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    The Five Fundamental Kitchen Layouts

    Determining what kind of kitchen layout you have is key in planning for your remodel. Does the current configuration work for how you cook, entertain, and clean? It’s possible that another layout would be better suited to your individual needs, and before you start choosing those cabinets, appliances, and flooring materials, check out the five fundamental kitchen layouts so you can figure out how to work with what you’ve already got or how to rearrange the kitchen to make the most out of your space.

     

    One of the most important factors in determining your kitchen layout design is making sure that you are following the rules of what’s known as the kitchen work triangle. This triangle has three main points – the refrigerator, the stove, and the sink – that the cook(s) should be able to move to and from without any obstacles, with the points located 4-9 feet from one another. The sum of all the sides of this triangle should be between 13-26 feet. Read on below for more details about how the different layouts work with the triangle. Check out free virtual kitchen remodel software online to experiment and find what works best for you. For any further questions, our consultants at Nelson cabinets are happy to discuss your options with you.

    L-Shaped Layout

    The L-shaped layout gets its name from the way that it forms an L shape with two runs of cabinets or counters placed at right angles to each other. It’s perhaps the most versatile and commonly used layout because it can be easily adapted to many sizes and styles of kitchens. Plus, it offers plenty of options for storage and appliance placement.

     

    Nelson Cabinetry White Shaker L-Shape Kitchen Collection with Wall Open End Shelf and Decorative Base Wall Panels
    Nelson Cabinetry White Shaker L-Shape Kitchen Collection with Wall Open End Shelf and Decorative Base Wall Panels

     

    This type of kitchen works well in both small and large spaces, which makes it a good choice if you’re planning a kitchen remodel. In a small kitchen, the L-shape can help to open up the space and make it feel more spacious and airy. In a large kitchen, an L-shaped layout can provide ample workspace while still allowing for traffic flow around the room.

     

    In this simple layout, the 2 main lines of countertops, cabinets, and appliances join in one corner to create the “L,” with the space in between open. This configuration allows for easy connection to another room so that the cook can easily bring plates to the dining table and chat with guests while cooking. Most importantly, it ensures free movement between the different points of the kitchen triangle.

    U-Shaped Layout

    A U-shaped kitchen is similar to an L-shaped layout in that it has two runs of cabinets or counters placed at right angles to each other. However, the difference is that a U-shaped kitchen wraps around three sides of the room while an L-shaped layout only wraps around two. This can be a good choice if you have a large kitchen space and want to make the most of it.

     

    Nelson Cabinetry White Shaker Kitchen Collection U-Shape Kitchen with Glass Door Cabinets
    Nelson Cabinetry White Shaker Kitchen Collection U-Shape Kitchen with Glass Door Cabinets

     

    This type of layout can provide ample storage and workspace while still allowing for traffic flow around the room. It can also be adapted to different sizes and styles of kitchens. However, one downside is that it can feel cramped and cluttered if not designed correctly.

     

    This is one of the most efficient and symmetrical layouts, since there are two parallel sides with a shorter one joining them to create the “U” configuration. Generally, there is one point of the triangle on each side, and one of the advantages is that it frees up cabinet and counter space on either side of all three stations. Maximize the corner areas with blind corner base cabinets or lazy susan kitchen cabinets.

    G-Shaped Layout

    The G-shaped layout is similar to the U-shaped layout in that it has two runs of cabinets or counters placed at right angles to each other. However, the difference is that a G-shaped layout wraps around four sides of the room while a U-shaped kitchen only wraps around three. This can be a good choice if you have a large kitchen space and want to make the most of it.

     

    This type of layout can provide ample storage and workspace while still allowing for traffic flow around the room. It can also be adapted to different sizes and styles of kitchens. However, one downside is that it can feel cramped and cluttered if not designed correctly.

     

    An island G-shaped kitchen with a top and bottom cabinets and LED strip lit backsplash, Source: DesignCafe

     

    This type of layout gets its name from the fact that it forms a “G” shape with two runs of cabinets or counters placed at right angles to each other. It’s a good choice for large kitchens because it offers plenty of storage and workspace while still allowing for traffic flow around the room. However, one downside is that it can feel cramped and cluttered if not designed correctly.

