Whether you’re gearing up for a major renovation or shopping around for houses, it’s hard to argue that the kitchen is pretty important. If you eat food, which you probably do, you’re going to have to spend time there.
Of course, there is no One True Kitchen Layout. Many tout the work triangle, where the three major work stations—sink, stove, and refrigerator—are laid out more or less equidistant from each other, as the most efficient layout. However, what’s going to work best for you depends on your needs and the limitations of your space.
Here are 4 of the most popular options:
Also called a walk-through kitchen, this layout has two parallel counters sandwiching a walkway. It’s perfect for smaller homes and apartments, since there are no wasted corners and the walk-space can do double work as a hallway. They’re also efficient—there’s a reason ships, airplanes, and many commercial kitchens all use galley variations.
There are drawbacks, though. These kitchens are usually on the small side, and there’s no seating area or room for socialization.
An L-shaped kitchen is almost exactly what it sounds like—two sections of counters connected at an adjacent corner. They are common in more open concept houses, but are versatile enough to fit pretty much anywhere.
This is also an excellent set up to go for if you want an island. One downside to L-shaped kitchens is that they require you to face away from the open areas while preparing food, but an island gives you the option to do the opposite.
U-shaped kitchens can be great for people who spend a lot of time in the kitchen. They surround the cook on three sides, so everything is in reach. They also typically offer a great deal of storage space, but are more closed off than some other options.
For a more social variation, consider losing the wall and upper cabinets on one leg of the U. Or, if you have the room, a center island can have the same effect, but with some extra work and storage space.
If you like the idea of a U-shaped kitchen, but don’t have the room for an island or want to knock down a wall, a G-shape—three walls of counter and cabinets with a partial fourth counter acting as peninsula—might be right for you. This usually gives you extra cooking and storage room, along with an eating counter.