22 Dec 2015

Choosing the right kitchen design for your needs

New Homes | Renovations | Services | Tips and Advice

kitchen design options brisbaneKitchen design options

Ask any good cook and they’ll tell you that the kitchen is the most important room in any home.  Ask a lot of real estate agents and they would probably agree. And the fact is you don’t need to be a great cook to appreciate the importance of good kitchen design options.

The popularity of cooking shows on television has meant that kitchen designs have grown in importance. But with so many different styles of kitchens to choose from, which layout will best suit your home and your needs?

Well in this article I will look at the main kitchen design options and explore the pros and cons of each to help give you a better idea of which design option might suit you best.

L-shaped kitchen designs

This style of kitchen has been around for many years and is still popular today, particularly in homes with limited space or for those that don’t need to cater for a lot of people working in the kitchen at the same time. They are typically designed around the ‘work triangle’ – which is the position of your storage, cleaning and cooking areas relative to each other.

Pros:
  • These kitchens are very open and easy to move around.
  • Perfect for corners where people don’t need to pass through the space.
  • Ample bench space depending on the size of your room.
  • Good layouts for the work triangle, where sinks, refrigerators and stoves/ovens are well positioned in relation to each other.
Cons:
  • Can feel disconnected from the rest of the home if placed along a wall as you will typically have your back to anyone else in your home as you’re preparing meals.
  • Really only suit one person working in the kitchen at a time.
  • Although the work triangle might be efficient in these kitchens, it is often quite a few steps from one end of the kitchen to another to get to pantries or other appliances.

U-shaped kitchen designs

A very common design, U-shaped kitchens suit anything from small to large spaces. Once again these kitchens are almost always designed around the work triangle to help make sure everything stays close at hand.

Pros:
  • Can accommodate multiple cooks at the same time.
  • When using the open side as a breakfast bar it can create a space that people are drawn to, helping you stay connected with your guests, whilst also keeping them out of your actual work area.
  • Offers multiple prep areas, particularly when combined with an island bench.
  • U-shaped kitchen designs are perfect for island benches.
Cons:
  • Can be cramped if not well designed, or if floor space was too limited to begin with.
  • Access to corner cupboards and storage can often be compromised. Careful planning needs to go into the design of these spaces.
  • Often these kitchens don’t feel as connected as other styles.

Galley kitchen designs

One of my favourite designs for homes with limited space, galley kitchens have grown in popularity in recent years.  This style of kitchen can be quite narrow, about the width of a standard hallway, however, they can be wider allowing for a better flow of foot traffic.

Pros:
  • Space maximisation, giving you a lot of kitchen in a limited space.
  • Great design when used as part of a larger kitchen, such as a butler’s pantry.
  • Great work triangle design, allowing everything to be kept close.
  • Can allow for excellent connection to your main living areas, by allowing you to prepare food whilst facing guests.
  • Creates an island bench that you can sit around.
  • Offers two access points.
Cons:
  • Small galley kitchens typically don’t suit multiple cooks preparing food at the same time.

Multi-zone kitchen designs

For years people have spoken about the importance of the work triangle when it comes to kitchen design and whilst I agree that it is important, I believe a more efficient way of thinking about kitchen design is in terms of ‘zones’.  Zones can be broken down into preparation zones, cleaning zones, cooking/baking zones and eating zones.

Pros:
  • Great for both cooking and for entertaining.
  • Well-designed multi zone kitchens quickly become the heart of the home.
  • Can easily cater for multiple people in the one space.
  • Child-friendly zones can be created to keep the kids connected and engaged while you prepare meals.
  • Practical layouts can keep things like prep and cleaning zones close to each other to make cleaning up so much more efficient.
  • Allows for easy transition of meals to the eating zone.
Cons:
  • Requires a large home with lots of space.
  • If poorly designed can result in a disconnection between the food preparation spaces and the storage spaces.

Butler’s Pantries

A butler’s pantry isn’t a style of kitchen as much as it is an addition to a kitchen. Typically connected to the main kitchen by a doorway of some kind the butler’s pantry is designed to be a food preparation and storage area that keeps the main kitchen looking clean and uncluttered.  Butler pantries vary in size from smaller spaces that are effectively large walk-in pantries with bench space to larger, more elaborate spaces that effectively become the real kitchen, hidden away from the main kitchen itself.

Pros:
  • Allows you to store food and appliances out of sight.
  • Allows you to make as much mess as you want in preparing a meal, whilst keeping your main kitchen looking spotless.
  • Offers ample storage space and additional bench space.
Cons:
  • Takes up a lot of space and therefore is typically only suited to larger homes.
  • Can effectively result in 2 kitchens that you need to clean.
  • May require the purchase of multiple appliances to reach its full potential.

So as you can see there are many different kitchen design options when it comes to creating the perfect kitchen.  But regardless of the style of kitchen you choose, quality design is the difference between a good kitchen and a spectacular one.

Plenty of kitchens look good but are terrible spaces to work in. Others work well, but don’t blend well with the design of the rest of the home. At dion seminara architecture we create kitchen designs that not only function well but look spectacular.

So if you’re in the market for a great kitchen design, contact us today and let us explore the kitchen design options with you.

There is also more information on this website about architectural kitchen designs with dion seminara architecture.

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