Kitchen Layouts

In larger kitchens, an island (or two) can break up the space in attractive ways, help direct traffic, provide convenient storage, and present the chef with useful countertop work space that borders (but does not block) the work triangle. For good traffic flow,islandsshould have at least 3 or 4 feet of aisle on each side. A smallpeninsulamay be a good alternative to an island in kitchens where space is limited. Never put an island in a kitchen where two points of the work triangle are on opposite walls; it will get in the way. As you move items around in the plan, always remember yourwork triangle.

There are four main kitchen layouts: Galley, L, U, and G (Peninsula). Each accommodates a work triangle in its own way.

Efficient, but counter space is limited and foot traffic can be disruptive.

Popular. No foot traffic crosses through work triangle. Lots of counter space.

Surrounds the cook with appliances and counter space. Ideal for an island if the U is big enough.

Cozy. Lots of counter space. Links the kitchen to the dining area with a common counter surface.

Now that youve seen some of the options available, you can design your own kitchen with our helpful Start Your Floor Plan tool.

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5 Most Popular Kitchen Layouts

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Learn how a kitchens shape affects its functionality, the pros and cons of each and which layout is right for you.

The three points of the frequently mentioned work triangle are the range, sink and refrigerator. Appliances can be broken up with the classic shapes; for example, the cooktop and wall ovens might be in different areas. Two sinks are important for a two-cook kitchen.

To really break up the different areas of the kitchen, consider a zone design. In this kitchen, a separate work station exists for cooking, eating and even cleaning, allowing space for several helpers all at once.

The galley, or corridor, kitchen has two straight runs on either side. Typically the sink is on one side and the range is on the other. The drawback to this design is traffic flow. A simple, one-wall design can be transformed into a galley shape with the addition of an island opposite the wall of cabinets. Islands help replace needed storage that is lost in an open kitchen design with limited wall cabinets.

For more privacy when cooking, choose an L-shaped layout which forces the traffic out of the work area. For more interaction with family and guests, try an L-shape with an island. The L-shaped kitchen has a main wall of cabinets with either the sink or range and a shorter run of cabinets placed in an L-configuration.

The U-shape evolved as storage needs increased. It provides a massive expanse of counter and storage space as well as great flexibility. The G-shape is the basic U with another little leg. It is great for a one-cook kitchen and allows the work area to be spread out.Design by Rate My Space user SANDCASTLES.

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A lot of home activities cooking, cleaning, eating, drinking, socializing take place in the kitchen. Thats why it needs to be both beautiful and functional. Regardless of yourkitchen design style, organization and layout are essential. Here are the 10 mistakes to avoid in order to achieve both practical and elegant kitchen design.

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Specialists refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle, the area of greatest activity that requires careful planning and unobstructed access. Of the three, the sink typically sees the most action; it should have easy access to the stove and refrigerator, as well as your countertop workstations.

Obviously, your sink needs to be near the plumbing. Sometimes, however, because of the placement of the pipes, kitchens are designed with the sinks in a poor location. If this is the case in your kitchen, consider hiring a plumber to relocate the plumbing to accommodate the best placement for the sink.

Regardless of your kitchens size or layout (L-shaped, galley, U-shaped or island), the sum of all the legs in a work triangle should not be less than 10 feet or greater than 25 feet. If the work triangle is too small, people will be tripping over each other; if its too large, food preparation could be a tiring task.

Kitchens typically contain lots of stuff. Not only that, but items often concealed behindkitchen cabinetscan be oddly shaped and require a lot of space, such as food processors or stand mixers. Finding a home for your appliances while keeping them easily accessible can be tricky.

Because built-ins are expensive and the overall size of the area may be limited, one big design mistake is not including enough storage. Almost every kitchen has wasted space, but this can be minimized with adequate planning and forethought.

If your kitchen is small, consider installing extra-long upper cabinets with molding for extra storage space. Place lighting or greenery along the molding to draw the eyes up. Always install cabinets over the refrigerator; not utilizing this area is a waste of storage space for large or seasonal kitchen items. Finally, install shelves across the backs of the lower kitchen cabinet; this could add up to 4 square feet of storage space.

One of the biggest complaints about kitchen design is the lack of counter space. Considering all the kitchen activities that require a countertop, as well as appliances that are permanently located there, you want to fit as much open horizontal surface area in a kitchen as possible. This can be achieved by adding an island or breakfast bar to an L-shaped kitchen.

