The most important thing to ensure a functional and functional kitchen space is planning. A clever layout can make your kitchen space more efficient, no matter how small or big it is. There is more to kitchen layout than placing furniture and cabinets. Ergonomics also plays a significant role. You will enjoy the space by getting the heights correct, making sure there is enough room for movement, and ensuring that appliances are placed in an easy to use manner.
The layout of your kitchen will depend on the layout of your house. However, it is possible to optimise the space for maximum efficiency. These are some of the most common kitchen layouts. Here are some tips to help you make them your own.
Kitchen Ergonomics 101
Let’s start with a brief overview of kitchen ergonomics. This is the foundation of great kitchen design. Ergonomics refers to the science of creating an environment that is comfortable for the people who use it, and not for the people who use it.
The Work Triangle
In the 1920’s, the work triangle was created as one of the first ways to improve efficiency in a residential kitchen. The triangle provides a clear path from the cooking area (stovetop), to the cleaning area (kitchen basin) and the food storage (refrigerator).
Principles of the Kitchen Work Triangle –
* Each leg of a triangle should measure between 1.2 to 2.7m. The total length of all three legs should be between 4.m and 7.9m.
* No appliances or cabinetry should be placed between any legs of the triangle.
* The triangle should be free from major traffic.
These guidelines are essential for maximum efficiency in the kitchen and maximum usability.
* Kitchen entry doors should be at most 812mm in width
* A door that is not in compliance with safety regulations should not be used to prevent appliances from operating safely. Doors for appliances should not be interconnected.
* Work aisles should not exceed 1060mm in single-cook kitchens and 1220mm in multiple cook kitchens.
* Walkways must be at least 915mm in width
* A clear walkway of 915mm between the counter edge and the edge behind the seat should be allowed in a seating area with no traffic behind it.
* Each person should have a minimum of 615mm width. A table with a height of 760mm must have 460mm clearance for each person. The same applies to a kitchen counter (914mm tall) and the bar counter (1066mm tall).
* One sink should be placed next to the stovetop and fridge if it is not a double-height one.
* The sink should have a minimum of 610mm landing space, with at least 460mm either side.
* The sink should have a primary work surface that is at least 760mm in width and 600mm deep.
* Dishwasher should not be placed closer than 900mm to a sink
* A minimum of 380mm should be left next to the handle of the fridge, and no more than 1200mm in the opposite direction.
* Minimum landing areas for the cooking surface should be 300mm on one side and 380mm the other.
* A minimum distance of 600mm should be allowed between the cooking surface below and the non-combustible surfaces above.
* Install a cooking ventilation system over all cooking surfaces.
* Never place the cooking surface beneath an operable window. Instead, provide a fire extinguisher at the kitchen’s exit.
* Microwave ovens should always be placed according to the user’s needs, with 75mm being ideal below the shoulder height.
* Allow a minimum of 380mm to be placed above, below, or near the microwave oven.
* Allow a minimum of 380 mm to be placed next to the oven and no more than 1200 mm in front.
* Additional landing space may be required for appliances adjacent to the larger requirement by adding 300mm.
* Total countertop space of 4000mm at 600mm depth, with clearance of 380mm, is required for all storage, preparation, landing, and work areas.
* Each work surface should have adequate lighting.
*Based on the guidelines of the National Kitchen and Bath Association
These are the 6 most popular kitchen layout types
1. The One Wall Kitchen
This layout is often found in small kitchens. It’s space-efficient and functional. The One Wall Kitchen is a combination of cabinets mounted against one wall. It can also have shelving above the base cabinets. This creates a clean look.
Making a One-Wall Kitchen Layout Work:
Think vertical. There is only so much space you have, so make sure to raise your cabinets as high as possible. In a one-wall kitchen, the traditional triangle of work is not possible. Instead, place your fridge, oven, and hob on one side and the sink on the other. You can store less-used items in the ceiling space if your cabinets don’t reach to the ceiling. You can also use this space to enhance the theme of your kitchen.
2. Galley Kitchen
Galley kitchen is a great way to save money on cabinets. It consists of two rows cabinets facing each other. This creates an inner passage or galley. This layout makes the most of every square inch of space by eliminating the need to use corner cabinets. This layout is also cost-efficient because it requires fewer gadgets.
How To Make A Galley Kitchen Layout Work
Galley kitchens already offer more storage space flexibility thanks to the addition of a row of cabinets. It is crucial that the work areas are only on one wall, and not both, especially for larger families or multi-cook kitchens. This will prevent traffic from entering the work triangle, and reduce the chance of getting hurt.
3. The L-Shaped Kitchen
The L-shaped kitchen is a practical layout choice for both small and large kitchens. It has cabinets along two walls. The corner requires some creative cabinetry solutions, but the L-shaped kitchen’s open plan design allows for great flexibility when it comes to the location of appliances and work areas. You can extend the legs of the L to as much as you have space, but it is best to keep them to less than 4.5m to make it easier to use.
How to Create an L-shaped Kitchen Layout:
If space is available, you can make the most of a corner by installing a pantry cupboard. You won’t lose valuable space in corners and will be able to add a lot of value to your kitchen. An L-shaped kitchen can be used to create a small breakfast area in the corner. This will increase the enjoyment of the space for your family.
4. The U-Shaped Kitchen
The U-shaped kitchen is a great design for large kitchens. It consists of three walls with cabinetry. This layout offers lots of storage, but it can feel closed if there is too many upper cabinets. This can be avoided by placing only one or two upper cabinets on each wall. The other side of the wall should have open shelving, focal tiles, or a hob-hood. A U-shaped kitchen is great for multiple users and allows for excellent workflow.
How to Make a U-Shaped Kitchen Layout Work
In a U-shaped kitchen, keep windows open and clutter free. This kitchen layout allows for uninterrupted work triangles. Make the most of this space by placing the work areas at the opposite ends of the back- or entry doors.
5. The Island Kitchen
The island kitchen is a popular choice for open-plan homes. It provides large storage or work surfaces in the middle of the room. An island can include a prep bowl, a bar, or wine fridge. You can use it for preparing meals or just to enjoy family meals. Although the space must be large enough to accommodate an island, it is also a great place to allow natural traffic flow.
How to Create an Island Kitchen Layout:
The island can be used as both a social and work area. This is where friends and family can gather while you prepare meals. It is ideal for installing prominent decorative lighting, which can also be used as task lighting, because it is located in the center of the kitchen.
6. The Peninsula Kitchen
The peninsula is similar to an island kitchen. It includes a kitchen counter that extends from a wall or cabinetry. This solution offers all the benefits of an island kitchen, but without the need for additional space. While the chef is busy cooking, the peninsula can be used to prepare food or for eating.
Making a Peninsula Kitchen Layout Work:
The peninsula, like the island kitchen offers great opportunities for interaction during meal preparation. This is an ideal solution for small enclosed kitchens. A wall can be removed to allow the space to be opened up to another room, without sacrificing storage space.