Bathroom & Kitchen Guide

Your complete guide to remodeling, design and new products.


Layout Options

Kitchens come in many different shapes and sizes, and you should choose your kitchen design to suit the size and shape of the space you have to work with. There are a number of basic kitchen design formats - the most popular are listed below. But before we get into the nuts and bolts of what kitchen design works in which space, we'll discuss the classic principle used in kitchen design - the triangle kitchen.

Triangle Kitchen Design

The kitchen triangle refers to a design principle which places the fridge, the stove and the sink in a triangular format. The theory is that this allows the cook unimpeded access between these three points, creating an efficient workflow. Most, but not all, of the kitchen designs we will discuss utilise the kitchen triangle.

Two-Way Galley Kitchen

In this classic kitchen design, cabinets are lined up across from each other. The sink and stove generally sit together on one side, with the refrigerator on the other, although this configuration can change. This design provides ample cabinet space and an efficient workflow utilising the kitchen triangle.

L-Shape Kitchen

Two rows of cabinets are situated along adjacent walls, creating the L shape suggested by the name. This design preserves the kitchen triangle principle and allows more room for the cook (or cooks) to move around the kitchen. The downside of this is that the stove, refrigerator and sink may be further apart.

U-Shape Kitchen

Cabinets are lined up along three walls to create a U-shape. This is similar to the two-way galley kitchen, except that the space at the end of the corridor is filled in with an area that can be used for a stove, oven or sink. This design also preserves the classic kitchen triangle concept.

Island Kitchen

This more modern design is great for large spaces and features a workstation (the island) which sits away from the other counters, which are typically in an L-shape configuration. This island may contain a stove top or a sink and also provides extra space for preparation, making it ideal for families who like to cook together.

Single Galley Kitchen

This design does not utilise the kitchen triangle, but instead lines up the fridge, sink and oven along a single wall. While this may not be the ideal working configuration, in a studio apartment or other restricted spaces it could well prove to be the best option.

So Which Kitchen Should You Choose?

It depends on the amount of space that you have and your preferences as a cook. Advice from an interior designer is a good idea - if you can't afford a specialist, many kitchen stores have in-house experts who can help you work out the best configuration for your kitchen.

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