Guide to your Kitchen layout
Acknowledged as the true heart of the home by homeowners and interior designers alike, more people than ever before are showing their kitchen the priority it deserves.
The role played by the kitchen in almost every home has changed practically beyond recognition over recent years. Increasingly, households are shifting away from the interpretation and use of kitchens as a purely functional space, and instead integrating it as a place to eat, relax, entertain – and now even work.
Even a rudimentary kitchen makeover can completely transform the dynamic of the entire space. Irrespective of the size or positioning of the kitchen, small changes often add up to a big difference. But if you really want to overhaul the comfort and all-round convenience of your home, nothing fits the bill better than a new kitchen design.
Working with Chester Swan can ensure that you get what you want that best suits you and your family.
In this guide, we will take a look at a selection of common kitchen layouts and assessing what makes them popular, how you can layout your kitchen and how it may fit with your existing space. There will also be a series of design tips, tricks and guidelines for getting the most out of your kitchen – whatever layout and design you have to work with.
Of course, in many cases, the layout of your kitchen will be dictated by the existing space, and don’t worry – we’ve got great solutions no matter the size or unusual shape of your kitchen.
Understanding Your Kitchen Layout
Before getting started, it is important to highlight at this stage that there is technically no such thing as the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to design a kitchen. Just as long as you are delighted with the final result, it is entirely up to you how you choose to organise your furniture and style the space.
Visualising your ideal kitchen is about more than simply coming up with the colour scheme you want and a list of appliances you need. A good place to start is to think about how your new kitchen could be divided to create a series of separate zones.
For example, if you have lots of kitchen utensils, you could ensure appropriate storage solutions for your pots, while pans and utensils are positioned as close as possible to your cooker and hob. Likewise, your primary food prep surfaces should ideally be located close to your refrigerator and dry storage units, with convenient access to a bin.
When you have lots of available space, a range of kitchen layouts may be available to you – which do provide more freedom when it comes to design. You may choose to incorporate a kitchen island, or add a smaller space for more intimate events.
Where space is limited, it’s often more a case of making your kitchen layout work for you. For example, being clever with storage and surface space for a galley kitchen will not only make life easier, but will also add value if you’re thinking of selling your home.
When considering how to lay out your units, firstly consider how you like to use the space. Are you a real foodie with a passion for cooking? If so you may need lots of space for prep. Do you love a kitchen gadget? In that case you may want to consider adding more worktop space to allow for all of those mixers, coffee machines and whatnot.
Ask your Chester Swan design consultant about any of these budget saving ideas that you’d like to try! We can help you transform your kitchen in less time, with less stress at an amazing value!
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Whatever you choose to design your kitchen, one important tip to be mindful of is to avoid attempting to cram too much into any given space. Irrespective of the layout and design of the kitchen, a cramped and cluttered environment rarely makes for a practical or pleasant experience for those using it.
Often, less is more – particularly when looking to make the most of a relatively compact kitchen space.
And understanding kitchen layout isn’t just about positioning your units but knowing how and when you are most likely to use certain parts of your kitchen allows you to get clever with lighting, flooring and furnishing too.
L Shaped Layout
One of the most popular kitchen layouts of all time is the L-shaped kitchen. As the name suggests, an L-shaped kitchen comprises two primary walls in an L-shaped configuration and typically opens into another interior space. This makes the L-shaped layout perfect for houses and apartments where a spacious open-plan design is the preferred option.
L-shaped kitchens can vary in size from cosy and compact to extensive and quite enormous. They can also be designed to suit any interior décor preference – anything from modern minimalist to the classic country cottage feel. There is also limitless scope for experimentation with colours.
The most common approach to L-shaped kitchen design is to position the sink on one axis and the cooker on the other, in a way that creates plenty of free worktop space for food preparation.
You could also consider installing a breakfast bar on the boundary of your L-shaped kitchen, creating a casual dining space to further enhance the practicality and comfort of your kitchen.
One of the biggest benefits of the L-shaped kitchen is that it can help to create more floor space. This in turn makes manoeuvring around the kitchen so much easier, and also provides the illusion of more overall space – thanks to the uncluttered look.
U Shaped Kitchens
U shaped kitchens can be designed to fit small and large spaces alike. This type of kitchen comprises three walls to create a U-shape, resulting in a square or rectangle configuration depending on the layout of the property.
A U-shaped kitchen in a particularly expansive home brings almost limitless scope for experimentation – similar to the L-shaped kitchen outlined above. Where there is limited space to play with, it is important to be mindful of any potentially protruding accessories or appliances that could make a smaller U-shaped kitchen feel cramped and uncomfortable.
