Designing Your Kitchen Layout

in Working

If you're like me, namely a guy, chances are you've never given much thought to the kitchen in your home.  It is primarily the wife's kingdom, so you leave all decisions related to such to her and her alone.  I never gave it much thought myself until I found myself newly separated and looking for a new place to live.  Oddly enough, the size and layout of the kitchen became one of my biggest factors in deciding where to live.

I actually ended up with a fairly large kitchen, ample cabinet space, but with a few design flaws, namely the open dishwasher blocking a cabinet and the oven from opening, but overall I was quite pleased.  When I began looking for a house, again, a good kitchen was high on my list of priorities.

So what should you look for in a kitchen?  First of all, you have to look at the "work triangle" and determine where each corner of it is going to go.  The work triangle consists of 3 areas, the refrigerator, where food is stored, the sink, where everything is washed, and the oven/stove, where the food is cooked.  You want easy access from any one point to the other two, with no obstacles in the way.  If there is anything in the way, or if you find yourself having to retrace your steps, then your design layout is probably less than adequate.

You also want a lot of counter space.  Making meals requires a number of different work surfaces, and ideally you want to have one between each of the points in the work triangle.  Between the fridge and sink, where food can be held before washing.  Between the sink and the stove, where food can be dried before cooking.  The more counter space you can have, the better off you'll be.  You may also be able to use the countertop space as additional dining space in the event you are hosting a large number of guests.

The island.  In larger kitchens, an island can effectively minimize the amount of travel between work stations, and in some cases, one point of the work station (such as the sink) may be located on the island.  Some kitchens utilize temporary islands, equipped with casters or wheels, that may be moved as needed.  An island may also be used for storage or as an additional work surface.  The optimal function would be the ability to move the island out of the way as needs require.

Kitchens come in a variety of shapes.  U shaped kitchens offer three walls that really help facilitate the whole "work triangle" concept.  Unfortunately, such kitchens can also get quite crowded if more than two people are involved.

An L shaped kitchen is a popular layout, allowing for much in the way of space saving because two of the work stations will be located along a common wall.  It also allows the kitchen to open up on another room, such as a living or dining space.

The final design is the Galley Shape, with the walls parallel to each other…this provides ample workspace with less travel required between stations.  Unfortunately, like the U shape, it is not particularly conducive to large numbers of people.

Either way you go, you want to make sure you have ample counter and storage space.  Never underestimate the power of storage.  And speaking from experience, make sure the various units do not interfere with each other.

Whatever you choose, just be sure to keep the work triangle in mind and construct your kitchen accordingly.  The idea is to have a space that is both functional and inviting.  You'll be spending a lot of your time there, so make it a place you can call home.


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BillyDRitchie has 1 articles online

Billy D Ritchie is the Director Of Content for LeadsByFone, LLC, a lead generation company servicing the basement flooding and water damage restoration industry.

When not writing and educating folks about the perils of water damage, he is also a freelance writer, sometime actor, and formerly professional musician.  He also enjoys spending his weekends building and flying model rockets

Visit him online at

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Designing Your Kitchen Layout

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This article was published on 2011/04/04