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The Alphabet Soup of Kitchen Layouts
by Steffen Ploeger on Jan 20, 2016
I remember my first kitchen after college – note that I didn’t say those memories were particularly fond ones. What passed for a kitchen in an otherwise spacious apartment was little more than a closet, which contained a fridge, a stove, about four square feet of counter space, and a singular drawer. You read right; one drawer. For two long years I loathed my “kitchen” and pretty much avoided it at all costs, something that became all the more frustrating as my passion for cooking grew.
It wasn’t until I visited a friend’s home on a trip out of town that I truly began to despise my kitchenette, largely because their impressive (and large) kitchen really, really put mine to shame. And thus began my quest to find my ideal kitchen. If you, like me, never took the time to weigh the pros and cons of the various kitchen layouts, you might just be amazed at how many options there truly are.
This shape of kitchen does wonders for opening up an otherwise “boxed-in” corner kitchen. While it takes up a relatively small amount of home real estate, there is still an abundance of counter space, which is ideal for prepping meals. Taking a look at the design above, the symmetry of the cabinetry is definitely an aesthetic plus, and the partial open concept allows parents to keep an eye on children in the adjoining room while cooking, or keep the conversation going with friends sitting at the breakfast bar.
This classic U-shaped kitchen is symmetrical, clean, and designed to be functional. There are a number of advantages to having a kitchen that follows this particular design.
The first is the efficient use of space this design offers. Everything is close at hand, which is handy when you’re in the throws of making a big meal for family and friends. Additionally, this layout gives you the option to incorporate an island (see below) for added prep space or seating. Let’s also not forget that if you have a second chef in the kitchen the likelihood that you’ll be bumping elbows is limited due to the clearly segregated counters.
The main drawback of this layout is that the relatively small floor space can leave you feeling cramped – that’s why it’s so critical to do your homework and hire a tried and true professional to discuss your kitchen remodeling project.
Isn’t it incredible how incorporating an island into your kitchen can dramatically increase counter space?
When it comes to making the best use of the space in your home, there’s arguably no better layout than the L-shaped kitchen. This particular layout is perfect for avoiding that “claustrophobic” feeling that other layouts may be prone to.
One of the greatest features of the L-shaped kitchen is the multiple entrances it offers. Everyone knows that the kitchen is the hub of the home – and if you’ve got a particularly large family that could mean traffic jams. The L-shape kitchen makes the best use of a home’s corner space without encroaching on living space. The L design lends itself to the addition of an island for additional prep space or seating (see below).
While this particular style of kitchen does make excellent use of space, if I’m being completely honest, it has more drawbacks than advantages. The linear design means that there is a maximum amount of travel between workstations and/or appliances. The one-wall concept does allow you to make the most of the rest of the living space, being that everything is well, confined to one wall – so this layout is ideal for homes with limited space or income properties. If you’re a fan of assembly line cooking, this kitchen might be right up your alley, but it definitely is not for me.
When it comes to functionality, you simply can’t beat a galley-style kitchen. Of course, a layout such as this one offers minimal distance between workstations, and it also lends itself particularly well to creative custom cabinetry.
By their very nature, galley style kitchens are admittedly on the smaller side, but truth be told, this style of kitchen is a dream in smaller homes and apartments. Don’t forget that when all is said and done, the more compact the kitchen, the easier it is to clean.
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