Different Kitchen Layout Ideas: Tips for Designing Your New Space

Whether your kitchen is large or small, casual or grand, a place for eating or only for food prep, it is often the most vital room in the house. It’s the heart of your home, really, and there are lots of ways you can make the most of its layout when you’re having it renovated.

How you and your kitchen renovator design this crucial space depends, in part, on its size. But even a modest kitchen that’s limited in space should have an ultra-efficient layout. Keep these tips in mind when you’re deciding what to put where in your new kitchen.

Make access to the stove easy and uncluttered. Whoever does the cooking undoubtedly wants the space around them free and clear. Keep at least a two foot space around the stove clear, if you can; that gives the family chef lots of room to reach and grab for ingredients, without bumping into someone on the way to the fridge.

Lots of counters within reach of the stove. The more countertops, the better! This is especially true if you do a lot of cooking. If you don’t use the island for chopping and other duties, countertops are even more crucial. Therefore, the layout, and ease of access, of countertops should be a priority.

Think about traffic flow patterns. If the back door of your home is accessed through the kitchen, for example, you need more than one path so traffic can flow easily. Keep the fridge and stove in separate spaces, if you have the room. That way, one person can be stirring spaghetti sauce on the burner while another dips into the fridge for a cold drink. Try to leave room around any and all the appliances, even the microwave.

Think carefully about where the island should go, if you’re installing one. Islands are wonderful for everything from food prep to eating casual meals. But nobody wants their chair bumped into while they’re eating lunch, so keep the area clear as much as possible. Make sure you can open doors at its bottom without hitting walls or chairs, and that storing things is easily done even when folks are in the kitchen. Clear walking paths and easy seating, without bumping into things, is the single most important aspect of island placement.

Store vertically, not horizontally, for easy traffic flow. Unless you have a huge kitchen, storage is going to be a concern – you need lots of it, but it mustn’t make it intrusive, with doors opening over the stove when someone is cooking, for example, or cupboards so high half the family can’t reach them. When deciding on layout, on where things will go, ask yourself: when I open this cupboard door, what will it hit? Whom will it inconvenience? If it seems too intrusive, it probably is, so place the cupboards elsewhere.

Kitchen layout design is, in some respects, a personal choice. Your priorities should determine how you choose your layout, but practicality should come into the equation too. And remember: one day you may sell your home, and a smart layout makes all the difference to a future buyer.