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Kitchen layouts

Kitchen layouts – A guide

In many instances, when a customer decides to contact us it’s not only because they want to refit their kitchen but because they also want to change its whole layout and flow. The major alteration of a kitchen layout can mean you finally achieve a kitchen that suits your lifestyle and allows you to cook and entertain in a way that you’ve never been able to before.

As experienced kitchen fitters we are familiar with all of the most common types of kitchen design layouts. This means we are best placed to help you come up with kitchen layout ideas of your own when you decide it’s time to refurbish your kitchen.

Kitchen layout ideas – consider how you use the space

When deliberating over layout styles be sure to consider how you use your kitchen currently: Are you the using it for entertaining and other social activities? Do you sit together with your whole family and eat meals? Do you or anybody in your family use it as a makeshift workspace or office?

Consider also how you would like to use your kitchen once its renovation is complete. It may seem like a lot to think about but the designing and fitting of a kitchen is not a frequent undertaking. This coupled with the fact that it is a significant investment means you definitely want to be sure of getting it right. We do of course collaborate with you to ensure you achieve a high quality kitchen, but we will do this by working to your specifications. So, in order to help inspire you we have created a guide discussing the most utilised kitchen layouts.

The U shaped kitchen

The U shaped layout is a favourite of cooking enthusiasts who like lots of worktop space. It’s generally most advantageous to a household where there is one primary or main cook. That’s not to say that two people cannot cook together in a U shape kitchen however. The U shape is one that is open to other rooms and enables household occupants and friends to pass through with ease.

Some drawbacks of the U shape include the fact it cannot accommodate a dining area, so your table and chairs will have to find a home elsewhere. However, as the U shape is open at one end there is the potential to create a dining room/dining area adjacent to the kitchen, depending of course on the available room in your dwelling.

Kitchen design best practice dictates that whenever possible a dishwasher should be placed next to a sink in order to reduce the need to alter the plumbing. However, with a U shaped kitchen it is not always easy or possible to place the dishwasher next to the sink. This means extra plumbing would be required and that will result in extra cost. We have in house qualified plumbers, so when you hire us to carry out your installation the quote we would have provided to you at the start would have accounted for the additional plumbing work.

To create more space in your U shaped kitchen you could choose not to place the fridge freezer in the main kitchen area. The space vacated by the fridge freezer can give you more cookware storage, so if you don’t mind that the refrigerator is just “outside” the kitchen then that could be a workable option.

The U shape with island

Adding an island to your U shape kitchen will provide a significant amount of additional worktop space, storage and functionality to a kitchen. Bear in mind however that an island can’t be added to all U shaped kitchens as there are guidelines dictating how much space there needs to be between the island and other cabinets and fittings. You will of course not have to worry about any guidelines or regulations however as we are well versed in this area and will be able to guide you.

The island now allows the cook to be more social and look out onto the rest of the house and engage in conversation more easily than in a standard U shape kitchen. There’s also the advantage of being able to supervise any young children who may be playing in the garden or the dining area.

The galley kitchen

It is true to say that the first and most basic function of a kitchen is cooking. So if you want to strip a kitchen back to that most basic functionality then a galley kitchen is ideal in that respect. Galley kitchens are typically found in smaller homes just like a one wall kitchen and so by necessity they make the most use possible of all available space.

Whilst a galley kitchen does make the absolute most of space available, like the U shaped kitchen and one wall kitchen there is generally no room for a dining area. Further, there is a limit as to how easily the person cooking can engage with family and visitors.

The one wall kitchen layout

The one wall kitchen or all in a line kitchen layout is usually the kitchen of necessity in very small homes, especially in self-contained studio flats. They take up little space and are accompanied by open plan living. This means that your kitchen is most likely to be “looking out” onto your living room area or a small dining area. Having said that, the galley kitchen does have its advantages in that all appliances, cabinets and cooking tools are in easy reach and there is no carrying of plates and pots around the kitchen.

As one wall kitchens are not enclosed there is lots of opportunity for interaction with friends and family although you will not necessarily be looking out and facing them.

The L shaped kitchen

This kitchen design layout is one of the most popular around. This is primarily down to the rise and rise of open plan living which in many ways has meant a reduction in dedicated dining rooms. L shaped kitchens can vary in size from small to very grand. If you have 2 walls which are perpendicular to one another then the only limit on the size of the kitchen is how long those walls stretch uninterrupted.

The L shaped kitchen is able to easily accommodate more than 1 person at a time and is a kitchen that invites social interaction and mingling. One of the advantages of such a kitchen is that table and chairs can easily be added and then you have an eat-in kitchen diner.

The L shape with island

The addition of an island to an L shaped kitchen immediately magnifies and enhances all the social elements already present in a stand alone L shaped kitchen. This means your kitchen is now a hub of activity, including cooking, mingling and socialising. As with an island unit, you add to the storage and worktop space of your kitchen. Depending on whether you wish to place a cooker in the island or a sink, you are able to look out onto the rest of the house while you cook.

Of course no kitchen layout need adhere to hard and fast rules and there’s always the more bespoke approach. The important thing is that your kitchen works for you and your household. Additionally, you should give thought to the types of kitchen style that you would like as this could influence layout decisions.

Hopefully this guide has inspired you and now you may have some layout ideas of your own. For tailored kitchen design advice contact us and let us help you achieve your perfect kitchen.