In our New Galley Kitchen post, we talked about new modern galley kitchen layouts. In modern homes, these two parallel rows of cabinets open up to the family and dining areas. A century ago, kitchens were relegated to a service area at the back of the house. Today we use our kitchens as a primary room for entertaining, fully integrating them into our living areas. As a result, the L-shaped kitchen has become one of the most popular kitchen layouts. It edged out the U-shaped kitchen among U.S. homeowners remodeling in 2020 -according to recent Houzz data /popular-layouts-for-remodeled-kitchens. Let’s take a look at both layouts.
Our featured photo of a Palm Springs kitchen remodel is a great example of the L-shaped layout. Made up of two rows of cabinets connected at one corner in the shape of an “L” this can be a good layout choice if you want a social kitchen. In an open plan living set up, it lends itself to smooth interaction between people in different areas. You can also use this layout as an eat-in kitchen or add an island. Another good option for one long side of the L is a desk for household bills, a phone, and calendars.
Placing an oven at one end of the L is practical, allowing each countertop to have a dedicated use. You can place entertainment items and storage such as wine coolers and glassware on the other end of the L nearest the dining area guests can help themselves.
Today’s trend of incorporating under-counter refrigerator, dishwasher, and warming oven drawers, does require more counter space. One way to provide that with a remodel is to lengthen the two legs of the L.
Either longer or compact, a corner L-shaped layout in an open plan living set-up is a good way to integrate the kitchen- especially if you regularly entertain.
The Practical U
The U-Shaped kitchen is like the L, but with three walls of cabinets. It is probably the most practical of kitchen layouts. It can provide an extra wall of potential storage or appliance space compared with a galley kitchen or an L-shaped kitchen. It is best to allow at least 10 feet between the arms of the U. For this reason, U-shaped kitchens generally work best in larger spaces.
This layout is particularly convenient for multiple cooks. The large expanse of counter space gives two people enough space to work without bumping into each other. This layout has an open side that can connect to the adjacent family room or breakfast area.
The U-shape is ideal for extra storage and workspace. This set-up also provides a good combination of openness to adjacent rooms while maintaining some privacy for the cook.
The Island Life
Most homeowners would love to add an island to their kitchens. If you have room for at least a 3-foot aisle on all sides, islands and peninsulas are a practical and stylish addition to any kitchen design. One or two islands -in a very large kitchen- add a focal point, and provide extra space to prepare food, eat, work, and entertain.
In some cases, and depending on your lifestyle, the right island could even replace a dining table. Peninsulas are attached to a counter and are perfect in a smaller kitchen where an island would take over the room.
Islands and peninsulas are also key elements in separating and creating zones in your kitchen. They can be particularly useful in separating work zones from dining and entertainment zones.
That covers the most common and useful kitchen layouts – galleys, L and U-shapes. Perhaps incorporating a new island too. We hope you will consider coming by our showroom to make an appointment with our Certified Master Kitchen Designer to see what might work for your remodel.