Kitchen Layouts Made Easy
The kitchen layout you choose will largely depend on the shape and size of the room itself. A long, narrow kitchen provides few design options other than a galley layout, which needs to be planned with care if you are to maximise its potential.
If you are lucky enough to have a large kitchen, however, your options will increase dramatically. Kitchen layouts almost always fall into the following categories: galley, L-shaped, island and U-shaped.
This layout has two long runs of kitchen units positioned opposite each other. A galley layout is not the best option for a larger family’s kitchen, and it is best avoided if the area is subject to through traffic. However, the shape of your kitchen may dictate this kind of arrangement, so time spent planning the layout of the units and fixtures will pay dividends.
The most important rule is never to position any of the fixtures directly opposite each other, as this will create difficulties if two people are working in the kitchen at the same time – for example, the cooker should not be positioned opposite the sink. You should also make sure that there is sufficient space to bend down to reach into base units and that the cupboards on facing walls are positioned so that the individual doors can be opened easily.
This layout consists of two adjoining runs of units, and is ideal for open-plan rooms and relatively small, square kitchens. The most practical design has the sink near the centre of the L-shape, with the refrigerator along one run of units and the cooker along the other. Make sure there is ample work space between each item of equipment.
This type of layout – consisting of a freestanding island’ of units and work surfaces in the centre of the room with fixtures and additional units along the walls – is ideal for larger kitchens. Make sure that all equipment is carefully positioned to create a closely located work triangle of refrigerator, cooker and sink. This style of kitchen offers ample winking space and is often favoured by professional chefs. Island units can also act as a room divider, to define the separate areas within an open-plan kitchen/dining room, for example.
This is a very versatile kitchen layout, consisting of three rims of units that join together to form a U-shape. It is a very practical layout and works particularly well when the sink is placed in the centre run of units, with the hob and refrigerator along the side units. If using a larder-style refrigerator and eye-level cooker, position them at the ends of the side runs to leave the maximum amount of work surface above the base units. If the kitchen is extremely large, however, positioning them towards the centre may have aesthetic as well as practical benefits.