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The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Layouts

A good kitchen layout makes all the difference in utilizing your kitchen space. The size of your kitchen shouldn’t worry as long as you master the best ways to design your kitchen layout. You shouldn’t just place your appliances and cabinets anyhow, place them with a plan of making the kitchen environment easier to work in. Also, don’t let your floor plan confine you to specific kitchen layouts that you don’t like. In this article, we are going to share alternative kitchen layouts that you can try out.

Kitchen Ergonomics

A good kitchen layout is one that makes it easier for you and anyone else in the kitchen to move freely. The science of making this environment conducive for people is known as kitchen ergonomics. Remember, don’t force it; plan your layout based on the kitchen size and the principles of the kitchen triangle

Kitchen Triangle

The kitchen triangle, also known as the kitchen work triangle, was designed between the 1920s and 1940s. It is a tool that was designed to place the food preparation areas, food storage (refrigerator), and cleaning areas in a way that allows for easy movement in the kitchen. All kitchen layouts need to adhere to the principles of a kitchen triangle.

Principles of a Kitchen Triangle

• The legs of the triangle should be between 1.2 Meters and 2.7 Meters in length and a combined length of between 4 Meters and 8 Meters.
• When installing your appliances, ensure that they don’t intersect the triangle at any point.
• The kitchen triangle is meant to facilitate easy movement for the one who’s cooking. Any other movement by other people should be minimized within the triangle during this time.
For an efficient kitchen layout, following the following dimension guidelines;
• The door to your kitchen should be 0.81 Meters in width.
• Kitchen entry doors shouldn’t collide with the appliances’ doors. The appliances should also be spaced to ensure the doors don’t block each other.
• The paths within the triangle should be between 1.1 meters and 1.25 meters, depending on how many people are cooking. The width should be at least 0.9 Meters.
• The sink should be next to the top of the cooking area.
• In the sitting area, create an allowance of 0.6 meters and a 0.5 Meters clearance for the legs. This is assuming that you’re using a standard table of 0.76 Meters in height. If you’re using a taller or shorter table, you can adjust the allowance and clearance as you fit.
• The distance from the dishwasher to the sink should be at least 0.9 Meters. Also, a working space of 0.76 Meters in width by 0.6 Meters in depth should be located next to the sink.
• Every cooking area should have a landing area of 0.3 Meters by 0.38 Meters.
• A landing area of at least 1.2 Meters should be placed opposite to the refrigerator. A smaller of about 0.4 Meters, one can alternatively be placed next to it.
• Ensure that there is a ventilation system overall cooking appliance.
• Fire extinguishers should be installed away from all other cooking appliances, preferably at the kitchen exit. Also, avoid installing cooking areas close to windows.
• You can choose any type of microwave but ensure it has a landing area of 1.2 Meters directly opposite. Alternatively, you can create a 0.4 meters landing area next to it.
• An ideal countertop space for food preparation, cooking, and storage should be 4 Meters and 0.6 Meters deep.
• Ensure that you have enough lighting, both ambient and task lighting. This ensures that you laminate the countertops, inside, and under the cabinets.
The principles and guidelines described above are in the courtesy of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. It is important to have them in mind when choosing the best kitchen layout for your kitchen. Now, let’s review some of the common kitchen layout designs you can try.

Kitchen Layout Designs

1. One Wall Kitchen
This is a type of kitchen layout where cabinets are placed along one wall. This layout is common in smaller kitchens where the aim is to save on space and minimize the construction costs. Not only the cabinets but also the appliances and countertops are installed in one linear wall. It’s a simple kitchen layout that lets you carry out all of your kitchen activities from one single location. The kitchen triangle may be difficult to achieve in such a layout, but you can place the refrigerator on end, the range on the other, and the sink in the middle. However, adding a kitchen island in this layout could help you achieve the kitchen triangle. Once you have the island, all you need to do is place one of these appliances on it.
Since you have limited space, you can build more cabinets towards the sky or store some items on the space above the cabinets.

2. Galley Kitchen

This is another ergonomic kitchen layout. It involves a long hallway with cabinets and other kitchen appliances on both walls facing each other. Due to its simplicity, it’s relatively cheap to construct compared to other kitchen layouts. Also, it saves on space, especially when you install just the crucial gadgets. This type of layout works well for both large and small kitchens.
For efficiency, install only the appliances you need. These may include a sink, a counter, refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher. Kitchen Island may have to be portable in this layout. Ensure that the sinks aren’t too large. They should also drop in to allow for more counter space. To create more storage areas, build cabinets towards the ceiling and even over windows that you don’t use. The walking paths tend to be narrow in this layout. To avoid commotion when there is high traffic in the kitchen, you can concentrate all functions on one section of the kitchen.
3. L Shaped Kitchen
Unlike the Galley and One Wall kitchen layouts, this one involves cabinets meeting at a perpendicular angle. It sometimes poses a challenge to the basic kitchen cabinets, but there are numerous workarounds to utilize this corner. It’s one of the most popular kitchen layouts due to the flexibility it offers. For it to work, you can assign simpler tasks on one wing then dedicate another wing for countertop appliances, food preparation, and cooking. For the efficiency and application of a kitchen triangle, you can add a kitchen triangle. Also, for aesthetic purposes, you can add a window for a greater view, preferably behind the sink.
4. U Shaped Kitchen
This layout involves having cabinets on three on three adjacent walls forming a U. This type of kitchen layout is ideal for people who need a lot of storage units. If you don’t need a lot of storage, you can reduce the number of cabinets on some walls. The working areas on this layout are ample, minimizing any commotions caused by a lot of traffic in the kitchen. You can conduct your kitchen functions on one or two wings, leaving the others for the other kitchen users.
5. Island Kitchen
If you have a large kitchen space, this might be the best kitchen plan for you. It involves a large kitchen island where you carry out all your kitchen activities. It’s also ideal when you have friends and family over and would like to have some great times in the kitchen as you prepare meals. Due to the available space, people can easily move within the kitchen without interfering with food preparation. Decorative task lighting can really brighten up this kitchen layout.
If you have limited space for a standalone island, you can opt for the Peninsula Kitchen. This is where the kitchen island extends from one side of the wall or cabinet. You still get to enjoy all the benefits of an island kitchen.

Final Thoughts

For efficient use of the kitchen space, you need to come up with a kitchen layout that’s best for your kitchen. Also, this kitchen layout needs to adhere to the kitchen triangle principles as well as the National Kitchen and Bath Association guidelines. If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen, this article shares the principles as well as some of the kitchen layout designs you can try out.

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