The shape of the kitchen is an important feature in the planning of your kitchen. It narrows down the possibilities considerably, which will make it easier for you to plan your kitchen. The most important thing to remember is, whichever shape your kitchen will have, try to plan your kitchen as efficient as possible. This means that food preparation, sink and cooking must not be too far apart. A rule of thumb is that there must be a piece of worktop between sink and hob, where the food can be prepared.
The place of your fridge in your kitchen is very important as well. Place your fridge between the main entrance and the main cooking area. This way the other members of the house have easy access to the fridge and you can get rid of your shopping as soon as you enter the kitchen. Try however to avoid placing the fridge next to the hob as the difference in temperature will make both appliances work less efficient.
The "work triangle" is defined by the National Kitchen and Bath Association as an imaginary straight line drawn from the center of the sink, to the center of the cooktop, to the center of the refrigerator and finally back to the sink.
There are four main shapes a kitchen can have. These are galley kitchens, two-way galley kitchens, L-shaped kitchens and U-shaped kitchens. Here, they will be explained and also the pros and cons of each shape will be discussed.
Galley kitchens are kitchens in which all the important areas are next to each other. One of the biggest problems in this type of kitchens is storage space. There will not be a lot of below-worktop storage space, so perhaps it is an idea to have a big storage cupboard or a high refrigerator at the end of the galley.
Another point in galley kitchen is the walking distance between the main work areas. Try to minimize this distance, but keep in mind that you need worktop between the sink and the hob.
Two-way galley kitchens
Two-way galley kitchens provide a lot more storage space below the worktop and will usually also have a better layout than a single galley kitchen. Whereas in a single galley kitchen the distances between cupboards are reasonably big, in a two-way galley they're just behind you, so you have to walk less. This will save time. The shape of a two-way galley makes that the layout of your kitchen becomes more compact. Very important with this type of kitchen is though to have enough space between the two galleys. There has to be enough space for example to look into your oven without bumping into the galley behind you. If this space between the two galleys will turn out to be too narrow, then maybe you should think about reshaping your kitchen.
The L-shaped kitchen will give a lot of workspace and storage space below the worktop will not be a problem. Also the walking distance between the main zones in your kitchen will be minimised. Another big advantage of the L-shaped kitchen is that one of the corners of your kitchen will be free to use as a dining area. The problem area in an L-shaped kitchen is often the space under the worktop in the corner. For handy solutions to this, please go to our storage section.
A U-shaped kitchen will give you a lot of work- and storage space. It can, however, become a bit of an enclosing space if the wall cupboards run all around the room. Also the floor area will be a lot less than in any other shape of kitchen. Consider this when choosing this shape of kitchen. If this type of kitchen is used in a bigger room, then one of the legs of the U can be used as a breakfast bar.