How to select the perfect layout for your space
January 13, 2023
During the last two years, the phrase ‘the kitchen is the heart of the home’ has never been more true. With so many people working from home, children being home schooled and everyone spending so much more time in the house, the kitchen is at the heart of it; where families come together to work, study and relax in the evenings.
The kitchen has grown from a single-purpose room to a multifunctional space that needs to accommodate various activities throughout the day. You might want to combine cooking and prep areas with dining and living zones and have a designated office or homework space too. Whatever your kitchen needs to be, it is essential to understand the basic principles of common kitchen layouts.
Bookcase style shelving, designated bar or coffee areas and multi-media units are all on the rise in the 2023 living kitchen. Fitted furniture is becoming more popular, with banquette seating being useful for dining areas as this can morph into working spaces. Fluidity is important to ensure the kitchen remains multi-functional.
Envision how the kitchen is going to be used day to day and you can create zones from there. Some examples include:
- Emptying the dishwasher - store your crockery close by
- Making breakfast - keep all your breakfast things together
- Preparing meals - utensils, chopping boards and bins in pull-outs under the worktop
- Cooking - store pots, pans and utensils in a drawer near the cooker with bottles of oil and spices in a pull-out close by
- Cleaning - keep materials for cleaning close to the sink
__The kitchen triangle __- sometimes referred to as the 'golden triangle' - is a design rule based around the three main appliances in the kitchen: the fridge, the hob and the sink. The aim is to place these on the three points of a triangle to minimise effort and walking distance between them. However, this is only a starting point and competent designers can get creative with this triangle.
Kitchen flow is vital as there’s nothing worse than having people hanging around in an area where you want to prepare food and very often the kitchen isn’t a standard shape or layout – you may have limited space, sloping ceilings or pillars to incorporate. That is where the designer comes in making this a solution not a problem.
The four basic kitchen layouts:
The __L-SHAPED KITCHEN __is the most flexible layout and will comprise two runs of cabinets at right angles along adjacent walls and often include an island to provide prep and dining areas. The best ergonomic kitchen layouts place the hob on one wall with the sink and fridge on the other, but make sure there is adequate workspace between these elements. This can be an efficient layout for one cook, but two may find themselves under each other’s feet – you may want to include an extra prep sink to ease the pressure.
__A U-SHAPED KITCHEN __fits well in a medium sized room which may be squarer in shape. For a practical layout, try and locate the cooker and hob in the centre and the sink and fridge at either end of the U to create the perfect working triangle. A U-shaped layout can feel a little overpowering if there are a lot of wall units, so consider the current trend for a tall bank of floor-to-ceiling units on one wall and open shelving on another. If the space allows, incorporate a separate dining table leading onto a living area, outwith the U layout to keep that for cooking.
GALLEY KITCHENS tend to be either passage rooms with a door at either end, leading onto a garden or with a dead end at one end. Try to separate the cooking zone from the wet area with a length of worktop. Avoid tall units which might accentuate the narrow space and where possible stick to light or reflective colours to maximise the feeling of space. To maximise storage, linear pan drawers provide the best solution with long drawers and clever drawer inserts for pots, pans and plates.
ISLAND AND OPEN PLAN KITCHENS! where the island takes centre stage remain the most popular layout. Often these layouts combine extensions or conservatories to give maximum family space. Here, large larder cupboards hidden behind pocket doors are common as they can hide away all the kitchen paraphernalia and even offer a workstation for cooking within the cupboard. Use the island to house a hob and even a food prep sink so it becomes the central focus. Make sure there’s at least one metre between the island and all the cabinetry surrounding it, so that you can open all doors and drawers. Open plan kitchens work well for multi-functional living as they offer options of places to dine, work and study.
Engaging with a professional kitchen designer at an early stage will allow you to optimise the space available and will help you create a layout that enables the kitchen's daily activities to flow as smoothly as possible. Contact us today to arrange an in-store or home design consultation with a member of our award-winning design team and discover another dimension to your home and to your home life.