A well-functioning kitchen design with a good design incorporates the work you do as you prepare your family meals into its design. The work triangle is the shape created by the steps you take when completing essential kitchen tasks such as cooking, cleaning and storing food, all of which are accounted for in an efficient kitchen design.
Basic Small Kitchen Layouts
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Basic Small Kitchen Layouts have four designs: the U-shaped kitchen, the galley kitchen, the L-shape and the G-shape. As their names suggest, the U-, L- and G-shaped kitchens take on these shapes when viewed from overhead. The galley kitchen has cabinets and countertops opposite each other, creating a corridor in the kitchen, which can be disruptive when traffic moves through the kitchen while you work. The L-shaped kitchen allows lots of countertop room with no disruptive traffic. The U-shaped kitchen surrounds you with countertops and space in front and to either side, while the G-shaped kitchen creates a cozy atmosphere by adding a peninsula into the midst.
In large L- or U-shaped kitchens, an island with a sink or a stove and prep space makes the work triangle efficient — the line created by the steps you take between the stove, refrigerator and sink. Design the island with 3 to 4 feet on either side; for even more efficiency, add a breakfast bar on the opposite side of the kitchen island. A kitchen open to a dining area can increase the feeling of size and make serving meals less hassle. In small kitchen layouts, a G-shaped kitchen with a peninsula takes the place of a kitchen island.
The Ideal Work Triangle
When arranging your small kitchen layouts, plan the work triangle so that each “leg” or section is no less than 4 feet but no more than 9 feet. These legs should include a stop-off at a work-prep area for the most efficient design. For example, in a U-shaped kitchen, at the base of the U, place the kitchen sink. To the left of the kitchen sink on one leg of the U-shape, install a stove. In the middle of the room and on the leg of the triangle that goes to the refrigerator opposite the stove wall, add an island with or without a sink for food prep.
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Minimize the Traffic
A good small kitchen design and layout minimizes or eliminates the traffic that crosses or intersects the work triangle in the kitchen. For example, if your kitchen has a door from the outside, and people continually have to pass through your work triangle as you prepare meals, the constant traffic cuts down on the kitchen’s efficiency. In the same manner, put the refrigerator in a location that allows you and your family easy access without an interruption of your work flow when preparing meals.