The kitchen space is the heart of any home, its focus, hearth and center for coordinating family life. That is why the atmosphere in the kitchen should be not only beautiful and cozy, but also comfortable and practical. In order for a hearth to please you and your family, when planning it, you need to take into account a lot of criteria, among which at the top of the list are functionality, comfort and ergonomics of the room. The convenience of using the kitchen is primarily determined by its successful layout. It is necessary to think about which type of layout will be most suitable for your room before planning a design project. We hope that the following recommendations will help you make the right decision and make a dream renovation, as a result of which the whole family can enjoy their stay in a comfortable, functional and beautiful kitchen..
Before proceeding with the direct study of the types of kitchen space planning, I would like to say about some useful recommendations. The choice of kitchen layout is influenced by its location in the apartment or household, the square, the number and location of door and window openings and the layout of engineering systems. Of course, all these criteria must be taken into account before ordering furniture and household appliances. In addition, there are several rules, following which you can create a truly functional, safe and comfortable kitchen space:
- try to use «triangle rule». Its essence is simple – the main elements of the working area in the kitchen, such as the refrigerator, stove and sink, should be located at the vertices of an imaginary triangle. Then the hostess (or the owner) will not have to spend extra energy and actions on moving between these main working segments. Ideally, the area of this triangle is 4-8 square meters. m;
- the kitchen item most dependent on utilities is a sink. Decide on its location and, depending on this, distribute the rest of the work areas, segments and household appliances;
- the installation of the stove will need to be carried out with a margin of working surfaces on both sides, about half a meter. It is undesirable to place the stove next to a sink or window. If there is a possibility of transferring gas communications (if the stove is gas), it is better to carry them out immediately, before starting the repair;
- it will be better if the refrigerator is located in one of the corners of the kitchen, thus it will be possible not to interrupt the work surfaces. Check that the open refrigerator door does not interfere with kitchen traffic;
- it is advisable to place tall household appliances or pieces of furniture so that they do not appear above the work surfaces, this significantly reduces the size of the functional area of the kitchen.
Types of kitchen space layouts
This is one of the most versatile types of layouts that can fit a kitchen of almost any size, location relative to other rooms in an apartment or house. One of the most advantageous options for using this type of layout would be a square-shaped (or close to square) medium-sized kitchen. If follow «triangle rule», then the angular arrangement of the kitchen layout most closely follows it – household appliances and storage systems are located along adjacent walls, forming an ergonomic work area.
Among the obvious advantages of a corner layout are:
- saving space;
- the ability to install a dining group in the center;
- distribution of all built-in appliances along two perpendicular walls;
- ease of movement between the main working segments.
Among the disadvantages of the angular layout, it can only be noted that such an arrangement of working and auxiliary surfaces is not suitable for very narrow and very spacious rooms..
One of the most popular and economical options for the production of kitchen units these days is the use of MDF panels with a laminated surface. All kitchen cabinet doors are equipped with door closers; in this case, you can refuse to install door handles. In the bottoms of the upper tier cabinets, as a rule, lamps are built in for bright illumination of the work surfaces. From the point of view of care, the most practical are precisely the former glossy surfaces, they practically do not show fingerprints, traces of water drops.
With the corner arrangement of kitchen cabinets and appliances, there is enough space in the center for installing a dining table with chairs or even mini-armchairs.
Linear (in one row)
This arrangement of storage systems and built-in household appliances is ideal for narrow rooms, small spaces. In order to observe in such an arrangement «triangle rule», it is necessary to place the sink and refrigerator on either side of the stove or hob. The linear layout will be efficient and ergonomic. If the length of the working surface does not exceed a segment of 3.7 m.
The disadvantage of a linear layout can be called a limited cooking area, but, as mentioned earlier, for very small kitchens such an arrangement may be the only possible.
If all kitchen cabinets are arranged in one row, with integrated household appliances in them, there is a lot of space for installing a dining group. If you do not need to integrate a dishwasher, a washing machine and a stove into the lower tier of the kitchen unit, but only two of the three components, then there may be enough space.
Some homeowners use single-row layouts for large spaces if they want as much space as possible for the dining area..
Parallel (two rows)
If your kitchen is a walk-through space and at the same time has a sufficiently large area, then such a layout will be ideal. As a rule, in this case, a stove and a sink are located on one side, and in a parallel row there is a refrigerator, other household appliances and storage systems..
Among the disadvantages of a parallel layout, one can note the impossibility of installing a dining table in the center of the room. But if your kitchen has a really large area, this problem disappears..
If your kitchen has two doors (for example, the entrance from the living room or corridor and the exit to the dining room), then a parallel layout will be an ideal option for placing storage systems and built-in household appliances..