     

    Also called a “peninsula kitchen,” this layout is just like the U-shaped one, plus a shorter, fourth side. This extra side typically has no wall cabinets and shelves or upper cabinets so the kitchen remains open. This side juts out like a peninsula, and this is where you’ll want to make the most of your countertop space, which in many cases will function as an eating area. With this layout, it’s best to plan for the points of the kitchen triangle to be relatively close to each other, leaving the peninsula open. The inner side of the peninsula is a great place for base cabinets, where you can store cookware, dry goods, as well as pots and pans.

     

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    Galley Layout

    A galley kitchen is a long, narrow room with two parallel runs of cabinets or counters placed on opposite sides. This can be a good choice if you have a small kitchen space and want to make the most of it. This type of layout can provide ample storage and workspace while still allowing for traffic flow around the room. It can also be adapted to different sizes and styles of kitchens. However, one downside is that it can feel cramped and cluttered if not designed correctly.

     

    Design a beautiful galley kitchen with white shaker cabinets

     

    The galley layout gets its name from its resemblance to the narrow corridors found on ships. It’s a popular choice for small kitchens because it’s an efficient way to use the available space. Two runs of cabinets or counters are placed on opposite sides of the room, leaving a space in the middle for traffic flow. This can be a good choice if you have a small kitchen space and want to make the most of it.

     

    A galley kitchen is a compact space for cooking with two walls running parallel and a corridor in between. Thus, many chefs love this arrangement because it’s easy to reach ingredients and move from one station of the triangle to the next: generally, the sides of the triangle are relatively short, so everything is just a step or two away. Smart storage solutions, like a tall pantry and bridge cabinets above the refrigerator, are essential with this design. Tall cabinets along one wall together with one appliance, such as double oven cabinets, can serve to maximize your workflow.

    Single-Wall Layout

    A single-wall kitchen is a layout in which all the cabinets and appliances are placed along one wall. This can be a good choice if you have a small kitchen space and want to make the most of it. This type of layout can provide ample storage and workspace while still allowing for traffic flow around the room. It can also be adapted to different sizes and styles of kitchens.

     

    The single-wall layout gets its name from the fact that all the cabinets and appliances are placed along one wall. This can be a good choice for small kitchens because it’s an efficient way to use the available space. One advantage of this layout is that it can provide ample storage and workspace. However, one downside is that it can feel cramped and cluttered if not designed correctly.

     

    Nelson Cabinetry White Shaker Kitchen Collection Straight Wall with Plate Rack
    Nelson Cabinetry White Shaker Kitchen Collection Straight Wall with Plate Rack

     

    When planning a single-wall kitchen, be sure to include plenty of storage solutions, such as pantry cabinets, upper cabinets, and lower cabinets. You’ll also want to make sure there’s enough countertop space for food preparation and cooking. One way to achieve this is to use an island or peninsula as part of your layout.

     

    With this kitchen design, the work triangle is more of a line rather than a triangle, as all of the countertops, cabinets, and appliances are, as you’ve probably already guessed, grouped together along a single wall. This is the best layout for homes where space is tight, as the open side of the layout can lead into another room. To keep everything in the kitchen organized and within arm’s reach, you can stack cabinets strategically, with a food pantry cabinet or utility cabinets over a base cabinet, for example. Nelson Cabinetry offers pantry cabinets in a variety of heights to combine best with the single door or double door base cabinets, giving you a multitude of options to maximize your kitchen storage.

     

     

    Summary

    There are many things to consider when choosing a kitchen layout. The size and shape of your kitchen, the traffic flow, and the available storage are all important factors to take into account. The five most common kitchen layouts are the L-Shape layout, U-Shape layout, G-Shape layout, galley layout, and the single-wall layout. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to choose the one that best suits your needs. Whichever layout you choose, Nelson Cabinetry can help you make the most of your space with our high quality cabinets and storage solutions.

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