Typically, two of the walls in a U-shaped kitchen will feature plenty of cabinets (often up to the ceiling) to create plenty of storage space. However, the third wall will almost always be left open to prevent the space from becoming cramped and claustrophobic. It is also important to ensure sufficient countertop space is available along one wall of the kitchen for food preparation.
Think about the kinds of colours, tones and materials that will reflect light around the space and make best use of the natural light that enters through the windows or doors.
The Working Triangle
The kitchen triangle is a popular interior design concept for creating a practical and convenient kitchen layout. Quite simply, the objective of the kitchen triangle is to create a smooth and seamless working flow between the most important areas of your kitchen.
The three main points of the kitchen triangle are your cooker, your fridge and your sink. Where the principles of the kitchen triangle are applied, you should never have to walk more than one to three steps to get from any point in the triangle to any other point in the triangle.
This makes using your kitchen whether for entertainment, meal preparation, or relaxing easier to navigate.
It can sometimes be tempting to space things out as far as possible with a larger kitchen to create a spacious and airy feel. However, doing so without being mindful of the kitchen triangle can result in the space not being as practical as it should be. For a smaller kitchen, it’s important to consider how easily you can access every element.
For example, if the fridge is located on the other side of the kitchen from the cooker and behind a large central island, popping in and out for items while cooking on the hob is not going to be convenient and is likely to grate on your nerves every single time you prepare dinner!
Galley Kitchen Layout
A galley kitchen consists of two sets of cabinets positioned opposite each other, fitted to two opposing walls down what tends to be a relatively narrow space. Galley kitchens take their name from the somewhat confined kitchens of ships, which despite being narrow can be exceptionally efficient.
As with a U-shaped kitchen, achieving the ideal working triangle with a galley kitchen can be surprisingly simple.
The key to effective design again lies in creating zones and ensuring there is plenty of worktop space available for performing daily tasks. The sink will usually be placed on one side of the room and the cooker on the other, with plenty of cabinets and raised storage solutions to make the most of the vertical space available.
Floating shelves in particular are a popular feature in contemporary galley kitchen, which along with maximising storage space can be an attractive design feature in their own right.
Galley kitchens in particular have a tendency to feel cramped, crowded and uncomfortable when decorated in dark colours and oppressive patterns. Experimentation with lighter and brighter tones is therefore advisable, as is the installation of multiple lighting sources to avoid problematic shadows and dark corners.
A kitchen island can be incorporated seamlessly and beautifully into any kitchen layout, making the working triangle even easier to accomplish. Whereas some kitchen islands are used simply as worktops, others feature the kitchen’s primary cooker, sink and waste disposal system. Where the functional components of a kitchen are centralised, the rest of the space in its entirety can be used for other tasks.
The only ‘rule’ to follow when it comes to kitchen island design is to ensure that the island is not so large as to become an obstacle or a nuisance. As a general guideline, make sure you will still have at least one metre of space between the surfaces, fixtures and appliances in your kitchen, after installing the island.
When choosing to install an island, it’s important that the flow of your kitchen remains uninterrupted – put simply your island should compliment your layout – not restrict it.
Kitchen islands are often the “showcase” of the kitchen, but should always offer both practicality and an aesthetic draw.
A great way of bringing light and life into your kitchen, just as long as you have the space available to accommodate it.
Get Your Dream Kitchen
Once again, it is important to remember that the only ‘correct’ approach to kitchen design is the approach that suits your preferences and requirements. Though given the nature of the kitchen as a primarily functional space, practicality and convenience must be prioritised – particularly when you have limited space to play with.
Having a full and defined plan of action in mind is essential, before you begin the process of tearing out your current kitchen. If you are not completely sure what type of kitchen would best suit your home, we would be delighted to provide you with an obligation-free consultation.
We provide a range of bespoke quality, modern, kitchens. Supported by a fast, professional and responsive care package including a comprehensive planning, design and fitting service we offer dream kitchens at great prices.
Chester Swan’s showroom – Swansea, London and Chester displays over 100 doors with the leading appliance and worktop brands from around the world. Chester Swan your Number One choice for KBB furniture.
Our product range is one of the most comprehensive on the market. In addition to a wide choice of both Traditional and Contemporary kitchens, we also offer an exclusive German Rigid Range. This all allows us to design a state-of-the-art kitchen to fit any size or shape room.