The kitchen is probably the most used room in your house, so you want it to be a space you enjoy spending time in. And aside from functioning appliances, a kitchen design you'll love for years to come is of utmost importance. So whether you're renovating or simply looking for some inspiration, here are few designs that will help you optimize your own.
The way you utilize your work spaces in the kitchen is the most important factor when planning your kitchen layout. In a typical home kitchen, the primary tasks require the sink (cleaning and preparation), the refrigerator (storage) and the cook top (oven or stove for cooking). These three work surfaces, when joined by imaginary lines, form the kitchen work triangle. This work triangle is very helpful in determining an efficient kitchen layout.
So depending on your cooking style, the amount of time you spend on each workstation, and the available space, you can choose your kitchen layout from the following basic types:
1. ONE WALL KITCHEN
The one-wall kitchen is trendy in studio flats and loft apartments because it utilizes minimum space. The layout places all three work centers in a straight line. The cabinets and appliances get mounted on a single wall. However, it is never a good idea to place the workstations side by side, as you wouldn’t have any free countertop space between them. Modern straight kitchens sometimes also include an island, making it a bit like the galley layout.
Think vertical. You only have so much width to work with, so taking your cabinets up as far as possible will help create extra storage space. While the traditional work triangle is not possible in a one-wall kitchen, try to put your fridge on one end, oven and hob in the middle and the sink at the other end. If your cabinets do not go up to ceiling, utilise the space above them by storing lesser-used items there. Alternatively, you can use this space as a display area to strengthen the theme of your kitchen.
2. THE L-SHAPED KITCHEN
A practical layout option for small and large kitchens, the L-shaped kitchen has cabinets along two perpendicular walls, which provide an efficient design for the integration of the three workstations. While you can have the legs of the L as long as space allows, it is best to keep it to less than 4.5m for ease of use. If you have space left over, then you can also accommodate a small dining table or an island as suited to your needs.
Where space allows, make the most of the corner by installing a walk-in pantry cupboard. This way you won’t lose the valuable space that is usually lost in a corner, and you gain a huge asset to your kitchen. With an L-shaped kitchen, you may even be able to create a small breakfast nook in the opposite corner, further increasing your family’s enjoyment of the room.
3. THE U-SHAPED KITCHEN
Also known as the horseshoe kitchen, its a great layout for larger kitchens, the U-shaped kitchen consists of cabinetry along three adjacent walls. This type of layout provides plenty of storage but can feel enclosed if there are upper cabinets on all three walls. To avoid this, choose upper cabinets along only one or two walls, with open shelving.
Keep window areas open and uncluttered in a U-shaped kitchen. This type of kitchen layout provides the perfect opportunity for an uninterrupted work triangle so make the best use of the space by having the work areas on the opposite end of the back- and entry doors.
4. PARALLEL SHAPED KITCHEN
The Parallel-shaped kitchen is perhaps the most efficient of all kitchen in terms of designing as per the necessity. It resembles a two wall galley kitchen layout minus a wall. The Parallel-shaped modular kitchen layout consists of a work space on one wall with a second, free standing workspace running parallel to it. These cooking spaces allow you to engage your creativity to pare your cooking lifestyle to the basics. In doing so, you simplify your kitchen and save money in the process. The key to install tall kitchen cabinets that extend to the ceiling.
If you have a large window in your kitchen, parallel kitchen is the best way to make the most of natural sunlight coming in.
5. THE ISLAND KITCHEN
A very popular choice in open plan homes, the island kitchen provides a large work surface or storage area in the middle of the kitchen. The island can incorporate a cooking surface or simply as a preparation area or for enjoying family meals. While the kitchen has to be big enough to incorporate an island, its placement is a great way to create a natural traffic flow in the area.
Island kitchens add more work and storage space to a kitchen. You can utilize the island for cabinet space, appliances, the sink, countertops, or to eat. An island has the power to evolve L-shaped kitchens into a horseshoe layout, and one walled kitchen into galley styled ones. But make sure that you have enough kitchen space and clearance before deciding on an island layout.
Utilise the island as both a work- and social area where family and friends can interact while meals are being prepared. Because of its location in the centre of the kitchen, it is a great place to install prominent decorative lighting that can also serve as task lighting.
PICTURE COURTESY : INTERNET