Planning a Kitchen Layout

The Complicated Components of Planning a Kitchen Layout

Whether it’s kitchen remodeling or a brand new design, planning a kitchen’s layout has the potential to become extremely complicated.

Before planning what type of kitchen countertop will be installed, what flooring will be used, or the style of cabinets that will reside in a kitchen, planning the layout has to take center stage.

Why?

Good kitchen design relies on several things, including flow, how workspace and storage is utilized, whether or not there will be space for dining or entertaining, and even technical considerations surrounding appliance placement, plumbing and lighting.

So where to begin?

Know the Options

When designing a kitchen layout, of course it’s all about what works best for the individual homeowners, but the most common and popular layouts include:

·       Zone Division: When contemplating a zone design, the focus is on creating differentiated spaces within a kitchen that can each be used for their own purpose. For example, the kitchen may contain separate spaces for food prep, actual cooking, and also for eating or entertaining. When choosing countertops for this type of kitchen, homeowners may want to consider using different colors or materials that will further delineate each of the “zones” included in the design.

·        Galley-Style: This may not be the preferred design for many homeowners, because galley kitchens tend to be associated with a lack of space, but it’s often a necessity because of the layout of the rest of the home, or because of budgetary restrictions. When working with a galley-style kitchen layout, it can be advantageous to choose countertops with some type of linear patterns, to create the appearance of a longer and more spacious kitchen. Light colors, and monochromatic countertops and cabinets also work well in smaller spaces, to open it up and create the feeling of higher ceilings.

·       L-Shaped Layout: The L-shaped design tends to be ideal for people who want to cook without interrupting the traffic flow of the rest of the kitchen. This design places focus on the cooking area in one corner, while the rest of the kitchen is often spacious and open. A great addition to an L-shaped design is an island because it adds more space for eating, entertaining, and storage. Consider contrasting countertops between the main perimeter of the kitchen and the island.

·     The U-Shape: U-shape layouts are often the preferred design in larger and more high-end kitchens. U-shapes have a great natural flow, and provide ample storage and work space since the kitchen countertop and cabinets extend along three sides. There are any number of countertop options in a U-shaped kitchen. Consider using high-end granite countertops throughout, or juxtaposing a bold, vibrantly-colored natural stone on an island, with a more neutral stone countertop on the perimeter.

Design Considerations

It can be difficult to decide on a kitchen layout, but there’s a few things that have to be considered.

The first is how the space will actually be used. Homeowners should really evaluate everything from their cooking habits to whether or not they entertain, in a way that’s realistic. This will allow for planning the space most effectively.

While individual preferences and habits are important to kitchen design, for homeowners that are doing a remodel to increase the value of their home, or if they ever plan to sell, the kitchen design needs to be universally appealing.

Unavoidable restraints should also be looked at, including the size of the space, where doors and windows are located, and electrical and plumbing components.

Finally, think about budget. This sounds self-explanatory, but often homeowners don’t consider their actual budget when thinking about layout. Determining a budget before beginning the planning process will help guide decisions including shape and design, kitchen countertop and flooring materials, cabinetry choices, and even the style and type of appliances.