The kitchen is considered to be the heart of the home and when it comes to renovations, a special touch is often needed to ensure that your family’s favorite gathering space remains as welcoming and efficient as possible.
Whether it requires a minor refresher or a major remodel, it’s important to sit down and crunch some numbers before deciding what you would like to do. Kitchen designs have changed drastically since the 1940’s where kitchen tend to be fairly small and mostly known as a work space for one individual. Nowadays, almost 80 years later, most contemporary kitchens demand an open concept plan with island, savy designs s and plenty of room to cook with the family. Our modern lifestyle also brought us many more kitchen appliances and gadgets, which all need a place in our home to call their own.
Fun fact; have you ever heard of the Bermuda triangle? The Bermuda triangle is a geographical location in the north west of the north Atlantic Ocean. Also known as the Devil’s Triangle, this section of the ocean is where ships and planes have been known to disappear in thin air. If this sounds like your kitchen and Tupperware lids, we can explain. The triangular shape is implemented in today’s kitchen designs where your sink, fridge and oven are usually all placed in a triangular shape throughout the room. The purpose of this position is mainly to make your kitchen efficient and provide an easy access to all three major appliances.
Over the recent years, many kitchens have grown in size to become a place for gatherings and a multi chef area and we could easily argue that our kitchen look much closely in design to commercial kitchens than they would have been for our grandparents. Now what is a commercial kitchen layout? Historically, a commercial kitchen layout allows for more room, more appliances and different work flow, as it does not follow the traditional triangular layout. Adding a few extra square footages for countertops, prep stations and extra sinks and keep our ingredients away from the cooking area is becoming the norm. Although the possibilities for kitchen are nothing short of limitless, we’ve managed to break the designs down into seven basic kitchen layouts for every day’s homeowners.
Now if you already pulled out your bathing suit and margarita, we may not be on the same page about kitchen islands. Although an isolated, sunny area filled with sand and a conch to call out dolphins would be nice in a home, a kitchen island is a fully customizable kitchen element which adds countertop space and nowadays, everyone wants one. In fact, kitchen islands can also be the home of appliances, cabinetry, a mini fridge, wine rack, a dishwasher… It can provide an additional seating area to eat, do homework or even just to watch your partner cook a nice homemade meal. The island can turn a one-wall kitchen into a galley style, and an L-shaped layout into a horseshoe. Kitchen islands are incredible and the only issue with kitchen islands is the space they take in the room.
One wall kitchen
This is the ultimate space saver for kitchens. It is built on one linear wall where your major kitchen necessities will find their niche. This includes appliances, cabinets and countertops.
These are typically found in smaller homes where space is limited such as, lofts, studios, bachelors, apartments and small homes. Most modern designs may also include a kitchen island. This style of kitchen is one way to conserve the construction costs, which potentially means ‘higher end finishes. Keep in mind, one wall kitchens can also be used in larger room. There is one golden rule that needs to be applied when it comes to renovating or building a kitchen area. The bigger your appliances, the less work space you will have. Smaller compact appliances around the 24” scale can be used to create more countertop space. Obviously with a bigger space, this shouldn’t be as much of a concern.
Similar to the one wall kitchen concept, it is also ideal for smaller spaces. The real difference is two parallel countertops with a walkway in between them. You either have cabinets by two walls opposite of each other or a ‘one wall kitchen’ with a centre island. Adding an island is great way to keep that open concept feeling in your kitchen. This way, your guests and family remain in sight and the openness of the room facilitates interactions for the host. If you choose to have the open concept with a kitchen island you can play around with the layout of the appliances. You can either have your sink on the island, and use that space as a prep area or you can place your stove in the island and still entertain your guests while you’re cooking and keeping an eye on your oven. This can also be a great conversation for the kids watching their grandmothers cooking while sitting at the island and have the stove cook top there.
This particular layout is great. Its simple, easy and functionable. It consists of countertops on two adjoining walls that are perpendicular to each other creating, you guessed it, an L-shaped kitchen. This is great for small to medium size spaces. Although not as welcoming as the open concept kitchen, this layout will allow you to invite more then one person into the room, keeping the conversation going. You can simply add a table with chairs and mingle with your guests in the same room, keeping your dining room for more formal and special events. You can also use the table as another work space to prep your food. For a larger space, a kitchen island can also be added instead of tables and chairs. For optimal comfort and interactions with guest or added countertop space, add an island or a breakfast bar rather than a second wall for easy view into the kitchen and access to guests and family.
The horseshoe layout
This here is a bit of a combination of both the one wall layout and the galley kitchen layout. Having cabinets or appliances at two ends perpendicular to each other and having one end block off with more cabinets or appliances. You can also play around with this layout and incorporate the L-shape layout into this. How? Easy. Keeping the L-shape layout in mind, you can ad an island that forms the third wall. This design with the island works great in the sense that it eliminates a wall and makes the room feel more like an open concept kitchen. Being able to help your kids with their homework while you’re cooking dinner. Do keep in mind, if going with this layout, you will lose all of your upper cabinets and therefore, potential storage. If letting go of a few upper cabinets isn’t an issue because you have a pantry, this may be a great design for your home. It is also very common to have the dinning room right next door, having a passage way leading from the kitchen to the dinning room. If you have a larger space and able to throw in an island with seating, this is also great. You get to keep all of your upper cabinets on all 3 sides of the horseshoe and you’re adding more surface area for prepping and adding a little more storage. Keep in mind the industries guidelines are roughly 3-1/2 feet of clearance between counter to counter. This allows for doors to properly open and for people to maneuver around each other.
This layout is very similar to the U-shape. In fact, it has all the same design aspects of the U-shape layout. The only added difference is you add an attached island. Basically, creating a G-shape layout. This is great for maximizing every square inch of your kitchen. You don’t necessarily want to add a 4th wall because this will close off the entire kitchen and feel claustrophobic to some. Adding an island or breakfast bar is great. It will add a little bit of counter space, storage and also seating for a few of your guests. If possible, you can even throw an appliance in that attached island.
It is possible to do a custom layout. It consists of revisiting all six previous designs and keeping the best elements of each that suit your home and style best.
In conclusion, there are many styles available depending on the space in your home and upgrades you are looking into adding to your current room. Our advice – speak with your general contractor and let them help you make the best of your ideas and ambitions with clever design ideas and industry knowledge.
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