Kitchen Design Options for You

As important as cabinetry and appliances may be, even more significant for your kitchen’s functionality is the actual layout. Regardless of your layout style, work surfaces and relative arrangement of elements deserve some serious consideration.

Work Triangle or Work Zones

The traditional “work triangle” refers to the arrangement of the three hubs for primary tasks in your kitchen: the cooktop, the sink, and the refrigerator. By positioning those elements in a triangular fashion, you’re able to efficiently move from one task to another. If you use your kitchen solely for food preparation and cooking, the triangular arrangement may well be ideal. However, many moderns consider the kitchen central to the home for more than food-related activities. That trend has led to the emergence of work zones centering on various kitchen functions:

Storing: Dry food storage is best positioned near the refrigerator, for streamlined unloading and organizing of groceries.

Cooking: Prep surfaces border the cooktop on both sides, and cooking utensils and cookware are kept within easy reach.

Cleaning: By placing recycling bins and the dishwasher — in addition to dishware, drinkware, and serving and eating utensil storage — near the sink and one another, cleanup is a cinch!

Entertaining: Today’s kitchens often include computer stations as well as dedicated seating for socialization.

Optimal Work Surfaces

If your kitchen has enough space, you can greatly increase its storage potential as well as work zone possibilities by adding a peninsula or island. A freestanding bonus space, the kitchen island often incorporates bar-height seating that offers space for entertainment and cooking. Some islands incorporate a prep sink, cooktop, or both. Connected to the kitchen on one side, a peninsula functions much like an island. Easier to incorporate into a smaller kitchen, a peninsula can serve a variety of purposes.

Kitchen Layout Options

You can incorporate your choice of work triangle or work zone as well as an added work surface, no matter the layout. Here are five basic ones that most homeowners prefer:

Single Wall Design: This open layout is common in smaller homes and lofts. With all zones arranged linearly, efficiency is easily achieved.

Galley Design: While the galley layout is not conducive for socializing or allowing multiple people to participate in KP, it is quite efficient. Essentially, the galley kitchen is long and narrow, similar to most restaurant kitchens.

U-Shaped Design: Similar but wider than the galley layout, this one-cook kitchen design is open to the rest of the house, but on only one side. By adding a pass-through or eliminating upper cabinets, you can create an open peninsula that allows the cook to socialize with others.

G-Shaped Design: If you start with a U-shaped layout, you can easily add on a peninsula to create a G-shaped layout, allowing for more than one cook to participate in meal preparation.

L-Shaped Design: Able to accommodate entertaining and a variety of work zones, the open design of an L-shaped kitchen allows space to add an island or a table of chairs.

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