Kitchen Design Basics: The ABCs of Designing Gorgeous Kitchens

What falls under kitchen design basics? This is the question, which may arise when you are planning on remodeling your kitchen. Should you concentrate on cabinets, backsplashes, walls, layout or the general flow of the kitchen? To understand this basics read further in this article of kitchen design tips.

The basic design of a kitchen, which you should concentrate, is the layout of the kitchen. Without a proper layout the work efficiency, flow, movement is not proper and the renovation takes a hit. The area dimensions, flow of air and light needs to be considered carefully when going for a particular layout. If you are not aware of the basic layouts of a kitchen then take a quick look at some existing layouts.

One wall kitchen design:

This is suitable if you have a long, narrow kitchen. The counter is generally 7-8 feet long housing all the major work zones like cleaning, preparation and cooking areas together. This is most inexpensive layout idea and provides unhindered traffic movement. Plus it is an easy to do DIY project. The layout is compact, does not occupy much space and creates an efficient work triangle as well.  But all may not like its linear and straight design. Plus one-wall kitchens don’t provide much scope for renovation and its resale value is limited too. So if you have slightly larger footage area then you can consider other layouts.

Corridor style layout:

This is again suitable for a small kitchen with lack of space. It is a gallery style kitchen with two major design styles. The first is two-walled kitchen with walls on both sides. Here you can cluster the sink, stove and appliances as you like. In the second option of gallery style the kitchen can be open with an island forming a wall of separation between the kitchen and the other rooms. The kitchen has only one wall and the other opens up to the living room. The island, cabinets and other storage structures can form a second wall to the kitchen. Again space is a constraint in these styles of kitchens and there is not much scope for design changes.  So if you have a bit more space opt for the L shaped design.

L-shaped design:

This is most suitable for kitchens with plenty of corners and nooks. In L –shaped design the two legs of kitchen hold the sink, stove and the fridge. There is a bit more walking space inside the kitchen and allows for some counter space as well. Planning the layout properly is very important in these kitchen designs. This is because the corners are not easily accessible and should only be used for storing small appliances not frequently used. And upper cabinets holding kitchen preparation items should not be placed above sinks. Proper lighting should be present for the work zones. For a slightly spacious kitchen try the double L shape kitchen.

Double L shaped kitchens:

Here you have two working zones with two L shaped layouts. There is a smaller L inside a bigger L working zone. The smaller L holds the cooking and cleaning sink. The bigger L legs hold the preparation and cabinet’s area. As the stove is moved to the smaller L legs, the larger L has plenty of counter space. If you feel there is a dearth of cabinet space in this design then go for hanging pots from ceiling to create space.

U shaped kitchen: for large kitchen U shaped layouts are the best.  The U shaped kitchen is similar to a gallery shaped kitchen but having a closed end. In other words it has three walls with one wall perpendicular to the others. The closed end can be used to hold sinks, cabinets and thus provides much more space than the gallery shaped kitchens.

Also it can accommodate multiple work zones for multiple cooks easily. The space is sufficient for a kitchen island as well.

Now that you have a fair idea of how to plan for your kitchen, take a look at some basic guidelines when planning for the layout of your kitchen.

· Make way for an efficient work triangle. This means keeping the distance between the cooking, preparation and cleaning area small so that the distance between them is less.

· The layout will also have to take in to consideration the electrical, gas points and plumbing. So you will have to take care of these points and the working zones when you plan the layout.

· The layout you choose should provide you with plenty of room for working. Ideally you should go for one wall or corridor for small space kitchens. For larger kitchens L or U shaped kitchens are suitable. If you wish for lots of storage then go for U shaped kitchens with island.

· When planning kitchen storage make sure things that you most need are easily accessible. Bottom or upper cabinets that are within reach should hold the kitchen preparation items. The drawers, which are further from your reach like the upper most drawers can be a place for appliances, like microwave, mixer, oven etc.

· Plan for under storage beneath sinks to hold cleaning items, soap dispenser, towels, tissues etc. keep the dishwasher near the sink so that cleaning becomes easier.

· Adopt smart storage solutions if you cannot get adequate cabinet space. For example kitchen islands or bar blocks are easy solutions for storage. Bar blocks have plenty of storage for drawers and jars and take up very less space as well. Kitchen Island along with preparation area also provides you with in built storage.

· For more clarity you can check out your layout in kitchen design software and see how your kitchen, its appliances, cabinets fit in.

So layout of a kitchen is the most important aspect in basic kitchen design. So plan and execute the renovation of kitchen properly.

Once you have decided on the layout that best suits your particular needs, you would want to select a theme. The theme you select decides pretty much everything about how you should decorate your kitchen. While the layout is for functionality, themes are for appearance.