Kitchen layouts and design ideas
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Kitchen Layouts

Kitchen Layouts Kitchen Layouts

The How to Design a Kitchen page guides you through the whole process.  If you want to jump straight to a detailed section, here’s what I’ve got for you.

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View in galleryWork Triangle Description: This is the layout many of us grew up hearing about as the holy grail of all kitchen layouts. It’s a classic, actually. In essence, the ideal work triangle layout is to have the primary and most-used appliances (e.g., fridge, range, sink) at corner points of a triangular workspace for maximum efficiency. Basically, you want to minimize the time and effort spent moving between said appliances.

The home’s kitchen layout includes a spacious center island with sink that helps to define the open kitchen from the rest of the home’s great room.

Kitchen Zones Tips: Consider the principles behind the Work Triangle between the zones themselves. For example, plan the food prep zone to be near the food storage and cooking zones, while the cleaning zone would work well near the kitchen storage zone.

“We have gone from the traditional kitchen, where one person prepared meals to a multi-purpose room and a multiple-cook room, and this evolution has changed us from looking at one work triangle to multiple triangles, or ‘zones,'” says Mary Jo Peterson, principal, Mary Jo Peterson Inc. “With that in mind, we have to increase clearances and look at adding comfortable spaces in the kitchen.”

View in galleryGalley Kitchen Description: A galley kitchen, also known as a corridor-style kitchen, is essentially a kitchen in the shape of a hallway…and is one of the most efficient kitchen layouts for cooking. The galley kitchen is long and narrow, with two straight runs on either side. (These can be two walls, or they can be one cabineted wall and an island that creates the second galley “wall.”)

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Work Triangle Cons: The work triangle can become tricky business, perhaps even counterintuitive, in larger kitchens and those with islands. It’s important to see the forest through the trees in planning this type of kitchen layout.

Learn about different types and use our checklist to see if this independent structure will work for you

An island that interrupts the work triangle.  It’s a long way to walk from the refrigerator to the sink. A tall unit that interrupts counter space flow.  Counter space is golden in kitchens so don’t interrupt all that flowing flat counter top with a tall unit in the middle.

Large kitchens with enormous work triangles.  This is the same arrangement as above except without the island.  Now that the obstruction is gone it still has the problem of an enormous work triangle – you’d walk 10 miles each meal with this kitchen design.

Single Wall Kitchen Cons: Due to their small size and the traditional appliances requirements, single wall kitchens tend to be very limited in counter space. Food prep and multiple cooks pose a challenge.

Sufficient storage in the right places. Sufficient counter space in the right places. An efficient working area. Appropriate amount of appliances for the size.  If you have a small kitchen then don’t sacrifice counter space and storage for a steam oven and warmer drawer.

Access to natural light and well lit. The level of ‘kitchen working area privacy’ is right for you.  Some people want a kitchen with the table in the middle of the action.  Others prefer the kitchen work area to be out of view from the eating area and to be able to get a bit of peace in the kitchen.

The kitchen is fairly near an entrance to allow groceries to be brought into the kitchen easily. Kitchen design mistakes

U-Shaped Kitchen Tips: Because the U-shaped kitchen allows for a great deal of flexibility in kitchen layout, don’t be afraid to be flexible in your usage. An island works well in the U-shaped kitchen to encourage interaction and provide dine-in capabilities. You could also turn part of one wall into a peninsula (instead of a full wall) by removing the upper cabinets and opening up the air space.

Still, these tried-and-true kitchen layouts still apply to today’s lifestyles—with modifications.

Single Wall Kitchen Pros: Ingredients, appliances, and food prep space all tend to be within easy reach in a single wall kitchen layout.

The kitchen is the heart of the home. You want it to have the best possible layout and functionality it can. Below, we’ll discuss several of the most common kitchen layouts and their pros and cons. Consider this article as a research supplement to your kitchen layout planner to be sure you’re designing the best possible space for you, your family, and your lifestyle.

