to the stove and oven to increase efficiency. In addition, sleek cabinetry with horizontal lines can make the space appear larger, and clever storage solutions can maximise the utility of the kitchen.
Displays of our designer kitchen layouts can be seen at our Wonderful Kitchens Showroom in Padstow. Our Sydney-based company offers a wide range of high-quality kitchens. Our designer kitchens are manufactured in our own factory to the highest service standards, and in the quickest possible time frame. We have site supervisors for every job and our kitchen designers having over ten years of experience each.