The kitchen is one room where you cant afford to have poor lighting. Its not only a matter of design and atmosphere, but also safety when it comes to handling sharp knives and other kitchen tools. Plus, the more light you have in the room, the better you can show off your design elements.

Rooms generally need three types of lighting: general lighting for overall illumination, task lighting and accent lighting. For your kitchen, evaluate the work areas and focus on providing each spot with the light it needs. Consider adding lighting directly above all the main work areas.

Use pendant lights or a series of mini-pendants to enhance the beauty of the kitchen. Pendants look great above kitchen sinks, while a series of mini-pendants work well over breakfast bars and kitchen islands. Install under-cabinet lighting to ensure that the counters have sufficient lighting for common kitchen tasks.

When budgeting or designing a new kitchen or remodel, the backsplash sometimes slips to the end of the list. Occasionally, its left out of the plan altogether. This may save you money in the short term, but in the long run it will cost you a lot of time and effort.

Think about all the steam, water and grease in the kitchen, and youll understand why installing a backsplash above the cooktop and counters is a smart idea. It is much easier to clean grease off a backsplash made of tile, metal or plastic than paint or wallpaper.

The best kitchen design fades in the presence of noxious odors. If youve ever walked into someones home and smelled last nights fish lingering in the air, youll understand the importance of good ventilation.

Inexpensive range hoods simply circulate dirty, stale air, while a good ventilation system will improve the quality of your indoor air and also help keep your kitchen cleaner. It also helps to extend the life of your appliances.

Although it can be a substantial investment, a good ventilation system will make life easier and more pleasant, especially if your kitchen opens to a living area or family room.

When it comes tokitchen islands, we generally think of additional storage, preparation and serving space in the kitchen. But the fact of the matter is that kitchen islands can waste a lot of space. Choosing the wrong island or placing it in the wrong spot can be a disaster, especially in a work area that can get overly cluttered.

Islands that obstruct the flow of traffic to and from the sink, refrigerator, stove and primary workstations will create bottlenecks. An island should be at least 4 feet long and 2 feet deep, but it also must have room for people to move and work around it. Specialists say that unless your kitchen is at least 8 feet deep and 12 feet long, you shouldnt even consider an island.

As recycling has become more prevalent, dealing with trash in kitchen design has gone beyond sticking a bin under the sink. Be prepared to manage your trash efficiently  incorporate sorting bins for recylables into your kitchen design.

Although its not necessarily a mistake, the latest kitchen trends and high-end equipment may not be the best choices. Trendy colors and designs have a short half-life, and you may never see a return on your large investments in the latest kitchenware. Look forkitchen innovations and appliancesthat are timeless.

Taking on a kitchen design project to save money is a common mistake; it can actually waste more money, time and energy. Professional designers have the latest ideas and information, and they can help you identify your needs and translate them into an efficient plan that fits your taste and budget.

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Common Kitchen Layouts

Deciding on a layout for a kitchen is probably the most important part of kitchen designthat determines how easy it is to cook, eat and socialize in the kitchen. At the most basic level, the layout addresses the placement of the appliances, the sink(s), the cabinets, the counters, the windows and doors, and furniture such as a kitchen table and chairs. If youre building a new home or adding on, you have the luxury of choosing the layout that works best for you and your family. If youre remodeling, the structure of the existing home will limit the options.

The most common kitchen layouts include theone-wall kitchen, thegalley kitchen, theU-shaped kitchen, theG-shaped kitchen, and theL-shaped kitchensome of which can also incorporate an island. Read on to find out the pros and cons of each option, as well as some tips for coping with the layout you already have.

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Layouts

Deciding on a layout for a kitchen is probably the most important part of kitchen design. Its the layout of the kitchenand not its color or its stylethat determines how easy it is to cook, eat and socialize in the kitchen. At the basic level, the layout addresses the placement of the appliances, the sink(s), the cabinets, the counters, the windows, and furniture such as a kitchen table and chairs.

Cooking Always a hot place to be, the cooking zone is where fire enters the picture. Centered around the range or cooktop, this is the spot where stir-frys, spaghetti, and sauces sizzle. You may want to keep your microwave and toaster oven here as well. Include: Deep drawers for pans

Food Prep This is where it all begins: in the food prep zone, you slice and dice your way toward dinner. If your kitchen is spacious enough to accommodate an island, the food prep zone would be well-placed there. Its helpful to include a second sink for rinsing fruits and

Designing your kitchen requires not only deciding on dcor and colors but also creating a space plan and choosing products that will allow your kitchen to function the way that best suits you. Answering these questions will help you to determine your needs and to consider possibilities you might not

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