3 Tips for Designing a Kitchen Layout for Your Custom Home
When planning your custom home, the layout of the kitchen can be a big decision. There are many variables to consider and a lot of options. In addition, choosing the wrong layout can diminish your enjoyment of this important room.
So, how can you choose the best design? Here’s a short guide to get you started.
1. Know Your Needs
The first step in finding the right style of kitchen is to understand how you will use the room. Try asking yourself questions, for example, is there usually one cook in the kitchen at a time, or does your family tend to congregate there? How often do you entertain large groups versus small parties? Do you like formal entertaining or are you a casual type of host?
You could also analyze the traffic trends in your current kitchen for clues as to what you want in a new one. Answering these and other questions – as honestly as possible – will help you determine a list of priorities for your kitchen long before you start hammering.
2. Remember the Functionality of Your Kitchen
While the internet and television shows offer a glimpse into fantastic new kitchen trends and décor, these trends may make you forget the functionality your kitchen actually needs. For example, a double oven looks great on TV – and is perfect for serious cooks and hosts – but it’s useless if you never use it. Rather than waste money on a misguided luxury, you could spend the money on something you’ll really love and use. Instead of focusing on dream kitchen ideas from other people, expand on your favorite features in your current kitchen. For example, if your whole family uses the kitchen together, then it might make sense to add a second sink for cleanup or increase counter space.
In addition, custom cabinets designed for the tools you actually use may not seem very exciting, but you’re likely to appreciate these functional design aspects more than designer trends.
3. Understand the Basic Layouts
Once you have a sense of how you use your kitchen and what your real needs are, educate yourself about the basic styles of kitchen layouts. These include the following:
- Galley Kitchen
- U Shaped Kitchen
- L Shaped Kitchen
This style is basically a corridor with the kitchen cabinets and appliances on either side of a walkway. It’s compact and efficient, but it may not be functional if you have a lot of traffic. You may also find that it lacks sufficient storage or feels closed in.
One of the most common layouts is a U shape, with three walls lined with cabinets, counters, and appliances. These kitchens tend to work well for serious cooks who don’t focus on entertaining while preparing meals. Very large versions, though, can become inefficient and add extra steps to your work.
Another common layout is an L shape. This design uses two perpendicular walls as a base and usually comes with an island or peninsula to close off the short end. This type of kitchen can be great for families and hosts since it adds more interaction with people and other rooms.
You can, of course, customize any of these basic layouts to create a room that suits you better. For example, adding a peninsula to a U shape kitchen can turn it into more of a G shape. This shape may be more conducive to sharing with the family. If your galley design feels a little claustrophobic, then consider removing an interior wall and replacing it with an island.
As you plan your custom kitchen, be sure to meet with your contractor regularly and share your priorities and concerns with them. With more than twenty years of experience designing custom homes for all kinds of homeowners, the professionals at David James Custom Homes can help you find just the right layout for your kitchen and your whole home.