Thursday, June 9, 2011

"What Were They Thinking Thursday!!?? - Kitchen Layouts

One of the most important things when designing a kitchen is the functionality. It doesn't matter how good your kitchen looks, if it doesn't function properly it will always be frustrating. When considering the layout of your kitchen, think about what it would be like to actually be cooking and using the kitchen. I can't tell you how many times I have seen huge kitchens that have all the appliances packed in to one spot.

I am sure you've all heard the term "Cooking Triangle". This term refers to the layout of your appliances, fridge and cooktop and the sink. It is important to have just the right amount of distance between the three for the most efficient cooking kitchen. It is also important not to have too much distance because you don't want to have to carry a pot of water all over the place just to get to the stove top!

When placing your fridge, consider how much it is going to be used. Not only for cooking but also kids and guests getting out snacks and drinks. You should place your fridge on the outskirts of the kitchen with easy access so that people coming into the kitchen and getting into the fridge won't get in the way of those cooking. Because let's face it, no matter how nice the rest of your house is, everyone gathers in the kitchen!

This is an example of the wrong place for the fridge. It is right in the middle of the kitchen and on the back wall! People coming and going to the fridge are going to cause a traffic jam, especially when someone is trying to cook at that cooktop.

Here's another really bad place for that fridge. If anyone is sitting at the bar, you can't get into the fridge. This also makes pulling the barstools in and out difficult. They should've had the bar off the end of the island. 

This is a good example of fridge placement. It is out of the way and people can access easily without interrupting the cooking. 

 Here is another good fridge placement, however, I am concerned about that wall sticking out so far and the fridge being so close to it. I don't think you would be able to open that freezer door very far. 

 Great example of kitchen layout. Everything has it's place and the barstools are out of the way. They also have easy access to the fridge. 

Nice kitchen but that fridge is in the wrong spot. I would've moved it down so it wasn't directly across from the bar. That creates a tight space when someone is opening the fridge. 

Here is a good kitchen floor plan. I am not sure if there is enough space between barstools and fridge though. That could be a tight spot when they are being used. I wish the fridge could move down a few more feet.

Another issue is having enough room to open the oven doors. I personally like a separate oven and cooktop but if you have an all-in-one make sure there is enough room to open the oven door and walk around it comfortably. 

This is a really pretty modern kitchen but it looks really tight between the bar and the oven.

This is a good layout for this tiny kitchen. 

Beautiful kitchen but for some reason I don't like the cooktop being at the end of the bar. That is pass through area so it will get crowded when someone is cooking.

 Same thing with this kitchen. Great layout with the cooktop in the same as previous but there seems to be more room in this kitchen and that is not the main pass through.

Here is a very interesting kitchen. I think it's beautiful but not very functional. It is divided into two spaces! Seems kinda of pain to walk around the corner to put something in the oven.

Here is a great example of a small kitchen layout. The fridge is easily accessible and there is plenty of room to open the oven and still get around it.

 This one seems a little too narrow to have the sink and cooktop directly across from each other. This makes it difficult for someone to be cooking at the same times as someone is rinsing dishes. 

 This kitchen is breathtaking! I love everything about it. The fridge is obviously on the outskirts because it's not even in the shot and the cooktop is not directly across from the sink. LOVE!

Some things to remember:

 Every family is different so think about the way yours is in the kitchen and design accordingly. If you have kids, a bar with some barstools is great because they can eat there and sit while you cook. 

Make sure and put the fridge out of the way so all those teenagers and their friends can grab a soda without getting in the way. Make sure you leave enough counter-space close by the fridge so you can lay things down when you take them out. 

Don't put the dishwasher and oven directly across from one another. You won't able to open both at the same time, you may be thinking that doesn't happen but it does! I can be loading the dishwasher after baking a cake and then the timer goes off and I need to check it. I don't want to have to close up the dishwasher just to peek in the oven and check the cake!

I hope this helps all of you who are considering a remodel or building a new house. The best advice is to really picture yourself cooking and having family in the kitchen and getting some professional help when you need it!



Anonymous said...

you are awesome! your suggestions really helped me! never would have thought of the fridge as being such a busy spot or that you need counter space by it! so important!thank you!

Anonymous said...

awesome! it helps a lot on space planning. thanks!

--Chrissy said...

Can I send you our layout for your input?

Brandy said...

Absolutely, send to brandy at

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I liked that last kitchen--for the layout not the decor. I am building a house and am struggling with this so I am glad to have found this thoughtful article. It's always good to have a direct comparison of good v bad layouts.

I wonder what your thoughts are on how to compensate for storage in kitchens without upper cabinets, and a kitchen with a recessed alcove for a stove?


Studio B Designs said...

Maximize your storage. In reference to the last picture, I would enlarge the width of the island and put dead storage under where the bar stool are. Drawers under the banquette and just drawers in general everywhere!

Easy Brunch said...

Dear Jess, I wish to sincerely Thankyou for this remarkable piece. I have been struggling with how to rearrange my existing kitchen and haven reading a number of ideas but none touched home as this. You are a genius not because you are a designer but because you connect well with life's realities. It is not just about beauty, decor or art but you have captured and expressed well the practicalities of an everyday life and make life meaningful and beautiful.
I am no designer myself and that's my honest view. I have learnt a lot and will definitely use your ideas in my project. Again, Thankyou very much! ;) :) :)

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sinfeHabte said...

On a social note for friends. No matter how big your kitchen is, everyone always gathers there during a get together.

Bespoke Kitchens Cambridge

Pella Montréal said...
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