A kitchen layout must function well, fit the client’s lifestyle and meet local building codes. While you won’t see all of the mechanical, architectural and building code considerations behind the process, designing an appropriate kitchen layout is a complex task that should result in a kitchen that performs effortlessly, looks great and lasts a lifetime.
The layout of a remodeled kitchen will reflect the kitchen designer’s interpretation of your needs and desires given any physical constraints of the space or home. Generally speaking, kitchen layouts fall into four categories including galleys, L-shaped, U-shaped and islands.
Galley kitchens, normally built along one or two walls, can often make the most efficient use of limited space. As a result, the ingenuity of the kitchen designer will be highlighted as galley kitchens are often chosen because of limited space. For example, small appliances and kitchen tools can be tucked away to maximize work surfaces and clever foldouts or movable storage can often provide additional space and utility.
L-shaped kitchen layouts form a natural work triangle between the refrigerator, sink and cooking surfaces. Because of the corner configuration, pass-through traffic into the work area is limited. The effective use of the corner space is often a challenge, but at Better Kitchens we have a number of surprising and effective solutions for corner storage and access.
U-Shaped kitchens can be effectively employed in both small and large spaces. In small spaces, the U-shape provides the maximum amount of working surface and storage at the expense of floor space. In smaller configurations, U-shaped layouts often only accommodate one person at a time. Larger spaces allow the U-shape to blossom not only by providing expansive work surfaces but also by creating multiple work areas where several people can cook or congregate.
Islands are often synonymous with luxury kitchens as they require the most space of any kitchen layout. Providing both additional work, storage and often seating areas, island kitchens offer a great deal of flexibility for how the space can be used. For example, split-level surfaces provide an ergonomic solution for different purposes such as child-friendly activities or baking. In a contemporary kitchen, islands often include sinks and cooking surfaces allowing long, unbroken horizontal lines of built-ins that the modern style favors.