“Form ever follows function.”—Louis Henry Sullivan
Now that you’re familiar with measuring your kitchen, it’s time to start looking at different layouts and concepts. Depending on your needs and preferences, there are various options for you to choose your ideal kitchen design.
The Work Triangle
First and foremost, the “Work Triangle” is a phrase you will become quite familiar with while renovating or designing your kitchen. It’s one of the most fundamental principals of ergonomic design. The Work Triangle connects the three most important appliances in your kitchen:
All three appliances should be easily accessible from each other. If there is too much distance between each item, cooking can be a nuisance. If things are too close together, it can become cramped. A general rule is to keep the Work Triangle from being interrupted by household traffic to avoid spills or accidents.
To keep things organized, small plug-in appliances (like coffee makers, toasters and blenders) should be kept separate from the main kitchen functions. In addition, social areas are becoming increasingly important. The kitchen space needs to be multifunctional in order to accommodate the many different needs of the modern family home. New technologies like laptops, iPads and cell phones should be considered when designing the kitchen space of today.
Common Kitchen Layouts
The L-shaped kitchen is probably the most popular kitchen layout in many homes. It’s the ideal workspace, especially if you have room for an island. The benefits of an L-shaped kitchen are it offers a great use of corner space, an efficient size for small or medium kitchens, and extra room for tables and chairs.
This is perfect for busy chefs. The U-shape is ideal for large rooms, where family and friends may cook together in close proximity. It allows for plenty of accessible work space, as well as having everything within easy reach. And it provides heaps of storage space.
Single Line Kitchen
When space is scarce, the single line kitchen is the most practical kitchen solution. I feel this works best in an open plan living area rather than an enclosed space. The limited counter for preparation can be quite uncomfortable to work in so adequate storage space is a must.
Single Line with Island
This is probably the most aesthetically pleasing kitchen layout and a favorite of mine. A lot of space is required to make this layout function well, as you’ll need room for all appliances and a centered island unit, but it is a pleasure to work in if you do.
The kitchen island provides plenty of extra storage as well as the option to hold a hob or sink. It also provides a social element to the kitchen, which is very important for your family or when you’re hosting friends.
Many professional chefs prefer the galley kitchen, which is a common layout in commercial kitchens. It features two parallel counters to make each point of the Work Triangle I mentioned above easily accessible. A gallery kitchen is designed solely for food preparation, and provides great working and storage areas on either side of the room.
Now that you’re armed with all the basics, you can face the kitchen showroom with confidence and create your dream kitchen design fit for all your needs!
Top image credit: Suwatchai Pluemruetai/Shutterstock