Say what you will, but the kitchen is the one place you can’t be frivolous about if you’re serious about cooking. It’s all about functionality. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the most modern or vintage kitchen this side of the world if it isn’t usable. So, what makes a kitchen usable?
The Work Triangle
One, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, two, three… ugh! Losing rhythm in the kitchen is pretty much like that. Three major work areas in the kitchen, stovetop, sink, and fridge, form the foundation of any home kitchen. The work triangle measures a kitchen’s efficiency. Without getting into the nitty gritty of it, the principle of it is that all these should be within easy reach of each other. While not all kitchens HAVE to follow this approach, it’s what governs most kitchen designs.
Without further ado, let’s look at the six most popular kitchen layouts.
1. One-wall Kitchen
This layout doesn’t beat around the bush. It is simple and saves tons of space. It doesn’t even bother with the work triangle — it’s efficient enough because of it’s small footprint. Thanks to that, it opens up the rest of the room for dining or living areas.
That said, one-wall kitchens tend to lack storage space. For that, one should go vertical — store infrequently used things higher up and save the lower spots for often-used kitchenware.
2. Galley Kitchen
A step up from one-wall kitchens, it’s parallel countertops have an exceedingly functional layout. Inspired by ship kitchens, it makes the most of a small space while providing lots of room to work in and store stuff. However, this layout favours those who like to dance solo. Galley kitchens are a little cramped and don't lend well to having multiple cooks.
3. L-shaped Kitchen
Making use of corners, this one’s super functional and can be adapted to any space, small or large. It also has more potential for even more storage space than one-wall and galley kitchens.
It’s a little less efficient than galley kitchens. However, what it gives up, it makes up with being able to accommodate more cooks.
4. U-shaped Kitchen
This is perfect for those who want a clear division between the dining and living room. Nobody’s going to accidentally wander into this space for sure. It’s also one of the most efficient kitchens; it’s got potential for the perfect work triangle.
Corners tend to be a little annoying where storage is concerned. Think pull-outs and carousels to make these hard-to-reach spaces reachable.
5. Peninsula Kitchen
Call it like you see it; this is just an L-shaped kitchen with an extra bit stuck onto it. Usually, that extra bit is often a little table or bar. This layout is great for those who like to cook and have good company. Or extra helping hands that won’t get in the way of your work.
Peninsula kitchens have a medium to large footprint so it’s not quite suited for anything smaller than that.
6. Island Kitchen
The holy grail of the kitchen, this one’s great for cooking, socializing, AND entertaining. It’s what everyone sees on all the great cook shows. It’s main feature, the island, is incredibly versatile and is what makes this layout so desirable.
Needless to say, island kitchens need so much space that it’s typically reserved for larger homes. Some might say it’s more kitchen than they will ever need.
The Right Kitchen for you
What’s the right kitchen for you? As you’ve probably surmised by now, the right one is whatever will fit you at the time, whether it’s your home size, how you like to cook, or if you even cook at all. Choose what provides the most comfort and storage for you.