The kitchen is one of the most important spaces in a home because that’s where most of the cooking and cleaning is done. In homes that have limited space, kitchens often double as dining spaces as well. One factor that greatly affects the functionality of a kitchen, as well as how pleasant it is to work in and dine in, is the kitchen’s layout.
A cluttered and crowded kitchen space can make it challenging to execute even simple tasks like chopping ingredients or working with an appliance. In contrast, a kitchen with a practical and ergonomic layout can make a small space feel like it’s bigger and better-equipped for heavy-duty food preparation.
But how do you go about choosing an ideal layout for your kitchen and accommodating key appliances like a two door refrigerator, stovetop, and sink? Here’s a quick guide for deciding on your layout and working with people who will help you redesign your kitchen, like your remodeling contractors.
Map Out Your Kitchen Space
Oftentimes, the size of your house will dictate the ideal floor plan that you should have for your kitchen space. For example, a small studio or one-room apartment will demand a single-wall kitchen layout or galley kitchen layout with cabinets on either side, as these layouts are the best for maximizing limited space.
Townhouses and flats are naturally well-suited for space-efficient layouts like the L-shaped layout. Large houses, on the other hand, can afford to accommodate several people at the same time with layouts like the U-shaped layout or the peninsula-type kitchen layout.
Regardless, you will need to determine how much vertical and horizontal space you have in your kitchen. Before you work with your contractors, procure your kitchen’s exact measurements for them and let them know what kind of home you reside in.
Have a Budget and Recommendations Ready for Your Kitchen Remodeler
Choosing your kitchen layout is a process that demands a lot of customization. Your idea of the best kitchen layout may differ from someone else’s. Aside from unique preferences, you may also have budget constraints. Though you may dream of having a larger, more spacious, and more well-stacked kitchen in the future, you may have to settle for a more cost-efficient layout in the meantime.
Knowing that, make sure to set a working budget for your kitchen remodeling project and ask your contractor to recommend a layout that suits your purposes. Speak with them about what’s possible given your budget, such as how many fixtures you can afford to install and what materials you can use to complete the kitchen.
Look for Visuals for the Different Types of Layouts
If you want to visualize what your kitchen may look like with a different layout, look for references online. Learn about the visual and functional differences that set a galley-shaped layout apart from a one-wall kitchen layout, or how an island kitchen layout looks compared to a kitchen with a peninsula layout.
You’ll find a number of articles and blog entries dedicated to the topic of kitchen layouts when you search the web. Many of these sources also come with photos and mock floor plans, which will come in handy when you’re finalizing things with your remodelers.
Determine Which “Work Triangle” Suits You Best
Another principle that you should consider before settling on a kitchen layout is the “work triangle.” Conceptualized in the 1940s to help homeowners prepare meals in small and cramped kitchen spaces, the work triangle principle assumes that the cook will move around within the “triangle” of their cooktop, sink, and refrigerator. Your kitchen layout should ensure ample space and optimal foot traffic between these three key points.
There are no exact rules for how big this triangle should be or how much space should be in between each point. The right answer really depends on how big your kitchen is and what layout you can afford to implement. But it may be good to think about how much access each layout will grant you to the appliances and work zones in this triangle, and consequently, how much easier it will be for you to cook, replace your utensils, and grab ingredients from the fridge.
Some Last Tips for Maximizing Your Kitchen Space
In addition to choosing a functional kitchen layout, there are some other things you can do to make the most of a limited kitchen space:
- Compensate for a lack of horizontal space by maximizing your vertical space. Consider adding tall storage cabinets, shelves, or movable kitchen racks.
- Install kitchen hooks on your walls to hang items like mugs, or a magnet stripe for your kitchen knives.
- Consider investing in cabinetry with sliding doors instead of hinged doors so that the space doesn’t get more constrained when you swing open the latter.
Space, convenience, and economy of movement are the three things you should aim to achieve when devising a kitchen floor plan. Take these tips into consideration before you remodel your kitchen layout!