The kitchen is the soul of the house. It’s the epicenter where family gathers and guests congregate during parties and get-together. It’s where children do their homework and activities and where we eat most of our meals. Because so many people flock to this popular room in the house, it is important for the kitchen to be laid out efficiently and resourcefully. Of course, what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another.
If you are looking to re-design your kitchen here are some design ideas to consider.
This is a popular option for those who enjoy an open concept floor plan. It lends itself easily to many cooks in the kitchen, as well as guests during an evening of entertainment. An L-shape kitchen is self-explanatory: two adjacent walls that meet at one point. This type of layout can be modified by adding an island as a workspace or turned into an eat-in kitchen with the addition of a table and chairs.
An L-shaped kitchen floor plan offers the most flexibility with three separate zones that help to avoid collisions between household members. One leg of the L-shape is devoted to the sink and dishwasher to create a clean-up zone. The other counter incorporates the stove, oven and microwave. Alternatively, the cooktop can be set up on the island, if one is included in the design. This allows for extra prep surface and enables the cook to be part of the ongoing conversation.
Galley or Corridor-Style
If you want to use the kitchen for plain, old-fashioned cooking the galley kitchen or corridor-style is your answer. They are very similar in design: the galley being located along one wall, while the corridor-style uses opposite sides of the small kitchen. It is the most efficient and functional style of layout with everything the chef needs – from spices to pots and pans, all within easy grasp. For small houses or apartments the corridor kitchen is a problem solver. The sink and dishwasher is generally installed on one side and the stove on the other, with cupboards above and below the counter.
The main drawback to this design is traffic flow and space for food prep. With this type of layout, too many cooks will spoil the broth!
Like the galley kitchen, this U-shape design favors a one-cook scenario because of its small size. The dishwasher may have to be installed on the top leg of the U instead of beside the sink to accommodate the lack of space. Having the sink on the outside-facing leg allows the person using it to have a view of the rest of the kitchen while washing up. If space permits, a peninsula can be added to the sink area to allow for a little more work space. The refrigerator should also be moved out of the U-shape and placed against the opposite wall to provide additional room.
This layout is probably the most social and efficient style. It has everything a great kitchen needs: a huge expanse of counter, plenty of flexibility and more than enough storage space. This layout is basically a U-shape with a long peninsula affixed to one side. The cook can now face out on to the rest of the kitchen and be part of the conversation, as well as keeping an eye on children activities. There is also enough space for a helper. The G-shaped layout leaves no space unturned. The peninsula is generally used as a workspace.
When designing your brand new kitchen, the guiding principle that every homeowner should use is common sense and simplicity. Only you, as the primary user, know what works best. The type of kitchen you ultimately chose should be a space that is comfortable, handy and functions best for your needs.
By: Beverley Burgess Bell