How Do I Plan My Kitchen Layout?
Here’s everything you need to know about laying out your kitchen so it will work like a dream
Beginning your kitchen project? Read How to Start a Kitchen Renovation
When it comes to kitchen layouts, there are a few tried and tested formats to consider and your kitchen designer will be able to talk you through the pros and cons of each for your individual space. The main ones are galley, single wall, L-shaped and U-shaped.
A galley kitchen consists of two parallel runs of units forming a central corridor within which to work. A single wall kitchen layout is one where, as the name suggests, all furniture and appliances are arranged in a single line.
An L-shaped kitchen is formed of two adjoining runs of units, often referred to as the legs of the L. A U-shaped kitchen layout, sometimes called a C-shaped kitchen, comprises workspace on three adjoining walls, with an open side for access.
More: How to Plan a Galley Kitchen
How to Plan a Single-wall Kitchen
How to Plan an L-shaped Kitchen
How to Plan a U-shaped Kitchen
How to Design an Open-plan Kitchen Layout
A basic understanding of key kitchen dimensions, such as worktop height and appliance width, can be very helpful when planning a layout.
For example, most standard kitchen appliances, such as fridges, ovens and dishwashers, are 60cm x 60cm, and a standard worktop is 60cm deep to account for this. A working island will also have a minimum depth of 60cm. Worktops and islands are also usually 90cm high (this compares to a standard table height of 75cm).
Using these general dimensions, you can start to work out which type of layout might be possible in your space. You can use them to check if you have space for an island, for example, or to work out if you might need to look for smaller appliances in order to fit in everything you need.
For a full list of kitchen dimensions, take a look at the article below.
More: 10 Essential Kitchen Dimensions You Need to Know
Many designers plan kitchen layouts using the traditional ‘working triangle’ method, with the fridge, hob/oven and sink arranged in a triangle formation to reduce unnecessary steps between appliances and improve kitchen efficiency.
While it can work brilliantly, this classic method also has some limitations – and it doesn’t work for every kitchen. It also assumes there are only three appliances (fridge, hob/oven and sink), whereas most modern kitchens now include multiple ones. So it might be worth considering alternative ways of zoning your kitchen to achieve your perfect layout.
More: How to Zone a Kitchen Beyond the Usual Triangle
Some layouts will naturally work better in a small space than others. Single-wall kitchens have the smallest possible footprint, so where kitchen space is at a premium, this could be the best option. A galley layout, as shown here, is another way to optimise space in a small kitchen while fitting in as much functionality as possible.
The trickier the space, the more it pays to hire a professional designer, who will be able to ensure it has good flow, function and aesthetics – all tailored to your needs and taste.
More: How to Lay Out a Small Kitchen
Ready to hire? Find a local kitchen designer on Houzz and read reviews from previous clients.
When planning a new kitchen, it’s important to consider the requirements of everyone who’ll be using it. For family homes, this means having an adaptable space that can meet your needs and those of your children, both while they’re young and as they grow into teenagers.
The ideal layout also hinges on what sort of environment you want for your kitchen. If you’re keen on creating a safe, child-free zone, a peninsula or U-shaped kitchen that closes off access at one end is ideal. In a busy household, restricting passage in and out of the kitchen in this way can be safer during cooking.
If you prefer to have a bustling, family-centred space, an open-plan arrangement with an L-shaped or island layout that flows into a living area is the best option. With this type of layout, everyone can freely access the kitchen, creating a welcoming feel.
More: 9 Design Tips for Planning a Family Kitchen
If you live in a multi-generational home, or if this might become a possibility in the future, you’ll also need to factor this into your choice of layout. A kitchen that services a three-generation household has to work very hard, but a space that successfully meets the needs of all those who use it is not only inclusive, it’s future-proof.
To design for children, young adults, parents and grandparents requires a lifestyle-based approach. Understanding how the space needs to work, how many people will use each area and for what, and how often the family entertains is crucial.
Tables, surfaces and seating may need to be at different heights or height-adjustable and adaptable for different users, for example. Clearance around appliances will also need to be considered, as well as accessibility when planning cupboard placement.
Talk to your designer about your requirements as early as possible to ensure your layout will reflect and address these needs.
More: How to Design a Multi-generational Kitchen
Are you about to embark on a kitchen renovation? Have you found this advice useful? Let us know in the Comments.