Everyone has different needs for their ideal kitchen space. So how can you decide on the best layout without taking into account factors like the cook's needs, whether or not you want your kitchen to be a social hub, and the need for nearby dining space? All of these factors play into your decision to remodel your kitchen along the lines of one layout over another layout.
Yet, in the end, it is often the available kitchen space that dictates the layout. Unless yours is a custom-built home, it will have a certain amount and arrangement of space that points you toward a layout. Learn about the basic types of kitchen layouts available within a majority of homes, and how you can make changes within those layouts to make them more visually appealing and functional.
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Corridor-Style or Galley Kitchen
A corridor-style or galley kitchen consists of two parallel walls that are roughly 48 inches apart from each other once the cabinets have been installed. A corridor kitchen is a tight, narrow space often found in condominiums, apartments, and small single-family residences.
Pros and Cons
From the standpoint of kitchen functions, the corridor style layout is beneficial because all of the crucial services are within close reach.
Corridor-style kitchens are tucked away, leaving more floor space in the home available for other activities.
One chief disadvantage of corridor kitchens is that they are only kitchens. Due to the tight spacing, it is impossible to fit a dining area or kitchen island in the kitchen. However, due to the close spacing of the two parallel counters, there is no need for an island.
Corridor-style kitchens have poor resale value if the home is large enough to accommodate a larger kitchen.
A corridor or galley kitchen is best for small spaces, especially when those small spaces tend to be long and narrow. Use the corridor kitchen layout in condos, apartments, or rental properties.
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L-Shaped Kitchen Layout
The L-shaped kitchen layout is a classic design that satisfies the needs of most medium-sized homes and has been used successfully for decades. Forming the letter "L," cabinets extend in two directions, often with one section of cabinets longer than the other section.
Pros and Cons
An L-shaped kitchen layout utilizes the concept of the kitchen triangle, where workflow is organized in a roughly triangular shape between the stove, refrigerator, and sink. While this is not the only layout to take advantage of the kitchen triangle, the L-shaped layout is the most compact and cost-effective design that uses the kitchen triangle.
This layout opens up floor space for the addition of a dining area or an island.
Many kitchen cabinet manufacturers have sets of matched base and wall cabinets that form the basis of L-shaped kitchen design.
Cabinet space in the corner is deep and difficult to access. Therefore, corner cabinet space ends up as a repository for old containers, jars, and other little-used items. One way to combat this problem is to install a lazy susan to cycle items throughout this cavernous space.
An L-shaped kitchen layout is so versatile that it works in a wide variety of kitchens, particularly kitchens with more of a square shape than a rectangular one. A space of at least 10 feet by 10 feet is required.Continue to 3 of 4 below.
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One-Wall Kitchen Layout
A one-wall kitchen layout design is as basic as it gets. This design is perfect for long and narrow spaces. Everything in the kitchen, including cabinets, sink, refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher, is concentrated on one long wall.
Pros and Cons
One-wall kitchen layouts are simple to design and install.
Relative to the high cost of kitchen remodels, a one-wall design is fairly inexpensive because it uses fewer cabinets.
While it does not utilize the classic kitchen triangle, its linear design still allows for unimpeded traffic flow.
Counter space is extremely limited. This problem can be mitigated by installing a kitchen island running parallel to the cabinets.
Kitchen services are spaced farther apart than with other types of layouts.
A one-wall kitchen layout is best for large, open spaces where the kitchen and living room are one. This kitchen outlet hugs against one wall and provides maximum space for other activities in the room.
A one-wall kitchen layout can also go the other direction: compactness. When you have a space that has two walls (much like the galley kitchen) but you don't have enough space to add services on both walls, this can be done as a one-wall kitchen.Continue to 4 of 4 below.
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U-Shaped Kitchen Layout Design
A U-shaped kitchen layout consists of three sections of base cabinets forming the perimeter of a space, with one end open. The U-shaped layout needs to have three available walls so that it can be implemented. Alternatively, instead of a third wall, you can run a peninsula outward. This peninsula can be composed of base cabinets and a countertop.
Pros and Cons
The U-shaped kitchen layout is superior to many other layouts because it packs more services into its space.
This kitchen layout allows for more upper wall cabinets than other layouts.
The open center area of the U-shaped kitchen is usually large enough to place a kitchen island.
U-shaped kitchen layouts form a dead-end which stops traffic flow within the home.
Unless you have adequate space, it can be difficult to squeeze a large enough and truly functional kitchen island into a U-shaped kitchen design.
A U-shaped kitchen layout is ideal for large kitchen spaces that require a lot of counter and cabinet space.