Contributed by: David Buster
Having a good layout for your kitchen is important, because the kitchen should be an efficient and pleasant area in which to prepare meals and do related tasks. Understanding the kitchen work triangle concept and the basic kitchen layouts is a valuable starting point for having a good kitchen design that you like.
The kitchen work triangle consists of the distance between the
sink, refrigerator and range or cooktop. Each one of these areas
becomes a focal point in the kitchen and forms the three points
of a triangle with different distances between them. Done
correctly, the kitchen work triangle provides the most efficient
food preparation area layout in the kitchen.
Whether you're remodeling an existing kitchen or building a new
one, an efficient design means that your work triangle minimizes
the number of steps the cook must take between the three areas
during meal preparation and cleanup. The total distance from the
sink to the stove to the refrigerator and back to the sink should
be not less than 12 feet total nor more than 27 feet. Each
triangle leg should measure between 4 and 9 feet in length. The
kitchen isles should be at least 42 to 48 inches wide to allow
people to move around easily and for appliances to be opened with
When selecting the floor plan for your kitchen, here are basic
kitchen layouts to consider:
* L-Shaped Kitchen - this is the most popular kitchen design.
It consists of a long leg and a shorter one and this type of
design can be used in small and large kitchens. The L-shaped
kitchen gives you the possibility of having a center island
depending on the space available. In general, this design will
have 2 or 3 appliances on one wall. The usual arrangement is to
have the refrigerator at one end, the range or cooktop at the
other end with the sink located in the middle. This shape of
kitchen generally provides good traffic flow.
* Double L-Shaped Kitchen - this kitchen design has a lot of
cabinet space and plenty of counter space. This design is used
in large kitchens with two cooks, and it has two or more entering
areas, which can cause traffic flow problems. To avoid some of
these problems, create two separate working areas on each L of
the kitchen so that workflow does not get interrupted by human
* U-Shaped Kitchen - this kitchen design shape has three walls
instead of two, and the sink usually is located in the middle
wall section. The refrigerator and range or cooktop are usually
on the side walls opposite each other. The U-shaped kitchen
design gives room for ample countertop space, and you have three
walls for cabinets and appliances. This kitchen layout tends to
create a working triangle that is very efficient.
The only problem with this type of kitchen design is that
sometimes the two U corners are not used appropriately. Make
sure you buy the appropriate storage items for the corner
cabinets created by the U shape design. The U shape design can
also create dark kitchens because of the shape and the amount of
cabinets. Using skylights, large windows, lots of under-cabinet
task lighting and light colors will help keep the kitchen bright
with sufficient light to see what you're doing.
* G-Shaped Kitchen - this type of kitchen shape is becoming very
popular, and it gives you a fourth wall to use. The G-shape can
be used if you have more than one cook in the house. This fourth
wall section can be used for a counter, island and storage space.
With this kitchen layout you can have two sinks, perhaps two
cooktops or two ranges. You could have two working triangles -
one for sink, cook top or range and refrigerator and a second
working triangle with another sink, built-in grill and cooktop.
It allows two cooks to do different things at the same time and
entertain large groups of people.
* Single-Wall Kitchen - if you do not have much space, you may
only be able to have an I-shaped kitchen. No problem. Just be
sure the sink is placed between the refrigerator and the stove.
Locate the refrigerator so that the refrigerator door opens away
from the kitchen sink. This is a very common arrangement for
small kitchens in narrow spaces.
* Galley-Shaped Kitchen - this type of kitchen design is more
common in apartments or in homes where space is limited -- it is
often called the corridor style. The kitchen cabinets and the
appliances can be located on opposite walls for better work flow
- place the range or cooktop on one side of the kitchen along one
wall and the refrigerator and sink on the opposite wall. To
eliminate traffic issues in this type of kitchen design, one
entry is often closed off. This type of layout should only be
used by one cook. If you want to maintain both exits, place the
refrigerator near the end of the galley kitchen for easy access -
this way, your family and friends can reach the refrigerator
without interfering with the person who is cooking. If you need
extra storage in the galley kitchen, install tall kitchen
cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling. Wall storage is
crucial - buy a stepladder to use when you need to reach the
upper shelf of the cabinets, and place the items you use less
frequently on the upper shelves.
By understanding the kitchen work triangle concept and how you
want your kitchen to function, you'll be more likely to create
the kind of kitchen you've always wanted. Today, kitchens are
often viewed as the hub of the home as well as a social center
for family and friends. Planning your kitchen can be a
challenge, but the rewards you'll receive are very much worth
the time and effort.
Copyright 2005 David Buster
David Buster is Vice-President of InfoSearch Publishing and
webmaster of http://www.yourdreamloghome.com - visit the website
to learn more about home decorating and remodeling, kitchen and
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