Kitchen Zones Pros: Several people can work effectively in the kitchen simultaneously, without getting in each other’s way. Also, the zoned kitchen tends to be organized and efficient because each section is devoted to a specific task.

L-Shaped Kitchen Description: The L-shaped kitchen is precisely what its name implies. It’s a corner kitchen, which tends to lead to less kitchen traffic (because it’s “off the beaten path”). This kitchen layout typically involves one main wall of cabinets and sink or range perpendicular and adjacent to another, shorter wall.

I like cruising Houzz as much as anyone and here’s a collection of kitchen layouts with a few comments, all to illustrate some of the ideas made on this page.

L-Shaped Kitchen Cons: L-shaped configuration tends to allow for less space in the kitchen, significantly limiting the number of people in the kitchen at all. This layout could also function awkwardly, depending on the length of the L’s legs.

U-Shaped Kitchen Description: The U-shaped kitchen is a fairly modern concept, having evolved over time as kitchen-area storage needs increased. This kitchen design is like a glorified galley kitchen, with one end closed off.

Galley Kitchen Tips: Keep both ends of the galley kitchen open to bring in more natural light and create connections to the rest of the house. Another tip is to put the sink and cooktop on one side of the galley to keep the messes contained.

Kitchen Zones Cons: There will always be overlap among the zoned functions, so this might not actually be as fluent a kitchen layout design in reality as in theory.

Kitchen islands are incredibly functional, but the No. 1 misperception about islands is that everyone ought to have one. The reality is, many kitchens simply don’t have enough clearance to include this feature. Download a sample floorplan.

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View in galleryGalley Kitchen Pros: The galley kitchen is a highly efficient kitchen layout, maximizing a typically small, cramped space with alternating appliances, cabinetry, and counter space. It’s so popular in its efficiency, in fact, that the galley kitchen is the primary kitchen layout design for most restaurants.

U-Shaped Kitchen Cons: The U-shaped kitchen is designed for one primary cook; this type of kitchen layout is off the beaten path, so to speak, requiring a specific reason to enter. The U-shaped kitchen is traditionally pretty small and offers no dine-in arrangement. Plus, placing the dishwasher close to the sink (ideal setup) can be difficult.

I’ve got so many ideas and suggestions to share about kitchen design layout.  The idea (as always on HousePlansHelper) is to give you ideas, inspiration and knowledge about kitchen layout and kitchen function – so that you can make sure that those great looking cabinets you’ve got picked out will be both beautiful to look at and a pleasure to use.

Learn about different layouts, like L-shaped, one-wall and galley kitchens, and download templates for your renovation.

Work Triangle Pros: Pivoting from fridge to sink to range is seamless and super efficient. That’s the whole idea behind this concept. It’s a classic, tried-and-true kitchen layout that comes into play within all other kitchen layouts.

L-Shaped Kitchen Tips: Easily maximize space and interaction (without having too many cooks in the kitchen) with an L-shaped kitchen and an island. This provides enough central storage that the actual L shape’s legs needn’t be miles long.

Welcome to the kitchen design layout series. Part of the design a room series on room layouts here on House Plans Helper.

Single Wall Kitchen Description: A kitchen in which all appliances, cabinets, and counter spaces are positioned along one wall. Single wall kitchens are usually found in small homes, because they are small yet efficient spaces that can be disguised as needed in a small space (read: studio apartment or similar).

The traditional work triangle that separates the sink, range and refrigerator has evolved into a more practical “work zone” concept.

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Single Wall Kitchen Tips: Typically, the sink sits in between the range and fridge in a single wall kitchen, for easy cleanup (not to mention aesthetic balance). Consider opting for compact or custom (smaller) appliances to maximize the limited space. Also, throw in an island opposite the single cabineted wall for a great storage, efficiency, and people-gathering option.

The aim of a great kitchen design is to maximize counter space and storage and be a pleasure to use.

Here’s a guide to the pros and cons of the most popular kitchen layouts.

