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Kitchen Design Layouts

Blending Beauty and Function

When it comes to creating a new kitchen design, let your lifestyle and your home's current configuration influence the shape of your new cabinetry. Are you an aspiring cook? Do you like to entertain? Is counter space a premium? These are just some of the considerations that will determine which kitchen design layout is right for you.

The Role of Work Zones in Kitchen Design

Kitchens have four basic work zones: food preparation, cooking, cleaning and storage. Before deciding on a kitchen layout, consider how you want these work zones to function together in your new space. In addition to work zones, you will also want to consider how you will use your new kitchen. For example, do you plan on using it as a dining space for family dinner, entertaining space for gatherings, a workspace for homework, or all of the above?

Work Triangle Theory

All kitchen designs need to be mindful of the work triangle.

If efficiency could have an ideal shape, it would be a kitchen design featuring what is known as a work "triangle." It consists of an imaginary line drawn between the kitchen's primary work areas and appliances: food storage (the refrigerator), food preparation (the stove) and cleanup (the sink). For maximum efficiency, the sum total of the triangle should be 26 linear feet, with the sink being the center point.

Kitchen Layouts

Here are some of the most popular kitchen layouts to consider when planning your kitchen design.

U-shaped Kitchen Layout

A U-shaped kitchen layout offers generous counter space and efficient work areas.

A popular choice because of its efficiency, the U-shaped kitchen offers generous counter space and work areas that are close together. It can however, make the cook feel apart from a group when entertaining, as most tasks will be done while facing one of the three walls. To open the space up more, you could add a half wall or use only two walls with a peninsula island making up the third side.

L-shaped Kitchen Layout

An L-shaped kitchen layout makes use of only two walls, providing open sensibility.

This kitchen layout offers flexibility for both large and small homes. It makes use of only two kitchen walls, providing an open sensibility. The L-shape minimizes traffic through the kitchen and, typically, features larger expanses of countertops, allowing ease of preparation at mealtime.

L-shaped with a Kitchen Island

Enhance an L-shaped kitchen design with an island.

With the addition of an island, an L-shaped kitchen design offers the added flexibility of providing a space where the cook can interact with others while prepping food, cooking, serving or cleaning up.

G-shaped Kitchen Layout

Featuring a modified U shape, the G-shaped kitchen layout is very efficient.

Featuring a modified "U" shape, the G-shaped kitchen design is very efficient. However, unless one or more of the walls are designed as half or "pony" walls, this kitchen shape can feel confining for today's cook.

Single Wall Kitchen Layout

A single wall kitchen layout is great for small spaces.

With layout positions for all of the appliances on a single wall, this kitchen design would typically be found in a studio apartment or other very small space.

Galley Kitchen Layout

A galley kitchen design is open on both ends.

Open on both ends, the galley kitchen design requires a minimum corridor width of 48" so the cook can easily maneuver during meal preparation. Kitchen appliances are typically laid out near one another, which can be convenient, but due to the corridor shape of the kitchen, all of the household traffic will pass though the space.