Guest Blogger #479, Entry #1108, April 19, 2012
When you are designing your various rooms, none is probably more of a challenge than the kitchen. The reasons for this are severalfold. First of all, with a kitchen you are decorating a space that needs to serve a practical purpose – you’ll be working in here rather than just sitting or lying down which right away means it has some specific requirements. At the same time the kitchen is a more complex room with more complex features and installations which can get in the way. You’ll likely have a stop cock for instance, several things that need pipes and several things that need plugs. You’ll have these plugs and sockets going all across the room; and around that you’ll have to fit a huge amount of storage for all the plates, pans and glasses. If you’re designing your layouts around the home, the kitchen then can certainly be something of a headache.
Luckily though, others before you have had this same headache and as a result they have come up with some good set designs that you can work from to influence your own decisions particularly with regards to the layouts of the countertops and cabinets.
Image via: The Brick House
Most kitchen designs are built around the concept of work zones. These are areas where you can prepare food and that are well set up for you to multitask. For instance a work zone might be located in the corner of a room in a right angle of countertops. This way you will be surrounded on two sides so that you can work from both surfaces at once – for instance chopping vegetables on one side while mixing together a large bowl on another. You might meanwhile have the hob behind you so you can tend to the cooking at the same time.
To maximize the number of work zones and their usefulness in different sized and shaped rooms there are several different kinds of layouts which are used currently. Here are a couple of them.
The L-Shape layout unsurprisingly is a layout that forms a large ‘L’ shape out of the cabinets. Here the cabinets are arranged down two adjacent walls – for instance down one lengthways wall and one width-ways wall. This way you have a right angle in the corner to work with, but there are two walls left plain giving you moving space.
A U-Shape is the natural evolution of the L shape, and is useful for larger kitchens. Here you simply have countertops on three different walls so that you can stand at the end and have potentially three surfaces within reach.
A Corridor is an ideal layout for the long and narrow room. Here you create an equals side by having cabinets down two opposite walls. This way you will have a cabinet behind you at all times, but you can use the ends for an entrance/dining table still.
Image via: BHG
An island design is best for very large kitchens. The downside of a large kitchen is that your work surfaces and storage are all more spread out, but an island can counteract this by giving you a surface that is right behind you at various points around the room. Of course this is less appropriate for smaller rooms as this can get in the way in these cases and leave you with much less space to move around.
Christine Cooney is part time blogger who usually writes articles related to home improvement. A few years ago when you couldn’t find any suitable home plans online; she decided to start blogging on small house plans which would help others.
For more kitchen & bath ideas on Stagetecture, click here.