Work Triangle Tips: Keep the work triangle fairly tight, regardless of the size of your kitchen, so as to preserve some energy for dining and interacting with loved ones over the food when it’s done.

Peninsula. A peninsula kitchen is basically a connected island, converting an L-shaped layout into a horseshoe, or turning a horseshoe kitchen into a G-shaped design. Peninsulas function much like islands but offer more clearance in kitchens that do not allow appropriate square footage for a true island. Download a sample floorplan.

U-Shaped Kitchen Pros: The U-shaped kitchen provides tons of counter space, in addition to lots of cabinet space, since the cabinets surround three of the four walls in the kitchen. This type of kitchen layout also connects to the rest of the home by keeping one side open.

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One-wall. Originally called the “Pullman kitchen,” the one-wall kitchen layout is generally found in studio or loft spaces because it’s the ultimate space saver. Cabinets and appliances are fixed on a single wall. Most modern designs also include an island, which evolves the space into a sort of Galley style with a walk-through corridor. Download a sample floorplan.

Galley Kitchen Cons: In galley kitchens, it’s preferable to have the sink and range on opposite sides, for greater efficiency; however, this kitchen layout tends to disrupt the flow. Also, there is no inherent space for dining or “hanging out” with family and friends, as is provided in many other kitchen layout designs.

Island. A working kitchen island may include appliances and cabinetry for storage—and it always adds additional work surface to a kitchen. It can provide a place to eat (with stools), to prepare food (with a sink) and to store beverages (with a wine cooler). The island can turn a one-wall kitchen into a galley style, and an L-shaped layout into a horseshoe.

Circulation cutting through the work triangle. If you can make your kitchen the road to nowhere.  Accidents happen when cooking and foot traffic mix.

Looking for some kitchen layout ideas? Got a small kitchen and need to maximize every inch? Got a huge kitchen and need to optimize the expansive layout? Got a tired old kitchen that you need a fresh kitchen layout design? Then this article is for you.

L-Shaped Kitchen Pros: The very nature of the L-shaped kitchen provides intrinsic privacy for food prep, being like a corner tucked away. However, it also provides great interaction with open concept spaces, as it inherently opens up into adjoining spaces such as the great room or other family-focused rooms. An excellent choice for entertaining.

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Horseshoe. The horseshoe, or U-shape, kitchen layout has three walls of cabinets/appliances. Today, this design has evolved from three walls to an L-shaped kitchen with an island forming the third “wall.” “This design works well because it allows for traffic flow and workflow around the island,” says Mary Jo Peterson, principal, Mary Jo Peterson Inc. “You can get more cooks into the kitchen.” Download a sample floorplan.

Kitchen Zones Description: The idea behind a “zoned” kitchen layout is that the kitchen will work best if divided into zones with different functions. For example, the zones could be food storage, food prep, cooking, eating, cleaning, and kitchen storage.

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L-Shape. An L-shaped kitchen solves the problem of maximizing corner space, and it’s a smart design for small and medium sized kitchens. The versatile L-shaped kitchen consists of countertops on two adjoining walls that are perpendicular, forming an L. The “legs” of the L can be as long as you want, though keeping them less than 12 to 15 feet will allow you to efficiently use the space.

Galley. This efficient, “lean” layout is ideal for smaller spaces and one-cook kitchens. The galley kitchen, also called a walk-through kitchen, is characterized by two walls opposite of each other—or two parallel countertops with a walkway in between them. Galleys make the best use of every square inch of space, and there are no troublesome corner cabinets to configure, which can add to a cabinetry budget. Download a sample floorplan.

With an L-shaped layout, you’ll eliminate traffic: The kitchen will not become a thoroughfare because it’s just not logistically possible. Plus, you can easily add a dining space and multiple work zones to this layout. However, avoid this layout if your kitchen is large and can support other configurations, such as adding an island, or if multiple cooks will be using the space. Download a sample floorplan.

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