Different Kitchen Layouts
Islands can be added to most kitchen designs and if you have a large kitchen, you should definitely incorporate an island in the design. However, you don't need an enormous kitchen to utilize an island. The great thing about kitchen islands is that you can configure them out of any base cabinets to create the perfect size and design for your kitchen.
The minimum space between the island and the nearest counter/appliance should be 3 feet. They are commonly built at the same height as the main counters and stools can be used for seating if you choose to have an overhang on your island. Alternatively the island can be built at two levels, one at counter height (36" after counter top is added) and one at bar height (42" after counter top is added). Then, bar height stools can be added to the taller side if you'd like. Islands can be used for stoves, sinks & dishwashers, or just work and prep space with extra seating if desired. They are a great and functional addition to all kitchen designs!
The L-Shaped Kitchen is the most popular kitchen design. It consists of two adjoining walls with countertops that form an L. The great thing about this design is that it can be used in both small and large kitchens. The L-shaped kitchen gives you the possibility of having a center island depending on the space available (you want to have at least 3 feet of space around all sides of the island for proper clearance and walking space). In general, this design will have 2 or 3 appliances on one wall. Commonly, the refrigerator will be at one end, the range or cooktop at the other end, and the sink located somewhere in the middle. If adding an island, many times, an appliance can be located here as well. The L-shape provides good traffic flow, will create more space and make your kitchen a more efficient work area!
Double L-Shaped Kitchen
This kitchen design is reserved for large areas and has plenty of cabinet and counter space. This design is more common when there are two cooks because it is essentially two kitchens in one. Because this type of kitchen design can get quite busy, to avoid traffic flow problems, create two separate working areas on each L of the kitchen so that work flow does not get interrupted by human traffic. Using kitchen cabinets to design a double-L kitchen will give you plenty of space to work very efficiently in your kitchen!
The U-Shaped Kitchen has three walls instead of two and is used in larger kitchen designs. Typically (but not always), the sink is located in the middle wall section and the refrigerator and range or cooktop are located on the side walls opposite each other. This design has ample counter top space and provides three walls for cabinets and appliances, creating a very efficient work triangle.Because of the enclosed layout, the U shape design can make a kitchen look darker. Using skylights, large windows, lots of under-cabinet task lighting and light colors will help keep the kitchen bright with sufficient lighting. Kitchens large enough to accommodate a U-Shaped design is a great and efficient option for the household chef!
The G-Shaped kitchen design is becoming very popular with larger kitchen areas and it provides a fourth wall to use. The basic layout is the same as the U-Shaped design with another run of cabinets added in (commonly a peninsula island). This design is ideal if there is more than one cook in the house. The fourth wall/run of cabinets provides additional storage and counter space. This layout gives the capability of having two sinks and perhaps two cooktops or ranges. There could be two working triangles - one for sink, cook top or range and refrigerator and a second working triangle with another sink, built-in grill and cooktop (or whatever appliances are being installed). It allows two cooks to do different things at the same time and entertain large groups of people. Adding a long island in the middle of the kitchen is a great way to fill that space and provide the maximum amount of cabinet and work space!
Single Wall Kitchen
If there isn't much space, there may only be room for a Single Wall kitchen. No problem! Just be sure the sink is placed between the refrigerator and the stove. Another useful tip is to locate the refrigerator so that the refrigerator door (assuming a 1-door refrigerator) opens away from the kitchen sink. That way, it ensures the counter and storage space isn't blocked at any time. This is a very common arrangement for small kitchens in narrow spaces. It keeps everything scaled down, while at the same time, providing storage and work space, making the most out of a minimal area!
A Galley kitchen design is more common in apartments or in homes where space is limited and is often called the corridor style. The cabinets and the appliances can be located on opposite walls for better work flow. Place the range or cooktop on one side of the kitchen along one wall and the refrigerator and sink on the opposite wall. To eliminate traffic issues in this type of kitchen design, one entry is often closed off. This type of layout is typically only used when there is one cook as two can present traffic problems when working together. If both exits/entry points are being maintained, place the refrigerator near the end of the galley kitchen for easy access, this way, guests can access the refrigerator without interfering with the person who is cooking. Installing tall kitchen cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling is a great way to get extra storage in this kitchen design and really maximizes space without creating a cramped layout!