Custom kitchen design often tops the list of importance when building a new home or remodeling a current one. Altering the look of the kitchen with new products or creating a completely new kitchen design layout becomes an exciting process for homeowner and builder alike. While consulting a general contractor and kitchen designer can bring any kitchen design ideas to life, having a better understanding of the various layouts is the biggest help.
When beginning the initial kitchen design, it is important to ask how you plan to use the room and what is to be achieved. While some families cook five nights a week, others only need a few cabinets and counter space for take out food or homework. A condominium’s kitchen might equal less room, but a professional small kitchen design can still provide adequate space for those who enjoy cooking on a regular basis.
Once the kitchen’s functions are decided one should next consider the layout. When building a new home, this is often determined during the design of the floor plan with a custom home architect and builder. But a kitchen remodel will often undergo a large transformation with the removal of walls and cabinets to create a truly new layout.
There are several kitchen design layouts and each offer something different to the amount of available space. The number one goal in any custom kitchen design is to incorporate the essential work triangle. The work triangle includes the refrigerator, stove/oven and sink, and aims to create a short, unimpeded distance between the three with the work surface, prep sink and refrigerator never more than a few feet away from one another. Once the amount of available space and the work triangle are determined, the next step is deciding what style layout to use.
For those in a small space, such as a condo or townhome, the single wall design is the best use of space. This allows the chef a long work surface for the countertops and appliances, typically with a microwave overhead.
Corridor or galley kitchen design is a second option for smaller, rectangular spaces. This layout provides additional cabinetry not found in the single wall design and also promotes the work triangle more efficiently than a single wall layout.
The L shape is a very popular kitchen design that proudly displays the work triangle. The longer countertops usually include the range and refrigerator, while a sink might be in the shorter part of the L shape.
The U shaped kitchen is one of the best examples of employing the work triangle and will often include kitchen island designs. Larger in surface area, the U shaped kitchen will typically have an abundance of countertops and cabinets and is a perfect choice for any home chef.
Once the layout is decided, the true fun begins with kitchen cabinet design, countertop and color selection. Determining the appliances, flooring, hardware and décor can be a bit overwhelming, but a custom home builder or kitchen designer will often assist with the overall look. Stay tuned for additional information on kitchen appliances and the role they play in the design and function of your new space.