When embarking on a new kitchen remodel, the first and most important step is to make the best use of space out of your chosen kitchen layout – whether you have the capacity to work from a large blank canvas, or whether this involves enhancing an already restricted space.
Depending upon your personal lifestyle, you may wish to create a multi-functional room for cooking, eating, entertaining guests or simply helping with the children’s homework. Our modern-day preferences have meant that dining rooms are becoming pushed aside for the more popular choice of an open plan interior, and it is this growing demand for a more adaptable living space that makes our kitchen layout choices all the more important.
Though every home is different, there are a few classic kitchen layouts out there, each with their own unique benefits:
L-Shaped Kitchens – one of today’s more popular kitchen layouts, the L-shaped kitchen enables you to maximise worktop space without compromising on an open plan design. This is a typically sociable and spacious kitchen layout, great for functionality and neatly fits into the corner of a room to provide maximum flexibility. The versatility of this layout is what makes it so desirable; best for small or medium-sized rooms, the L-shaped kitchen is often designed with a central island when space allows, making it perfect for entertaining within today’s multipurpose kitchens.
U-Shaped Kitchens – these kitchens can work in more room sizes than you may think, and is perfect for those who love to cook. By optimising on worktop and storage space, a small kitchen can be transformed into a chef’s haven, whilst larger kitchens can use the design to create a social and comfortable dining area. There is also only one entrance in this layout, making it very safe and suitable for families, however, this also creates a restriction and often there will only be sufficient space for one person at a time.
Galley Kitchen – the galley kitchen usually features units on both walls, but at times only one depending on space, with a corridor running down the middle. It may open into a different room on both sides, or be closed off by a wall at one end. Limited space doesn’t have to restrict your layout design here. In fact, if you’re remodelling a galley kitchen, there are all kinds of clever kitchen space hacks, such as hanging your pots and pans from the ceiling or putting extra shelves and hooks inside cupboards. If possible, try to include some open shelving; this will help to maintain an airy atmosphere within the small space, while still giving you sufficient storage. Plus, open shelves are also a great place to display your prize appliances and accessories!
So without further ado, here are some top tips for enhancing and maximising space within your kitchen layout…
One important consideration is sight lines, even more so if you are designing for an open-plan space, but important in remodelling all kitchen layouts. The sight lines from key views and entrances should be kept as clear as possible so that the room feels open and spacious, if you can, stand in those areas you consider key areas and visualise these lines, ensure not to block them with appliances and cabinets or reduce natural light where possible. The use of sight lines will significantly impact the choices you make when it comes to effectively choosing the right layout and will help you to eliminate those that will simply not work within the given space.
Keep in mind the golden triangle!
This is a very handy concept to consider when remodelling your layout, so much so it has been around since the 40’s! The kitchen triangle connects the three main work areas in the kitchen — the sink, the hob/ovens, and the refrigerator. If the distance is too small, it can make a kitchen feel cramped. If it’s too large, it makes cooking a hassle. At this stage, it’s well worth considering how the kitchen work triangle could work most efficiently and if space allows, how you can adapt your kitchen layout to create the most natural flow of movement across your main kitchen appliances.
However, always make the kitchen layout and design work best for you. As discussed, the usefulness of the kitchen work triangle depends upon how you wish to use the space. For example, you may want to entertain more than cook in your kitchen, making the distance between kitchen appliances less relevant, or you may only have one wall to work with which may rule out the triangle concept altogether.
Islands vs Peninsulas
Either kitchen islands or peninsulas can be popular options for enhancing the layout of any kitchen – to add more storage, create additional cooking space, segment your kitchen into ‘areas’ or simply provide an additional worktop space to socialise and congregate.
But first off, what are the differences between the two? To put it simply, a kitchen island stands on its own while a peninsula is seen as an extension of the rest of your kitchen.
There are endless options when it comes to customising an island or peninsula depending on what you want from your kitchen. As well as the obvious advantages we’ve listed, popular options include incorporating sockets and USB points for a work area, or designing your worktop with an overhang to create extra seating or a flexible dining space.
However, your kitchen layout will more than likely impact your choice here. Whilst kitchen islands are great if you have plenty of space, such as in large open-plan L-shaped or U-shaped kitchens, a peninsula may be an alternative where your kitchen design offers a lot less space. Kitchen islands may create a trapping effect when built into a kitchen of a restricted size, whereas peninsulas can help to structure your space even in small galley kitchens by providing a short breakfast bar.
It’s all in the detail
Finally, plan every last detail – right from the beginning, as you probably won’t realise just how significantly this impacts design choices until it’s too late. For example, consider things such as how much storage you actually need, how many cabinets need installing, what needs to be stored where and whether components such as the boiler, or plumbing and electrics need to be moved by a professional. This will help to determine whether you’ve been overly ambitious with achieving that L-shaped kitchen, or it may help you to realise that by eliminating what’s not needed early on in the process, your dream kitchen layout is easier to achieve than you think.
Here at Prept we have a dedicated team ready to discuss the different layout options available to your home; they can help you find the kitchen that fits with your home and your lifestyle.
If you’re ready to start planning your Prept kitchen, then use our downloadable kitchen planner graph now.