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10 Time-Saving Kitchen Layout Ideas
For many people, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where we prepare our food and often where we eat it, and it's where many of the most important conversations happen. In many homes, the kitchen has become much more than just the room where food is prepared. It is often part of the main living space of the home and plays an important role in the smooth running of the household, however many people are involved.
It makes sense to think carefully about the layout of your kitchen as it can have a big impact on life in your home, not just your kitchen. There are no rules. You should do what works best for you, but there are some principles that can help you make the most of your space.
1. The Triangle
One of the most popular options for a kitchen is the working triangle. It follows the principle that by keeping the main functions of your kitchen close, you work better. These functions would normally include your cooking space, refrigerator and sink. It’s an imaginary triangle, but having them on three points is more efficient than having them in a line. If your oven and stove are in different locations, you might have to think more imaginatively about the space or include two triangles. Each side of the triangle should take no more than three steps to reach, so you can soak pans directly from the stove and grab that important ingredient right from the fridge. Keep these routes clear and free of hazards.
2. Single Wall Kitchen
Although a triangle is useful for efficiency, if you are in a small living space - such as an apartment - a single kitchen wall might be the most efficient way to lay out your kitchen area. It works well with open-plan designs when there is not much floor space.
3. Plan for Space
When we talk about space, we don’t mean planets and stars. The best kitchens allow enough space between the key areas for storage without compromising on work space. If you’re not sure whether or not you have the space for an island unit, you probably don’t.
Think about the tasks you carry out in the kitchen and create specific zones for each one. For example, your cooking zone will include your oven and your stove, along with storage for your pots and pans so they are easily accessible and ready when you need them. The simplest zone might be for making coffee; your machine is there, along with your coffee and mugs within easy reach on a stand, like this Elama Diamond Waves Set, and the milk not far away. It all helps save time in the long run.
5. Galley layout
A galley kitchen is two equal runs of cabinets, including the oven, sink and anything else, opposite each other to form a corridor. Often found on a ship, it can easily incorporate the triangle system.
6. U Shape
Linking the two sides of a galley, a U-shape is another popular option. It’s another simple layout and is especially amenable to the working triangle.
7. L Shape
Depending on the nature of your space, bringing some units out at a right angle from the main run in an L shape can offer a time-saving option by maximizing the feeling of space with storage, and it can incorporate a small table and chairs.
Not quite a U shape, the peninsula has an extra section that is accessible from both sides, often in the form of a breakfast bar or seating area to add a social dimension to your kitchen and save time when moving around between preparation and consumption areas.
9. Islands in the kitchen
In recent years, an island has become one of the most desirable layouts if space allows. It’s flexible enough to work with any of the above layouts and can be a great time-saver by incorporating other elements of your living space. Merging food preparation with consumption in a breakfast bar can be a great time-saver and merger of different spaces. If you don't have the space for a built-in island, portable ones like this Wood Top Rolling Kitchen Trolley Island are a great alternative and come in a range of colors.
10. Low Maintenance
Layout is important, but you can also save time with tools. Treating yourself to a new set of cheap aluminum pans might seem like a good idea, but if you spend hours scrubbing them to keep them as shiny as when you bought them, you’ll waste a lot of time.
Before you start any major work, consider how you will function while the work is carried out. Do you need a temporary option, or can you function elsewhere?