Kitchen layouts are classified by their floor plan shape that they make- a single wall, galley, L-shape, U-shape and kitchen island. Often your kitchen layout is guided by architectural boundaries such as wall configurations, window and door placements. Kitchen layouts are the base for designing your new kitchen; you can add style, functionality and technology within your new kitchen layout.
Kitchen layouts are not a new concept. The 1950s introduced the concept of the work triangle in kitchen design. The classic work triangle model suggests placing the sink, refrigerator and cooktop in a layout that creates a triangle. Naturally, any three items make a triangle (albeit a narrow triangle on a single wall), so it is not so much about creating the triangle with these hubs, but rather making sure your triangle works best for you and your kitchen space.
Kitchen design has advanced a long way since then. Today, Blue Tea designers integrate new appliances, new technologies and the idea that people are using their kitchen spaces in a more harmonised and fluid manner.
Modern designers plan kitchens around different work zones:
Cooking zone Cooking and baking items
Preparation zone Utensils and other items used for food preparation, such as oils and spices
Cleaning zone Cleaning items, household chemicals
Storage zone for consumable items Food items are placed for easy access
Storage zone for non-consumable items Often-used items, such as tableware, glass, plates, utensils, etc.
Items are stored and grouped in a logical manner, relating to their specific use. This allows for a task-oriented kitchen design.
Although Blue Tea designers are accustomed to design kitchens using this modern approach to ergonomics and design, kitchens still are classified by their basic floor plan shapes:
Single Wall Kitchen
Single wall kitchens are efficient for small spaces. They are often contemporary design, and are used in open plan houses or smaller spaces.A table opposite the kitchen can function as extra bench space.Compact appliances may be useful to save space, such as a single drawer dishwasher or a two burner cooktop.
Galley kitchens are two parallel work surfaces with a corridor dividing them in the middle. They are effective for one chef. Allow 1200mm from each bench surface and watch out for appliance doors opening into each other.
L-shape kitchens are a flexible design layout and it is easy to keep traffic out of the kitchen with this shape. If the space is big enough, you can allow for a kitchen island or table in this layout. Avoid placing the oven right in the corner as it is tight to open the oven door.
U-shape kitchens provides plenty of storage and bench space. However, it has two corners which can be tricky storage areas. U-shape kitchens can be converted to a G-shape kitchen by utilising a breakfast bar at one end. The fridge is best placed at the opening of the kitchen to minimise traffic flow within the space.
Kitchen island designs are contemporary and open plan. They often require a generous floor plan. Kitchen islands can be added to a single wall or L-shape kitchen and can function as a casual dining/homework area too. Allow atleast 1000mm between the island and the bench-top behind it, 1100-1400mm is optimal.
Kitchen layouts are the foundation for designing your new kitchen. Kitchen layouts are guided by floor plan shapes and are often defined by existing spatial features. Some spaces allow for various kitchen layout options, while others are more restrictive. It may not always possible to change the floor plan of your kitchen, but it is possible to design a kitchen that works best for you in the space, both ergonomically and visually.