Kitchen design and decoration require special attention. Kitchens have become the headquarters of family life. In order to achieve the functional design, kitchen layouts must take into account the type and order of activities performed there, as well as the possibilities of the existing space.
The main challenge in the design of a kitchen is properly solving the distribution for quick access to each and every one of the areas and gadgets, thus achieving a good movement and flow. The actual shape of the room (square, rectangular, etc.) will determine the best configuration.
Let’s explore some tried and true classic kitchen layouts and how they perform within a particular shaped room.
L-Shaped Kitchen Layouts
If the space is rectangular, a very efficient kitchen distribution is in the form of an L. If there is no window on the shorter side, this is where you should install the hob (which should be as far as possible from the entry of the kitchen.) The refrigerator, sink and dishwasher are better placed in the long side (whether there is a window or not). A small dining area composed by a breakfast bar –in this example just a narrow bar due to the dimensions of the room— can find its place at the other long wall, as it stays free of installations.
This distribution can be installed in any kitchen, except those with more than two doors, or very narrow spaces.
In this second example of L-shaped kitchen distributions we show a rectangular space with a window on the narrow wall, at the back. In cases like this, it is advisable to always try to leave the wall where the window is as clear as possible. All the countertop then concentrates into one corner, while leaving the other for placing your fridge. L-shaped kitchens often leave enough space to install a small table.
Photo by ArmchairBuilder.com on Flickr
Kitchen Layouts with Serving Hatch
The location of the entry door is crucial in the distribution of the furniture and appliances along the walls. In this case, where the access is present in the longest side of the space, it doesn’t allow for a small dining table. This inability can be resolved with a serving hatch window that connects the kitchen with the dining area on the next room. Furthermore, in order to increase the feeling of spaciousness, you can replace a common door with a sliding one.
Kitchen Layouts on Two Fronts
The elongated design of certain spaces for a kitchen allows placing furniture in two parallel rows. In order to create a “triangle” of work, the sink should be on one side (preferably in the middle), and the hob and refrigerator should be installed on the opposite side of the space.
Photo by Christy Bright on Flickr
The rectangular layout of this kitchen and its considerable width allows to distribute the furniture on two fronts, so the central window stays clear. (Kitchen lighting is a complex subject that has a tremendous influence on function and design.) On the longest wall, in front of the entry door, the work area is installed, which includes the hob, the sink and wall units. On the opposite wall, the refrigerator and ovens are installed with some more storage space.
Kitchen Layouts with Peninsula
When the space is more generous in surface, you can have two distinct areas within the same room: one for cooking, with a U shape, and the other for dining. In this example, the refrigerator was placed at the corner, next to the countertop with upper and lower cabinets. Closing the L, the top continues forming a peninsula that serves as an extra surface for food preparation and breakfast bar, and separates the cooking area from the dining area.
U-Shaped Kitchen Layouts
U-shaped furniture distribution allows you to maximize the space of a square kitchen and helps differentiating the cooking area, the sink and space reserved for storage. This example is made with cabinets covering the entire height of the kitchen. A “triangle” of work becomes evident with the placement of the kitchen sink under the window, the hob on the back wall, and the fridge and ovens on the wall opposite to the window. The U stops with a bar and two stools forming a small dining area.
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