The perfect kitchen layout is determined by thinking about how you want your kitchen to be used (what are the main activities and requirements of this living space?) and then working out how to create a workspace to make this happen most efficiently, working around you and your lifestyle. Of course, the kitchen layout will naturally be determined to an extent by the shape of the living space – you may have more length than width or vice versa – but the fundamentals of workspace efficiency can be applied to any shape kitchen.
The Working Triangle
The working triangle is the path that you will most frequently tread in your kitchen – often this is between your consumables zone (fridge, freezer, pantry), cleaning zone (tap, cleaning storage) and cooking zone (hob, oven, appliances). Ideally, the sum of the triangle’s 3 sides should not exceed 7m, and each leg should measure between 1m and 2.5m. Getting this relationship right will create the most efficient kitchen layout.
So, how does this apply to your kitchen layout?
Drawing out your space will help your visualise this. Here are some kitchen layout examples…
L-Shaped Kitchen Layout
Ideal for: small-medium sized living spaces Pros: Maximises corner space and accessibility. This kitchen design can also work well with open or broken plan living if connected with an additional living space, such as a dining area. Cons: Limited space if there is more than one cook in the kitchen at one time Tip: If there will be multiple users at one time, consider adding a kitchen island to create additional workspace.
U-Shaped Kitchen Layout
Ideal for: Square kitchens Pros: Offering plenty of workspace, storage and preparation areas. Cons: If zones are spread too far apart, you will be treading further to go between each. Keep the working triangle at the forefront of your mind when planning this kitchen layout so that the space is fully optimised. Tip: Consider lighting carefully. U-shaped kitchens can trap light, so talking to your Studio Partner about lighting solutions early in the design process will keep this front of mind.
Island Kitchen Layout
Ideal for: Sociable, open / broken plan living. An island can also be a great addition to a straight-line or L-shaped kitchen Pros: Additional storage, worktop space and area for entertaining Cons: If there is not enough space, adding an island can make a living area feel cramped. Tip: Allow 1.2m of space each side of an island for ease of movement
Parallel Kitchen Layout
Ideal for: Narrow kitchens Pros: Reaching all areas of the room with minimum walking distance between zones Cons: A balance must be met; too wide and you will constantly walking back and forth. Too close and you won’t have enough space to open doors and drawers. Tip: Maintain a minimum of 1.2m in space between counters to ensure ease of movement
G-Shaped Kitchen Layout
Ideal for: Medium – large sized kitchens / kitchens that are enclosed in a separate living space. Pros: If the space is large enough, this kitchen design offers the most amount of storage and workspace, with space for socialising too. Cons: This kitchen layout wraps around all four walls so you must ensure the working triangle is maintained efficiently so that there is enough space for movement but not too much space between zones. Tip: Make sure there is plenty of space in the middle to tread between the various zones.
Straight Line Kitchen
Ideal for: Compact living or hidden kitchens Pros: One of the most space-efficient kitchen designs Cons: Here, the working triangle is reduced to a straight line Tip: If possible, maintain some space between working zones