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How to Make Today’s Popular Kitchen Layouts Work

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Merillat Cabinets in ANN ARBOR, MI on Houzz

The U-Shape Kitchen, also called a ‘Horseshoe,’ is perfect for those who enjoy dining-in. It offers a lot of counter and storage space for preparation and cooking. This design utilizes three walls for kitchen space, and should have 10ft between walls before it’s a feasible option. At the right kitchen size, it can be a very efficient design to have when multiple people are cooking in a kitchen at once.

The U-Shape design is also a great design for creating an organized work triangle. Aside from thinking about overall kitchen size, there is an amount of consideration that needs to be taken when deciding the location of appliances and cabinets. If drawers and doors are too close together at the corners, the doors will collide when opened. A solution to this would be corner cabinets, Lazy Susans, or corner drawers.

Because the U-Shape is so enclosed, increasing the size or number of windows can allow more light. This will not only make your kitchen more vibrant, and provide better airflow; but it’ll maximize the appearance of space.

Smaller kitchens can also benefit from more counter space by using an L-Shape design. The L-Shape works well with your entire home design, by opening up your kitchen and preventing high traffic through the kitchen.

With the increase in great rooms and loft-style living, L-Shaped Kitchens have become quite popular. It is the ideal layout for mingling, because it eliminates that extra wall of cabinets you’d see in a U-Shape. If you have an L-Shape Kitchen adjacent to a family room or patio, it can be very beneficial to have an island, so the cooks aren’t constantly facing away from activity in other rooms.

L-Shape is great for opening up to other rooms, however there are other reasons this shape could be the right choice for you. Patio doors or large windows across an empty wall can bring in substantial amounts of light to brighten up your kitchen.

A Galley is characterized by two parallel walls, or two counter-tops opposite of each other with a walkway in between them. Often referred to as the ‘lean’ layout, it’s great for efficiency. It’s great for making use of small, cramped spaces.

" From a functionality perspective, most kitchens in restaurants are galley kitchens," says Duncan Firth, chef de cuisine at Barona Resort & Casino in San Diego. "For a chef, it works great. Everybody's lined up close together. Plates are on one side, pans on the other."

Unlike the L and U-Shape kitchens, it limits the ability to interact with others, inside or outside of the kitchen. It also eliminates the possibility of having a kitchen table or island. Alternatively, to solve this issue, one could possibly tear down one of the walls, opening it up to the next room with either an island, bar, or kitchen nook.

The One-Wall Kitchen, which is often the smallest of all of the kitchen layouts, is typically found in studio apartments or small homes. This layout is a single wall with all cabinetry, drawers, sinks, and appliances on a single wall.

In a One-Wall design, the sink usually sits between the stove and refrigerator to aid easy clean-up. Overhead cabinets are a must across the length of the wall; as well as a built-in microwave system to clear-up countertop space.

A dining room table, or a kitchen island can sometimes be added to improve the amount of available workspace if needed. It’s also possible to add a Peninsula to a One-Wall layout. This design, a one-wall with an island or peninsula, has become quite popular in modern homes; even homes that aren’t small at all. Homes with an open floor plan often use this style to maintain the openness of the living space.

`Deciding what layout works best for you, would highly depend on the layout of your home. However, these are a few elements to consider when knocking down a wall, closing up a kitchen, or working with an already designed kitchen space.


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