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How to Design an Efficient Kitchen Layout?
The modern kitchen is far more than just a place where women would labor all day long. With the changes around us, running a home is now a truly collaborative project. Partners tend to take up different parts of the whole cooking affair, with one taking care of the prep work while the other engages in the actual cooking. The kitchen has evolved into more than just a place to cook — it is now filled with playful interactions and entertainment.
Although the temptation to go for lavish sounding features might be too hard to resist, it is important to design your kitchen around your family’s needs. Today, the size of an average American kitchen has grown to 2,466 square feet. The extra space has gone to everything from extra storage space to multiple workstations and/or islands. With all the options available out there, it is increasingly more crucial to be aware of your needs and your limitations.
Designing the Basic Shape of the Kitchen
A kitchen design is very subjective. What works for your neighbor might not work for you. Based on the frequency of cooking meals, the number of members in your family, the general purpose of the kitchen (whether it needs to be guest-ready or not) are but a few factors you need to keep in mind. A basic kitchen design should include three main work points: the stove, the refrigerator, and the sink; arranged in a work triangle across the kitchen. If you plan to incorporate a kitchen island, it is best to opt for a linear arrangement. Whether you choose to have an island or not will greatly influence the design of your kitchen.
Pros and Cons of a Kitchen Island
With the advent of kitchen islands as a near-universal design element, it is imperative to question its utility. Instead of following a set pattern, you need to ask yourself if you really need an island.
It is fair to admit that the presence of a well-crafted kitchen island does impart a certain class and grandiosity to the kitchen. Apart from the cosmetic aspects, an island can also be perfect for housing a second sink. It can be used as a prep station and can also be utilized to entertain guests over a glass of wine and some snacks.
Types of Kitchen Layouts
The most common kitchen layouts out there include:
- One Wall/Pullman Kitchen: Ideal for studios and small families, this setup has all the appliances and cabinetry on one wall. As it is a little low on storage space, you are better off steering clear of this one if you have a family.
- Open Plan Kitchen: Perfect for families, an open plan kitchen gives you the illusion of extra space. It works even better when your dining space is right next to it, thus making sure you can cook and interact with your family at the same time. One of the only drawbacks of this plan is that it requires plenty of space. Discretion on your part is, therefore, a must.
- L Shaped Kitchen: Ideal for maximizing efficiency when it comes to space utilization, an L-shaped kitchen is perfect for medium families who do not have a lot of space. The shape of the setup makes it easier to access everything. You can theoretically add a kitchen island to the setup; however, if you do have enough space for an island, we would suggest going for a different and better layout altogether.
- Horseshoe/U-Shaped Kitchen: Set up along three walls, this plan is best for kitchens with multiple cooks and ample space. The appliances and cooking stations can be placed on the three walls with the most used space in the center to the seldom-used appliances at the corner.
- Galley Kitchen: Galley kitchens are basically converted corridors, ideal for families with a single cook. As the countertops are placed parallel to one another, one can cut corners by skipping the corner cabinetry. If you require a lot of storage space, however, it is best to opt for another kitchen layout.
- G-Shaped Kitchen: If the idea of a hybrid kitchen + living room turns you off, G-shaped kitchens are perfect for you. Instead of getting an island, you can add a worktop in the form of a fourth wall. Thus providing you extra space, a seemingly faux-open concept, a space to sit around; while simultaneously providing ample privacy and autonomy over the space.
Choosing a kitchen layout is a highly subjective decision. It is important to make sure that your choices are based on your necessities rather than impractical longings. We recommend consulting a designer to find the layout that works best for you and not the one that just looks good.