No matter how you look at it, bigger isn’t always better in the kitchen. While there are certainly benefits to having more storage and counter space, the key to a highly functional kitchen is space that optimizes the traditional work triangle: the path between the refrigerator, stove, and sink. Too close and you simply won’t have enough space to work (and of course not enough room for a second person), but too far and you’ll be exhausted by the time you’ve finished making the meal.
If you’re planning on completely renovating your kitchen, the first step is to choose the layout you like best to match your home’s existing structure. Often the room designated as a kitchen has permanent constraints that dictate this layout to some extent, but any space can still be a great kitchen. Just plan a layout that optimizes the available square footage.
No matter your style, wide open floor plan or closed-off room, here are five kitchen layouts that have proven time and time again to be the most functional.
one wall kitchen
Single-wall kitchens are a popular choice for small homes and loft apartments because they are very basic and allow you to make the most of your space. As the name suggests, the counter and appliances are all lined up along one wall, eliminating the need for cumbersome corners and making installation easier and cheaper. Although the classic work triangle has lost its general shape, movement between the main zones in a one-wall kitchen should be easy and unobstructed. Space permitting, an island of any size increases the functionality of this layout and provides more counter space for prep work.
A galley kitchen is simply two single-walled kitchen layouts placed parallel to each other. This is also a compact layout suitable for small homes, and is optimized so that she is the only cook, given the small spaces between work zones. If you can remove the interior walls surrounding your galley kitchen, replacing both the upper and lower cabinet walls with long islands will help make the space feel less cramped without losing any counter space (and only half the storage). significantly reduced.
L-shaped kitchens are one of the most popular layouts because they are highly functional and can be adapted to almost any size space. As the name suggests, the L-shaped layout places cabinets and appliances along two adjacent walls, forming an obvious triangular path between the work zones. Unlike a galley kitchen, an L-shaped kitchen rarely requires anyone other than the cook to pass through the space, but this layout definitely creates more space for an additional cook. The two walls don’t have to be of equal length, but if the room is quite large, you can further optimize this layout by placing an island in the middle.
U-shaped or horseshoe-shaped kitchens add a third wall to an L-shaped layout, enclosing workspace on all three sides and providing seamless countertop and storage space. The U-shaped layout works in both small and large spaces, and the third wall can adapt to an attached peninsula or floating island, keeping the room from feeling claustrophobic and optimizing traffic flow.
Completing the letter-inspired kitchen layout is the G-shaped kitchen, which essentially takes up three entire walls and a quarter. The fourth wall is usually peninsular, perfect for bar stool seating. In a small room, a G-shaped kitchen can feel very cramped. Therefore, it may be beneficial to open up the kitchen to an adjoining room by removing one of the walls, or removing and installing upper cabinets from at least one wall. Shelf to expand space.