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Top 3 Kitchen Layouts

Remodeling a kitchen can be a bit overwhelming considering all the layout designs you have to take into account. To make the process a little less daunting, ask yourself some of these sample questions, which will help you get a better idea of what you want out of a custom-designed kitchen.

While it may be important to you that your new kitchen reflects your style and personality, it also needs to be a functional space.

So before you start making any design decisions, imagine each section of your kitchen as serving different key roles. This will help you to choose a design that provides a workflow that reflects your personality and creates efficiency.

The Work Triangle

Whether you are a novice or professional chef, there are three essential components in any kitchen: Food prep, cooking, and cleanup. An efficient design will have easy access to all three of these areas — typically the refrigerator, stove, and sink — and in most modern kitchen designs they are arranged as points on a triangle.

Kitchen layout work triangle
Source: Premier Kitchen Design 

The work triangle is one of the most time-tested and efficient designs, because it streamlines the cook’s movements through the kitchen. The more you decrease the distance between those points on the triangle, the more efficient the kitchen will be.

You will want to keep this basic triangle in mind as you choose your layout. How you incorporate it into your design will determine the best layout for your footprint and lifestyle.

With that in mind, take a look at the pros and cons to three of the top kitchen designs.

U-Shaped Layout

U shaped kitchen layout
Source: Premier Kitchen Design

Pros: This is a great design for a single cook, since it has the most open space of all three designs. No matter how you situate the work triangle in the space, it is the most efficient since you don’t have any obstacles keeping you from each area, and it is the least crowded design.

Cons: The U-shaped layout does not allow for as much traffic flow when other people are in the kitchen. If you like to entertain while you cook, or cook with other people, this design will slow everyone down, and it doesn’t provide any seating areas unless you add an island (see island layout).

L-Shaped Layout

L shaped kitchen layout

Source: Premier Kitchen Design 

Pros: With this layout, you can have more people in the kitchen and still maintain efficiency by keeping your work triangle within the L shape. Depending on your footprint, you can easily add seating on the other side of the L for entertaining or mingling. It also allows easier access to a side or back door that leads to a deck or outside seating when you are hosting parties during nice weather.

Cons: Cooks who don’t want other people in the kitchen may not find this design as efficient as the U-shape. Plus, the tight corners of the triangle may not provide as much flow or accommodate as much prep space.

Island Layout

Island kitchen layout

Source: Premier Kitchen Design 

Pros: You can use any layout with the island design, given how much space you have to work with. Adding an island in your kitchen provides more prep space, seating, and interest through design aspects, such as decorative and versatile islands that can be used as prep areas and seating. If you want more cleaning space, consider an island with a sink or dishwasher.

Cons: The major issue with a kitchen island is that it disrupts the flow and efficiency; however, you can install an island that has wheels for more mobility and space options.

No matter which design you choose, it is important to keep in mind that your lifestyle and preferences should be key components in making your decision, along with including the work triangle that works best with your footprint.

Talk to your contractor to get more ideas about what you can do with the space you have. Lastly, ask anyone who has been through this process about what they would change or keep if given the opportunity to do it again–this perspective is always helpful.
By Ashley Watson

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