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What Makes The Perfect Kitchen Layout?

As a food enthusiast and an eager home cook trying to tune some amateur knife skills, there is nothing more satisfying than a well-designed and beautifully organised kitchen area.

As the heart of the home, the role of the kitchen is pivotal to our daily lives as it provides an area to socialise, revitalise and constantly be inspired. It is crucial that the design of the kitchen, whether big or small; in a studio-size city apartment or an extravagant house; ultimately supports your living and cooking style in the best, most functional way possible.

Clovelly Apartment by James Garvan Architecure

Clovelly Apartment by James Garvan Architecture.

When it comes to re-designing the kitchen, it all comes down to organisation, layout, the consideration of where existing fittings and fixtures are, additional appliances, space for activity and how many people you’re cooking for and with. We sometimes turn towards IKEA inspiration for their various styles of modern and industrial kitchen layouts, paired with a grand butlers pantry layout or long configurations of storage solutions. Or if you want to renovate and re-design your own kitchen, some of us have turned to the masters of home renovations: Bunnings and their beloved custom kitchen design planner, Kaboodle – the ultimate planner to make the process of renovating and achieving a classic kitchen straightforward and easy.

Every kitchen style is different, refined and configured to accommodate your lifestyle. And with so much time at home, what better way to spend it than to a complete kitchen overhaul? These are some standard kitchen styles, configurations and floor plans to deliver inspiration and kick-start your new, revitalised cooking haven.

U-Shaped Kitchen Layout

For those who have the luxury of space, the U-shape kitchen layout is the perfect choice. Designed for a large open plan area, the U-Shape is suited to households that spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Olinda House by BENT Architecture. Photography by Tatjana Plitt.

Pros: There will never be a storage or workspace shortage, with the countertops and cabinets are spread across three walls, with an option of adding an island bench in the middle. It can be a highly effective kitchen layout that supports the standard dimensions of the working triangle with ample amounts of space of 1200mm between each of the working zones of preparation, cooking and storage.

Cons: The kitchen layout lends itself to a large floor plan and is usually fitted with maximum amount of storage options, which could make it look quite intense and out of character for a contemporary home.

Olinda House by BENT Architecture. Photography by Tatjana Plitt.

With the U-shape design, the kitchen can be used to its maximum potential as a gathering area and a home chef’s dream kitchen.

L-Shaped Kitchen Layout

The L-shaped kitchen is suitable for a medium-sized space, as it loses one of the three walls that we’ve previously seen in the U-shaped floor plan. On one wall, you would find the cooking essentials such as the stove, oven and washing area with the kitchen pantry, storage and fridge on the other.

Liverpool House Kennedy Nolan cc Derek Swalwell kitchen

North Fitzroy House by Kennedy Nolan. Photography by Derek Swalwell.

Pros: This is perfect for residences housing one individual, a couple or a small family of four as it maximizes the space of a smaller floor plan with efficient storage solutions and flexible and efficient working areas.

Cons: However with the lack of space, the layout tends to create storage solutions vertically which could be difficult for ease accessibility in some residences.

Liverpool House Kennedy Nolan cc Derek Swalwell Brooklyn dining chairs Jardan

North Fitzroy House by Kennedy Nolan. Photography by Derek Swalwell.

The L-shaped configuration also offers ideal balance of privacy and open-plan cooking for the household.

G-Shaped Kitchen Layout

The G-shaped approach is designed for homes that have the minimum space required for a functioning kitchen layout, but with maximum functionality. It allows activity to take place across three sides, with the fridge, stovetop, oven and cabinets/storage covering two walls and a kitchen bench unit as the third to complete the G-shape.

Chef, André Chiang’s Residence by Lee Design Studio.

Pros: This kitchen layout is designed for small spaces and therefore is efficiently crafted to enhance the cooking experience. Storage solutions are compact and concealed throughout the G-shape, without compromising on the ample amounts of benchtop space needed for cooking. Similar to the L-shaped kitchen layout, this design allows the individual to cook in a semi-private level, with a slight pathway to enter in and out of the kitchen and an open view of the living areas across the extra island unit.

Cons: It introduces a lot of corner base cabinets, which don’t offer the most efficient storage options. Although there’s a lot of deep, internal storage in these corner kitchen areas, it can be quite difficult to reach to the back areas of the cabinet and retrieve small items.

Chef, André Chiang’s Residence by Lee Design Studio.

The star of this kitchen layout is the additional kitchen unit. This island ‘breakfast bar’ offers the perfect amount of space for a quick snack, a cup of coffee to start your day or can even be used as a display bench for your charming cocktail shaker and bartending essentials. The bench height is usually designed for a pair of high bar stools, where one can also sit, converse with the cook and watch the magic in the kitchen.

Galley Kitchen Layout

Type Street Apartment Tsai Design cc Tess Kelly kitchen

Tiny Apartment By Tsai Design. Photography by Tess Kelly.

More common in older-style residences, the Galley kitchen layout is designed for a small to medium size space. This style is ideal for long corridor kitchens for a chef that loves to cook in private and situated away from the other living areas.

Pros: The design is extremely functional with storage available across two walls in a compact floor plan, without compromising on the required dimensions for the standard cooktop and fridge appliances. It gives the cook a simple and streamlined way of working with one entry and exit point or one on either side of the narrow space, making their time in the kitchen productive and organized in the way they operate.

Cons: It can make the individual feel excluded, where most of the kitchen layout is closed off to the rest of the house and doesn’t suit an open plan lifestyle. With most of the space taken up by storage and kitchen appliances, that leaves very little breathing space and avenues where windows and light can brighten up the space.

Bringing pops of colour, beautiful finishes and impressive organisation however can bring a lot of soul into the petite kitchen layout.

Type Street Apartment Tsai Design cc Tess Kelly dining

Tiny Apartment By Tsai Design. Photography by Tess Kelly.

These classic kitchen layouts and styles can be a great starting point to reshaping your ideal cooking space. Make sure to consider your lifestyle, how many people you’re accommodating and ultimately, the food you love to cook and what that requires when dreaming of your new kitchen and creating a sanctuary that is specially made for you.

Wellington Hillside House by Patchwork Architecture.

Header Image: Francis Apartment by Studio Weave Architects. Photography by Tom Ferguson. 


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