THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO KITCHEN LAYOUTS
When it comes to important spaces in a home, the kitchen takes the crown right after the living room. Its significance cannot be underestimated, as it plays a vital role in everyday life. The design of a kitchen is a crucial factor to consider when setting up a home. If the kitchen is not planned and organized effectively, it can severely hinder its functionality and efficiency, ultimately diminishing its value in the household. In simpler terms, a poorly designed kitchen robs homeowners of the amazing benefits and experiences that a well-designed kitchen can offer.
When it comes to kitchens, the design takes the lead in determining its functionality, rather than the size. So, if a homeowner grumbles about their small kitchen not being functional or satisfying enough, it’s merely an excuse! When a kitchen is expertly designed to maximize its functionality, the size—whether large or small—takes a back seat, as the space delivers the expected satisfaction.
Designing the perfect kitchen is a piece of cake these days, thanks to the plethora of kitchen layouts at our disposal. But here’s the real spice: your kitchen’s design is heavily influenced by one key factor – your home’s floorplan! Yep, before settling on a kitchen layout, designers dive deep into the floorplan to ensure a match made in renovation heaven. They fine-tune the layout to fit like a glove, bringing harmony between your kitchen and the rest of your home. It’s like a beautiful dance of practicality and aesthetics, where every step is taken with your floorplan in mind.
This article will discuss kitchen layouts, and outline everything you should know about this topic.
What Describes a Functional Kitchen Layout
When it comes to a functional kitchen, size isn’t everything! Picture this: you might have a massive, sprawling kitchen that seems impressive, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee ultimate satisfaction for homeowners. On the flip side, if you find yourself stuck with a cramped and tiny kitchen, don’t worry! Believe it or not, your cozy cooking space can be just as functional and satisfying as those spacious, expansive kitchens.
How? It all boils down to the qualities that shape your kitchen’s layout.
These are some qualities particular to a functional kitchen layout:
- Should be appealing: The fact that importance is placed on functionality doesn’t mean the kitchen should not be appealing. The feeling of satisfaction also comes from knowing you have an appealing kitchen.
- Should be spacious: This quality considers that the kitchen is a space that receives significant traffic every day. So, the layout is designed to offer enough space for free movement in and around the kitchen. It also involves utilizing vertical spaces (if there are enough of them) to boast sufficient storage for utensils and other things in the kitchen.
- Should be in order: Every kitchen layout has a system they work with (as will be discussed later in this article), and this system uses orderliness to facilitate an efficient workspace. Orderliness considers the arrangement of utensils, cabinets, appliances, and fixtures in the kitchen.
- Boasting quality materials: The materials used in the design of a kitchen layout also factor in the degree of satisfaction a homeowner gets from a kitchen. Hence, an effective kitchen is characterized by quality materials.
Understanding Kitchen Ergonomics
Ergonomics is a science that involves designing and optimizing a space to fit its users and offers maximum utility.
Kitchen ergonomics is a science where kitchens are designed to fit a chef and offer them a maximum user experience.
This science has birthed many kitchen layouts that are still in use today, and some of the prominent layouts will be outlined. The majority of these layouts follow a system that guides their design and arrangement.
This system is:
- The work triangle:
This is the oldest kitchen arrangement, designed for efficiency in residential kitchens. It was devised in the 1920s to offer a clear path between the food preparation area, cleaning area, and food storage area. These three areas make up the three sides of the triangle which allows efficient space for each area to function optimally
How Does the Work Triangle Works?
It follows specific and strict principles. These principles include:
- Each triangle leg has a length between 1.2-2.7m
- All three legs of the triangle have a combined length of 4-7.9m
- Appliances should not be placed to intersect any leg of the triangle.
- There should not be traffic through the triangle. This traffic does not include the traffic created when working in any of the working areas of the triangle. It refers to traffic from using the space through the traffic for temporary storage.
- The kitchen’s entry doors should be 812mm wide
- The layout is designed so kitchen entry doors don’t interfere with the safe operation of any of the appliances, and operating the appliances doesn’t interfere with each other. This operation could be opening appliances and cabinet doors.
More principles prove how much prominence this layout has.
Modern Kitchen Layouts You Should Know
- The one-wall layout:
This layout is designed to be space-efficient for smaller kitchens, where cabinets and shelving are arranged along a single wall. This design gives an aesthetically pleasing appeal that you barely notice the kitchen’s size.
The one-wall layout works best by utilizing vertical space, and the full stretch of width at your disposal. The idea is to create enough storage space with the vertical space available on the wall that will accommodate the design. Large appliances like your refrigerator can be positioned at one end of the wall to sync with the design.
- The galley kitchen layout:
The galley kitchen layout proves that you don’t need corner cupboards and shelves to utilize every inch of space in your kitchen. It features two parallel walls arranged with cabinets, shelves, and appliances, so a galley is formed between them. It is space efficient for small and large kitchens and is also a very economical use of cabinets in the kitchen.
The work triangle can be implemented in this layout, where the work area can be arranged along one wall to facilitate the free flow of traffic in the kitchen. Cabinets are the key ingredient to this layout working in effectively creating a functional kitchen.
- The L-shaped kitchen:
This layout features an L-shaped design, where cabinets, appliances, and fixtures are arranged along two perpendicular walls. But the intersection of the cabinets formed at the point where the two perpendicular walls meet demands clever cabinetry solutions. These solutions allow you to make the most of the space at that intersection.
The functionality of this layout follows a similar principle to the work triangle, where the working area is on a separate side. The space created by the intersection can be utilized by installing a walk-in pantry cupboard.
- The U-shaped kitchen layout:
This layout is ideal for a large-sized kitchen, as it features cabinets on all three sides of the kitchen’s walls, but it can be tricky too. Despite it offering optimal space, it can feel enclosed and cramped when there are hanging cabinets on all three sides of the kitchen’s walls.
The ideal solution is to have cabinets on the two sides of the kitchen’s walls; you can choose to have the cabinets adjacent or parallel to each other.
Two other kitchen layouts are prominent in modern kitchens, they are the island and Peninsular kitchen layouts. These layouts are in some sense similar, where the difference is how the feature they both possess is positioned in the design. But every detail in this article will guide you in identifying a functional layout for your kitchen.