kitchen design tips

Kitchen Design & Space Planning

I often get asked what is the ideal kitchen layout and design. Kitchen design has gone through several phases from being a closed confined  space to what is now, an open floor plan that gathers family and friends. One of my real state friends mentioned that a kitchen is what sells a house in most cases. Below is a summary of what I consider a functional space planning based on experience and research I conducted.

Floor Plan

There are several kitchen layouts that are typically used:
Single-wall, Gallery, L-shaped, U-shaped and L-shaped with island. 

U-shaped                                                                                                                                         L-shaped with island  TYPICAL KITCHEN LAYOUTS

U-shaped                                                                                                                                       L-shaped with island

All of this diagrams show a “work triangle”. The triangle connects the refrigerator, stove and sink. . The best work triangle is less than 21 linear feet. Work triangles that exceed 26 feet make moving from one function to another unpractical. Each kitchen layout works depending on your limits or wall, door and window locations. From experience the L-shaped with island is the most popular recently.







Ideally, food preparation is  located next to the sink.  Allow 18 to 36 inches of countertop space on one or both sides of your sink. Kitchen islands are so popular because they provide extra surface on which to perform the majority of kitchen tasks. 

Images from This Old House - Ilustrator Arthur Mount

Images from This Old House - Ilustrator Arthur Mount

Allow some countertop empty space on either side of your cooktop. Place seasonings, pots, cooking trays next to cooktop. 
* Tip: I always advice my clients to make a list of the items they would like to include in the kitchen. For example : list of all appliances needed, size of sink, open shelving, bookcases to hold cooking books, wine storage, recycling bin,  etc.  This helps to start laying out the main floor plan and configuration. The dimensions of all the pieces in your kitchen are important  to make the best use of your space. 

Images from This Old House - Ilustrator Arthur Mount

Images from This Old House - Ilustrator Arthur Mount

Important Dimensions

Upper cabinets are normally positioned at 18 inches above the countertop and are 30 to 42 inches in height. Consider that your average maximum reach over and into an upper cabinet is 70 to 80 inches  above the floor. Cabinets set at above 7 feet will likely need to be accessed with a step ladder. 

The standard dimensions for base cabinets are 24 inches deep and 36 inches high. The standard depth of upper cabinets are 12 inches.

Wishing  you a happy kitchen planning, renovation or new construction!

By Alejandra M. Dunphy

A | D studio