Choosing a kitchen layout for your dream home can be an imposing task, because of the profound impact it has on the rest of the home. With a well-designed layout, the kitchen can become a vibrant centerpiece, forming the glorious heart of a beautiful home. But if this is not designed right, it can easily disintegrate an otherwise well-functioning household.
It thus makes sense that hundreds – no, perhaps thousands of professionals have poured decades of work into this crucial exercise. The result is a series of meticulously designed, customizable layouts, which other people can tap into, in order to create their ideal space. Read on to know how you can choose from this list to plan the perfect kitchen layout for your home.
The I-shaped kitchen layout
In this design, the entire kitchen area aligns a long and narrow straight wall (hence also called wall kitchens), much like an ‘I’. So here, the famed “work-triangle” of cooktop, sink and fridge may well be along the same side.
As you can imagine, this is not the most flexible of designs, and severely restricts the amount of counter space, cabinetry, and even appliances you can fit into the kitchen area. It is thus an inexpensive option that is ideal for your first home. It may also be your only option if you have limited kitchen-space, like in studio apartments or smaller condos. In fact, this basic design can even be fitted into dorm-like quarters where you still want to have the luxury of a kitchenette, if not a full-fledged cooking space.
Choose the ‘I’ shaped kitchen layout if you prefer regular takeaways over daily cooking. In this case, ensure that your sink is close to the middle, between the fridge and the cooktop. Also, take care to ensure that the fridge-door turns away from the sink for better access.
This layout may even be all that you need, if your meals are more likely to come from a processed-food box. In this case, include a high-end juicer, a stainless steel microwave and a fancy coffee maker at one end of your kitchen, and you may have just transformed your living space to include a luxury I-shaped kitchen!
The Galley kitchen layout
As its name seems to indicate, this layout does indeed look like both sides of a long alley. It was also more suited to older homes that counted on any extra storage in the kitchen area.
This style allows some amount of versatility in design, both with the work-triangle, and the way in which cabinetry and appliances are spread across the kitchen. For instance, one variation has the cooktop and fridge on one side, with the sink and dishwasher on the other side.
Another variation has all appliances lined on one side (like with I-shaped kitchens), and upper and lower cabinetry on the other side. In some cases, the fridge is integrated with the cabinetry in order to keep the work triangle practical. Regardless, there should be at least 42-48 inches of space between both sides.
Choose the galley layout if you are the only person (mostly) cooking in your kitchen. This design can be incredibly restrictive when 2 or more people work together.
The U-Shaped kitchen layout
This is again a layout typical to older homes, where people wanted some amount of privacy between the kitchen and the rest of the home. In fact, consider a closed room with one wall blown off, and you get a U-shaped kitchen. This is still an ideal solution for farmhouses and community homes, requiring a kitchen with maximum amount of storage and counter space.
The main drawback of this layout is the space – there may be too much of it between non-adjacent walls, due to which it may be quite a walk to rush to an appliance on the other end while cooking. Choose this layout if you are building a country-style home, with in-house dining. It can also help to place a dinner table at the center, doubling as an island, so the kitchen seems more balanced.
The L-Shaped kitchen layout
This is a clever extension of the basic ‘I’ layout and has quickly grown into the most popular design, simply because of the flexibility it offers. Here, your kitchen aligns along 2 adjacent walls, forming the ideal space to evenly distribute the work triangle. Depending on your layout premises, there may even be room to factor in a kitchen-island that doubles up as a breakfast table right at the center.
This is also a layout that allows room for plenty of storage (including below the island). If you are not constrained for space, the L-shaped kitchen is a great layout, especially for cooking connoisseurs. In this case, design for at least 48 inches of space between the island and any surrounding cabinetry. This will ensure there is plenty of space to keep everyone happy, even when you have more than one cook in the family.
The C-Shaped kitchen layout
Unlike the U-shape, this layout is modern, and another extension on the popular L-shaped layout. For instance, an L-shaped kitchen fitted with an old-fashioned butler’s pantry on the third-side is essentially a C-shaped kitchen layout.
Despite being closed on 3 sides, this style can still be adapted to open floor plans, with a kitchen-island placed right at the center to double up as a dinner table. Go with this layout if space and budget is not a constraint, as this layout allows for plenty of (expensive) cabinetry.
The G-Shaped kitchen layout
This relatively new layout has taken the design world by storm, and is considered an extension on C-shaped kitchens (to form a ‘G’ shape). This extension can be used in several versatile ways, including:
- A full or part wall with lower cabinetry and counter space, to house frequently used appliances like microwaves, juicers, and coffee makers.
- A (built-in) bench-style breakfast nook with additional storage at the bottom.
- A complete kitchen island pushed to one corner of the kitchen, rather than right at the center. In this case, the island may also be fitted with a sink for enhanced accessibility.
The result is a cozy yet spacious kitchen with plenty of space for everything – appliances, storage, seating, etc. – and everyone – cooks, guests, etc. In fact, this is the ideal kitchen that is perfect for frequent entertainment.