Sometimes a two-row layout is used for a room with one entrance, such as in the kitchen space in the photo above, where one of the walls is equipped with a window opening that does not go out onto the street, but into the space of the neighboring room.
A very convenient and spacious layout method suitable for medium to large kitchens (with an area of more than 10 sq. M). It is very convenient to fit the three main elements of the triangle into such an arrangement of kitchen segments – one for each side..
The advantages of the U-shaped layout are obvious – spacious storage systems, the ability to embed a large number of household appliances.
The disadvantage is the impossibility of using for small rooms.
In this kitchen with a U-shaped layout, one of the sides is not adjacent to the wall, but itself is a screen-partition for the adjacent dining room. In this case, the convenient placement of work surfaces is a bar counter for the next room, where you can organize a breakfast area.
This is a modification of the U-shaped layout, when work surfaces and appliances are located along three walls, but not following the shape of a rectangle, but arranged asymmetrically, in accordance with the shape of the kitchen. In some rooms that have garbage chute boxes or other cavities for communications, such deviations from the correct geometry of the rooms are inevitable and they will have to be taken into account when planning the location of the kitchen set.
This layout is suitable for larger than average kitchens (over 15 sq. M.). Often such kitchens are combined with a dining area or are part of a spacious living room. In fact, you can organize an island layout with any of the above types by adding a kitchen island. As you know, an island is a work surface, a dining area, a storage system, or a combination thereof, placed in the center of the room, with free space on all sides of the structure. The size of your island, first of all, will depend on the area of the kitchen itself, as well as on what functionality you want to give your central element. Someone, in addition to work surfaces, equips the island with a sink, builds in a hob. At the base of the island, you can place a dishwasher or a wine cooler (possibly both). On one side of the kitchen island, you can organize a breakfast counter (and if the kitchen area does not allow the placement of a dining table, then for other types of meals). You can extend the island with a console and get a full dining area.
Among the clear advantages of an island layout, first of all, high functionality and the ability to create a single, effective space in a fairly large room.
Minus one and it is obvious – not suitable for small rooms.
Sometimes an island can be not only a monolithic structure equipped with storage systems and integrated household appliances. In this small kitchen, for example, a counter acts as an island, which can be used as a dining and work area, as well as a storage system..
The island layout will help you significantly save space if there are other segments in the room – living room or dining room. It is possible to integrate household appliances into the base of the island that do not fit in the main working area of the kitchen.
Among the design projects of modern kitchen spaces, there are also those in which absolutely all work surfaces and storage systems are located within the island, and there are no kitchen cabinets at all. A sink, a hob, sometimes an oven and a dishwasher are integrated into the kitchen island. Storage systems are located on one side of the base of the island, the other has an extended tabletop for comfortable placement of the dining area.
The island layout is great for a minimalist kitchen setting that strives for simplicity and practicality with a high level of functionality. At the same time, the minimalist interior should be spacious enough, free to move..
This is a modified modification of the island layout, in which the kitchen island is combined with one of the sides of the work areas located against the wall. As a result, a certain ledge is formed, which serves to zoning the working and dining areas..
The advantages and disadvantages of the peninsular layout almost completely repeat the characteristics of the island type of arrangement of kitchen segments. But the peninsular scheme is suitable for smaller spaces, due to the fact that it is more compact.
In a peninsular layout, your dining area (which is located behind the island counter) is far enough away from the worktops and hob. But at the same time, all the furniture and appliances are located compactly enough so that we can talk about the rational use of the space provided for the kitchen..
Not fixed layout
This is a free layout, in which the cutting surfaces located on cabinets, storage systems, counters, are all equipped with wheels that allow you to change the layout as many times as you like by moving the working segments. This new trend in the organization of the kitchen space is quite convenient and allows you to modify the interior without much effort, but it requires really spacious rooms..
How to set up a very small kitchen
By following the recommendation described above, it is possible to organize a rational, efficient and practical arrangement of the main segments of the kitchen space even in a very small room..
For some very small rooms, it will be necessary to consider the possibility of moving storage systems outside the kitchen, into the corridor or interior space. Some homeowners move the refrigerator outside of a small kitchen, integrating it into a hallway furniture ensemble, for example. In this case, there is no need to talk about the convenience of movement, but the small area of the kitchen leaves its imprints on the possibility of arranging furniture and household appliances.
Of course, with such an arrangement of kitchen segments, there can be no question of placing the dining area within a small room, but all the necessary work surfaces and household appliances can be integrated into a small kitchen area very successfully..
In addition to a suitable layout, in small rooms it is important to use other techniques that visually expand the space – a light palette, glass and mirror elements, minimal decor, strict lines and shapes.
How, among the variety of kitchen layouts, to choose the one that will fit into the parameters of your kitchen in the most efficient and practical way? There are several practical recommendations from experts in the ergonomic arrangement of the space: