Whether you’re designing a new kitchen or reconfiguring an old one, the key to creating a space you love is choosing the right layout. Here’s how…
How to choose the right layout for your kitchen
People often refer to kitchens as the heart of the home. Kiwis in particular love cooking and we entertain at home often, so it’s essential to have a kitchen that responds to our needs and lifestyle. Functionality is the key to a successful kitchen so it’s important to decide on your layout first before you choose fittings and finishes. The more considered your design is, the easier it will be to get the most out of your space.
To create a clear picture of how your kitchen needs to work for you, start by figuring out what your current cooking, living and entertaining habits are. Does there tend to be multiple people in there at the same time? Is your kitchen a space purely for cooking or will it be a multiuse hub where the kids can do their homework and you can entertain from?
Once you have an idea of what your family needs it’ll be much easier to determine the best layout. There are several popular kitchen layouts, each one serving a slightly different purpose regarding storage, workspace and efficiency. Take a look at these four popular designs with your most important requirements in mind and you could be surprised by what design actually suits your home and needs more:
The L-shaped kitchen layout is a really popular one. Just like its name suggests, it’s configured with one side longer than the other. It’s connection to the wider room makes it perfect for open plan living and it’s a great option if you entertain regularly and need a multi-purpose space.
However, the limited wall space of this design means it’s not always the best choice if you have a big, busy household and need a lot of storage. A popular solution to combat a lack of storage is to add a central island.
The line kitchen is the perfect solution for small spaces. This layout runs along a single wall and its simple design makes it a popular choice for apartments. It’s perfect if space is at a premium in your home and because it’s a budget friendly option with a small footprint it’s fantastic for baches.
However, having all your appliances on one wall limits your bench space, which can make it difficult if you have multiple people trying cook at the same time. Adding a kitchen island is a popular way to create extra bench and storage space.
The galley layout features parallel bench tops and is one of the most functional design options for your kitchen. It gets its name from a galley found in a ship or train and because of the compact, efficient nature of this layout you’ll notice it’s featured in most restaurants.
Its configuration places everything you need in easy reach making it ideal for cooking but it’s not always ideal if you enjoy entertaining. You end up being cut off from guests and it can be a bit tight when there are multiple people in the kitchen. A possible solution is to open up one side of the galley to your living space, which would also create a breakfast bar. Keep in mind that you would lose some storage by doing this.
The U-shaped layout is the ideal option for busy cooks and households. Because it runs down three walls it allows for lots of counter space and storage. This extra bench space also means you have the flexibility to create zones for prep, cooking, cleaning and food storage.
The U-shaped kitchen is known as a great example of the ‘golden triangle’ in kitchen design, which is where the positioning of your sink, stove and fridge creates an efficient work zone. The main thing to consider with a U-shaped layout is how much space you have to work with. If you don’t have adequate room it can end up being rather cramped and it doesn’t always make it easy to include a seating area if you need a multi-use space.
Online design planner
If you’re having trouble visualising what would work best in your space the PlaceMakers online Design Planner is an easy way to test out ideas and play around with different layouts, finishes, furniture and styles. All you have to do is measure your space, put the measurements into the Planner, then start designing. You can begin from scratch or if you need extra inspiration you can choose from their selection of pre-designed kitchens.
You can also review your finished kitchen design in 3D, giving you peace of mind that your final choice is perfect for your home. If you’d like to speak to someone in person PlaceMakers also offer free in-store consultations. Click here to book a free consultation.
How to measure your kitchen
Photography courtesy of PlaceMakers and Maree Homer/bauersyndication.com.au.