Popular Kitchen Layouts

Are you considering a kitchen renovation but at a loss as to the layout? All kitchen layouts have their pros and cons, so it is important to think about your specific living situation and needs before making any decisions.

Do you live alone?

Do you have a large family?

Do you like to spread out when you cook or are you a ‘one pan Sam’?

Are you an ‘at the bench’ kind of diner, or do you prefer to eat at the dining room table?

Do you need to ‘age proof’ your kitchen, either for young children or elderly residents? I.e., opt for a wall oven as opposed to an under-bench oven?

Do you have a small, medium, or large space at your disposal?

Is the “working triangle” important to you? (It is thought by some that the three main work areas – cooktop, sink, and refrigerator – should be laid out in a triangle pattern to maximise efficiency and flow).

The answers to these types of questions will help to inform your decision and assist in determining which design is likely to be the most suitable for you, your family, and your lifestyle.

L-shapes and U-shapes and Islands, oh my! Check out our break down of popular kitchen layouts below:

1. Is the U-Shape for you?
U-shaped kitchens are great for big families or cooks that love to spread out, because they feature a large amount of bench space and plenty of storage options. As the name suggests, they are designed in the shape of a ‘U’ and contain 3 walls and one entry way. Adding an island bench to a U-shaped kitchen is also worth considering, because this central point can act as an extra workspace or a dining area.

2. The ‘L’ word
L-shaped kitchens are – surprise surprise – configured in the shape of the letter ‘L’ and consist of 2 adjoining perpendicular walls. They take up less space than other designs and provide room for a dining table or kitchen cart.

3. Straight down the line
Straight-line kitchens – also referred to as single wall or one wall kitchens – are exactly that – a kitchen that is configured in a straight line that takes up one wall! Ideal for apartments or compact spaces, this layout features every aspect of the kitchen along one single wall – drawers, sinks, cooktop, oven, pantry, the works – all in a (hopefully) neat row. This simple kitchen design is often the most affordable in relation to other kitchen layouts and works well in an open plan space.

4. Is the Galley up your alley?
Galley kitchens are commonly found in older homes. Named after the narrow kitchens on ships, they consist of two parallel walls with cupboards and appliances facing inward. The long and narrow layout is efficient in terms of functionality and meal production and works well in compact homes. Whilst galley kitchens are not built for entertaining and can sometimes feel tight, with the right colour palette and thoughtful placement of appliances, they can be beautiful and highly functional spaces.

5. Island Time
The Island kitchen layout is perfect for those that enjoy entertaining because the design’s main feature – the island bench – allows hosts to interact with guests or family members as they cook and clean and ensures that they feel connected to other zones of the house. Sinks and/or cooktops can be added to the island, or it can simply be used as an additional workspace or dining area. This style of kitchen requires a bit more room, works well in open plan homes, and facilitates flow as there are two ways in and out of the kitchen.

Beyond the physical layout of the kitchen, it is also worth considering which design elements may add value to the space, such as:

Lighting: Lighting alters mood, and a dark and dull kitchen is not overly inspiring. These days there are countless lighting solutions that can add warmth to a kitchen, such as strip lighting under cabinetry, and skylights (whether they be natural or artificial).

Benchtops and splashbacks: If your budget is a bit tight, it might be worth spending more on benchtops and splashbacks, as opposed to cabinetry finishes, because these elements are often the first things people see and are often designed to be the focal point.

High tech appliances: Everybody loves a bit of tech, so if you are keen to take your kitchen to the next level, consider appliances such as induction cooktops, pyrolytic ovens, downdraft range hoods and zip taps to add perceived value to the space.

Integrated appliances: Integrated appliances are big ticket items – such as refrigerators and dishwashers – that are hidden from view, often inside the cupboards or panels of your kitchen, to create a luxe, polished look.

For many people, kitchens are the heart of the home. They are warm, often buzzing with activity, and are where family members and friends generally congregate to chew the fat (figuratively and literally!) Choosing the design of this key space is a big decision, so be sure to do your research and seek advice from a reputable kitchen designer.

If you need a loan to help finance your kitchen renovation, contact your local MoneyQuest finance specialist for assistance.

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