An integral part of any kitchen design is the layout. It dictates the aesthetics of the entire kitchen, and it also plays a massive role in the day-to-day functionality of the space. The kitchen layout is so important to designers that there is an actual measurement that gauges the efficiency of a kitchen. This is referred to as the ‘work triangle’, and it depicts the distance between specific worktops and the minimum sizing for certain appliances to function correctly.
The Work Triangle
Before we talk about the most popular layout types, it’s essential to understand the work triangle concept.
If you plot the critical points of your kitchen like the sink, the refrigerator, and the stove, linking all the points with a set of straight lines should – hopefully – give you a large triangle. The idea is that all essential appliances are close enough to use in tandem but not close to the point where you don’t have space to use them properly.
There is a whole host of measurements that dictate how long each part of the triangle should be and where other appliances and cabinets should be placed across the triangle. Many modern layouts are designed around the work triangle idea, and its importance in kitchen design cannot be undervalued.
The L-Shaped Kitchen
Due to its versatility, the L-Shape kitchen is one of the most popular layouts. Using a corner, an L-Shape places its appliances and cabinets across two perpendicular walls and is a great way to maximise space.
The work triangle is easily implementable within an L-Shape since all the essential appliances will naturally make the correct shape regardless of where they are placed.
This layout makes full use of a corner that might otherwise not be in use, making it a practical solution for even smaller kitchens.
The U-Shaped Kitchen
Imagine the L-shape, but add another worktop so that it is parallel to either of the sides. Your L-Shape is now a U-Shape.
The U-shape is great for storage and flexibility as it offers access to a healthy number of worktops and can be freely designed while still meeting the concept of the work triangle.
Of course, the build takes up a fair amount of space and can feel quite constricting when applied to a smaller kitchen. However, if you have the space and you’re looking to maximise worktop space for your cooking and meal preparation requirements, the U-shaped kitchen might be for you.
Kitchen islands are very much in style at the moment and they provide a convenient solution for larger and multi-use kitchens.
The defining feature of a kitchen island is the worktop space they provide. The countertops for the islands are available in a wide range of materials and they’re very handy for extending the functionality of your kitchen, whether you need more worktop space, storage, or additional utilities. A kitchen island is highly versatile and can be used for many things.
Why not make an island into a counter or table? Perhaps a bar with a mini-fridge? A Study area? Or even an area for additional storage?
An island offers a whole host of options and can seamlessly compliment any kitchen layout already in place, as well as being its standalone feature.
The One-Wall Kitchen
At the sacrifice of the aesthetics and functionality offered by the work triangle, the one-wall kitchen fits comfortably into awkward spaces. As the name implies, the one-wall kitchen takes all of its counters, appliances, and storage, attaching them to a single wall in order to be as space-sparing as possible.
While there are many different kitchen layouts on the market, it is usually best to consider your requirements and resources before deciding which one is right for you.
Think about what you need from your kitchen and what you will need it to do daily. Will you be preparing a wide variety of food that requires different cooking surfaces? Or will you just be cooking simple meals?
At Room by Room, our experts are always on hand to provide advice if you need it.
Contact Us for Kitchen Design
If you’re looking for a new kitchen design, please contact our kitchen designers at Room by Room. We work with a wide range of kitchen styles, so we’re confident that you’ll find something that suits your needs.