The layout of your kitchen is largely determined by the shape and size of the space. With the goal being to create a kitchen that is as spacious as possible, comfortable and ergonomically designed. There are several layout options, each with pros and cons. But before you settle on any of these, consider how you intend to use the space to determine the best solution for your lifestyle.
Usually long and narrow, a galley kitchen is a good layout for compact situations, with fitted furniture along one or on two opposite walls. Tips for maximising on comfortable levels in the galley kitchen include ensuring there is adequate space running along the middle allowing for ease of access to cupboards, drawers and appliances. If it is a family kitchen you will need enough room for at least two people to be able to work around each other without too much of a squeeze.
Light colours are best suited to such layouts to avoid the space feeling too cramped, with a mix of materials and finishes adding personality.
This is a popular layout option as it offers a good mix of storage and ergonomics. Creating the ideal working triangle between the cook top, sink and refrigerator, an L-Shape kitchen often also allows room for a dining area or breakfast bar. This makes it an ideal layout for families or for households where entertaining is often on the menu. Worktop space will be optimised in an L-Shaped kitchen, so choose the surface wisely with durability and aesthetics in mind and keep them clutter-free with a good amount of internal storage in cabinets and drawers.
If your kitchen is medium-size, it may be able to accommodate a U-Shape layout. People who love to cook will love a U-Shaped kitchen, as there is ample space to manoeuvre. By including a peninsula instead of the fourth wall the entire space is transformed into a contemporary, open-plan environment, with the kitchen area clearly defined and an informal seating area created.
Again the conventional working triangle is easily defined with this layout, making it another plus point for keen cooks.
The multi-functional nature of an open-plan kitchen makes it a popular option for modern families. Here, the kitchen, dining and living areas combine to make one free-flowing space. An island unit acts as a natural division between the kitchen and living area while also providing an informal dining space simply by adding two or three bar stools.
In larger, open-plan kitchens the working triangle becomes more of a working circle, with the food preparation area no longer confined to one corner, but often brought centre stage as part of the island.
A key feature of an open-plan kitchen will be the surfaces, which can be chosen to help zone the space and define the various areas. An island topped in a contrasting colour to the remainder of the work surfaces, for example, draws the eye and creates an instant focal point. Handle-free cabinets create a streamlined and uncluttered finish, while some open shelving can help create a sense of privacy while maintaining the open-plan feel.
For more design and layout ideas for your new kitchen visit our photo gallery.