What Is The Best Layout For A Large Kitchen?
Your kitchen is a vital part of making your home a happy home. Other rooms can stay a mess because they do not have the same demands of your family or the frequent use. No-one makes food in a bathroom or a bedroom and you wouldn’t entertain guests there either. Unlike a bathroom or a bedroom, a kitchen rarely has a standard box shape.
The perfect kitchen layout is fraught with logistical issues, such as windows, exhaust vents for your range hood, plumbing, and electrical. The solutions to these problems can make a kitchen unique, something that no one else has. Start with looking at what you have, measure it carefully, and then make a plan.
If the hurdles are manageable, the result is often a kitchen layout that far exceeds your greatest expectation. The basic design of kitchens in all shapes and sizes has been done a million different ways. Looking at the below examples will enable you to head in the right direction of how to get the most from remodeling your kitchen. After that, it is about making the most with the space available.
A Note About Your Kitchen Layout “The Triangle”
The triangle is the strongest shape and it plays an important role in your kitchen layout. The Egyptians used the triangle to make Pyramids. Interior designers use the triangle to design the best kitchen layout. The “work triangle” as it’s called, will help you get the most out of your kitchen space and make food and drink preparation more efficient.
Use the three corners for the placement of key preparation areas the sink, stovetop, gas range or oven, and fridge. These are the most common kitchen appliances that need to be close at hand when preparing any meals. A triangle along a flat wall is a different matter, but this planning works for all 2-dimensional kitchens. The distance between each of the three corners should be from 4 to 9-feet so that you are not tripping over yourself while preparing food.
When you have confirmed the position of the main food stations, it is time to look at extras. A dishwasher will still need to be near the plumbing in the kitchen, usually beside or very near the sink. The microwave and your coffee maker will have more flexibility. It really comes down to how much space you have available to play with. The large kitchen will have to cope with a few appliances scattered over its counter tops. A small kitchen needs to have a place for everything to sit out of the way or you’ll never have an enjoyable experience in your kitchen.
The temptation to get the best large kitchen layout is to fill it up with shelving and cupboards for the storage that every kitchen never seems to have enough of. This will have the effect of bringing the walls in and making your space feel smaller. A large kitchen should expand on the space it has with a lot of open shelving to let the light hit all the surfaces. You do not want to lose any of the natural light that your kitchen already has either. If there are no windows, lighting becomes incredibly important. It is important to have more light fixtures strategically placed throughout your kitchen than one large or central light source. A Single light source will cast shadows over food when you are trying to prepare a meal and will be inconvenient.
To retain the close and cozy feel of a kitchen, cupboards will use up the ample space. Big kitchens look cluttered with everything on display, so it is important to keep them looking clean and tidy. A single wall cabinet for housing the fridge, oven, and microwave will use the space the best. Then use the spaces around the appliances to store food, cutlery, dishes, pots and pans. Use the adjacent side of the kitchen for the dishwasher and the sink. It is all about scale. A small kitchen is going to be viewed from up-close. A large kitchen will show up differences in color and shape in a big home from afar.
Open Kitchen Layouts
Open kitchens offer a ton of space if you have a large family and everyone likes to hover around the kitchen. While the open-plan looks good, small ceiling dividers can play a useful role in separating the kitchen from the rest of the home. It is important to keep all the kitchen storage and equipment from spilling over into other parts of the home. Plan out how much space you need and then it’s always a good idea to add some extra if possible. The open-plan style kitchens are great for breakfast islands where the family can meet in the morning. A breakfast island can also replace the need for a dining table, handy for cramped homes.
U-Shaped Kitchen Layout
The U and C-shaped kitchen layouts are essentially the same, just with a different name. The style makes the work triangle that much easier to use. The U-shaped kitchen design is considered one of the most sociable shapes to use with bar stool seating along an outside edge a common addition. The U-shaped kitchen can do it all. It offers space to prepare food, relax with family, and offer somewhere to eat without having to lay out a table. The middle of the U can either be left open, giving the kitchen a large open feel. Or an island in the middle is a good place for additional storage and counter top space. This is one of the most common and practical shapes for a kitchen.
L-Shaped Kitchen Layout
The shorter part of the L is a good place to put a breakfast counter. Breakfast counters set a divider between the kitchen and the dining room. The small part of the L is a great shape for parties, doubling up as a bar and place to do a small buffet. If you want to make the most of the space, it is also a good space to store cutlery or dishes and have the fridge on the corner.
The galley style of the kitchen has faded out in popularity over the years but is still very popular for apartments or condos with limited space. The galley is still a practical kitchen design that has benefits over other styles, especially in a smaller space. The galley kitchen gets it’s name by referring to the tight cooking quarters on a sailing vessel. Everything in a galley must be near and organized to avoid having to walk around.
A galley kitchen will have two entrances (one at either end), often useful when bringing in shopping when your partner is already cooking. Because there are two entrances. With the galley design, space feels less confined when there is more than one person in the kitchen at a time. It allows for a natural flow, an organic and organized space, and a kitchen that feels intimate and professional.
One of the most sort after kitchen styles. There is only so much that will work with a given wall space. An island will add an extra dimension to the kitchen. An island also acts as a divider between rooms such as your dining room or a living room. There are some drawbacks, such as taking up space when there was already plenty of storage. An island also is a good place for a gas range or an oven, though if the island sits between two walls of the kitchen, you have disturbed the work triangle we talked about earlier. If you are going to put an island in, build it in a way that keeps everything at hand. It will get frustrating, having to walk around an island every time you want to go to the fridge.
More of a G-shape or a U-shape with a tail, most of the kitchen will work on the principle of a U-kitchen design. There is only one entrance with this design, and it has a good shape for the work triangle. The small lip is an extra place for preparation, or to display food when you have guests around. It is common for the kitchen to use a version of this design, but instead of a solid peninsula, they use a folding bar. Then if the event arose where you need the space, it is quick to produce. A peninsula is fine if you need the space, but liable to get in the way.
For a two-island kitchen to work, you will need to have a huge amount of space to play with. A two-island kitchen should only have one wall or be an L-shape. The fridge and cooker should be against one wall with a sink opposite. Then behind the sink, there is another island for the family to eat at. It is a bit like having a raised dining table in the kitchen with storage space underneath. Not the best way to use the space, but this is not an issue for a giant kitchen. If done right, it will give a big kitchen an open feel. Guests will like it because they can stand in the kitchen without getting in the way. If you do not like the look of a wall cabinet, but still need the space, then this is a good alternative. Even if left open, under-counter storage looks much cleaner than having floor-to-ceiling cabinets.
There is a bit of reverse logic when it comes to kitchen remodeling. It does not seem logical to go sparse in a big kitchen, but it works. From a distance, a big kitchen will always look imposing. The smaller kitchen will have less space for appliances, storage, and can look charming with a little clutter. Islands are difficult to move if they turn out to be the wrong choice. The kitchen is going to, or not going to have windows, do not try to change it, adjust the design to flow with the layout already there. If a design is forced into the existing shape of the kitchen, it will never feel right.
D.B. Woolley & EHR Specializes In Kitchen Remodeling
Are you thinking about remodeling your kitchen? Do you need help deciding on a kitchen design or your kitchen layout? D.B. Woolley & EHR is a licensed contractor serving Hartford County CT and the surrounding areas. We specialize in kitchen remodeling projects of all sizes.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation for your kitchen remodeling project please give us a call (860) 214-2470 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get right back to you.