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Plan A Kitchen Layout

At the very heart of any good kitchen design is the layout. Many people tend to forego this simple stage in the design and creation process, instead deciding to focus on colour schemes, materials used and the finer points of appliances, fixed fittings and floor coverings. However, these factors can all be changed or decided at a later stage; indeed, they serve as a later accessory to the overall floor plan of the kitchen.

The layout of a kitchen, first and foremost, depends on one major factor: the shape of the room. Of course, this decision is often made for you, whether you're accustomed to what you already have or because you have no other choice. If you have the ability to pick a layout, then remember to prioritise your needs and living situation.

layout
Straight-line kitchen

Straight-line kitchen

If you do not live in a large home, or you have an open plan flat, for example, then the straight-line kitchen - where only one wall is used - is a very practical solution indeed. Attractive on the eye and easy added to with mobile seating and tables, such as a breakfast bar, it may not be the most trend-setting option, but it will save floor space.

Straight-line kitchen, with island

Straight-line kitchen, with island

Sometimes, an extra surface is necessary on top of the straight-line approach, and the additional space an island can offer underneath is often indispensable in a larger home. However, at least 1.2 metres of free space should be available around it for you to get the most of the space you have.

Parallel kitchen

Parallel kitchen

As another space-saving option, the parallel kitchen is great for those with long, narrow rooms that want to maximise the usefulness of the area. As one of the better layouts for establishing the kitchen triangle between the cooking, washing and storage areas, it is primarily geared towards food preparation and provides a lot of high-quality storage on both sides of the room, making it favoured by many professional chefs and restaurants.

L-shaped kitchen

L-shaped kitchen

Often, rooms can only offer two sides to work with, depending on the amount of room or usable wall space there is (due to, say, radiators, doors or windows); you may also want to bring in a table or brunch bar, of sorts, along the third wall. The L-shaped kitchen is perfect for this reason; it makes the most out of a room's corner, while also creating an open-plan layout perfect for a more social kitchen.

U-shaped kitchen

U-shaped kitchen

Those lucky enough to have large spaces available for their kitchens should opt for the U-shaped layout, if they get the chance and it's to their tastes. Offering extensive storage options and maintaining the perfect work triangle, it also means that everything is within easy reach.

Traffic is also minimised in the working space, allowing food preparation and other kitchen-based tasks to be carried out with minimal distraction. However, it is important to strike the right balance on a kitchen's size; if the room is too large, it may be worth getting an island in the middle of the U - or bringing one side in a little closer.