Planning Your Kitchen: Five Tools for Layout

The first thing you need to work out on planning your kitchen is to have a functional kitchen that is also a pleasure to work. Placing everything in the right configuration and within easy reach makes the kitchen efficient.


Pay attention to these

There are basically three areas that the kitchen is planned around and these are clean-up, mixing and cooking spaces. The clean-up area includes the sink, drain-board, stack and a place for storing cleaning supplies and dishwasher and a trash can. The mix area is the food preparation area and the work counter should have easy access to knives, utensils, bowls, chopping board and some essentials like oil, salt, flour, etc. the cooking center naturally includes the stove, heatproof area to place hot dishes and easy access to pots, pans, spatulas, pot holders, and spices if you use those.


Smooth food flow concept

Kitchen work becomes easier if the work centers are planned according to the sequence they are used in. First comes food storage either in the pantry or fridge. Gets washed at the sink, prepared at the work center from there it goes to the cook center and then the serving center. If the layout follows this pattern it requires so much less walking around in the kitchen.


Popular kitchen layouts

L-shaped, island and peninsular are the three basic kitchen layout plans. The island and peninsular take a U-layout and usually open out into a dining or family space. U-shaped layout requires a larger space to fit in the island at the center. The L-shaped layout can fit into even small spaces and is the most popular therefore. It is a good idea to avoid an aisle passing through the kitchen as it disturbs the cook. The one wall layouts are really not a very smart idea as it involves too much movement in the kitchen.


The work-triangle layout

This is a kitchen concept that focuses on an optimum relationship between the three main work areas the refrigerator, sink and stove. The idea is to have an ideal space so there is no needless walking around between these and no overlapping either which could obstruct workflow. Unlike the old times refrigerators and ovens can be recessed into the wall in small spaces. Some kitchens do have a separate refrigeration area which usually comes at the end of a run so the bulky fridge does not obstruct work or walk.

Efficient kitchen layout

A good layout involves the three work areas mentioned earlier. Most work is between the sink and mixing area and back or between the mixing center and stove and between stove and sink. So the best layout is one where the mix center is placed well within easy reach of both the sink and the stove to make it really efficient. If the main work counter is too distant from the sink or stove then it will be inconvenient no matter how elegant the rest of the kitchen looks.

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