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Home > Ideas & Tips > Layout for your Lifestyle

Layout for your Lifestyle

1. Basic kitchen layout ideas

The most efficient kitchens are laid out to create a work triangle, the classic imaginary connection between the sink, refrigerator and range or cooktop. The idea behind this arrangement is to minimize wasted motion, such as extra walking and reaching.

Even though today's kitchens have additional focal points, such as the dishwasher and the microwave, using a work triangle is still a good way to streamline your kitchen design.

Some things to consider:

  • Each side of the triangle should be no longer than 9 ft (2.7 m) and no shorter than 4 ft (1.22 m)
  • Allocate at least 18 in. of counter space on each side of the sink for cleanup and loading the dishwasher
  • Allow at least 15 in. (38.1 cm) of counter space near the refrigertor for unpacking groceries
  • Provide 3 ft (91.5 cm) of counter space next to the range or cooktop, for food preparation. If two cooks will be working at once, allow 6 ft (1.8 m)
  • Be sure to consider your family's specific storage and eating area requirements and designate space for them
L-Shape

L-Shape

This design works well in limited spaces. It offers ease of movement, it's ideal for two cooks working at once, and works well for kitchens that connect to another living area.

G-Shape

G-Shape

An excellent layout for the solo cook. This design easily accommodates specialty appliances, too.

Corridor or Galley

Corridor or Galley

Here's a layout that minimizes walking, and maximizes a space that connects two separate rooms. Extra workspace may be difficult to include in this layout.

One-Wall

One-Wall

If you want to keep your kitchen area to a minimum and open it up to the room. this layout serves your purpose. It's good for entertaining, since the cook is always part of the crowd.

U-Shape

U-Shape

A great choice for separating the cooking space from the dining space. It also routes traffic away from the work area.

Islands

If your layout and square footage allow it, consider adding an island. It's a great location for a cooktop or a second sink. With a multi-level countertop, an island can double as an informal dining area.

2. Beyond the basics

Now that you've thought about your lifestyle, wants and needs, you're ready to think about two things that will dramatically influence your kitchen makeover: budget and style.

How much money do you want to spend? Are you seeking a variety of unique or elaborate components, or are you looking for more practical features? Consider your expectations carefully when you set your budget.

You should also select a style. Browse this section and determine whether you prefer a traditional, casual, contemporary or eclectic style. By defining your style, you'll be able to narrow your search to kitchen components that complement one another.

Consider your expectations carefully when you set your budget.

3. Investing in your kitchen

Think through how each of the components fits with your total budget.

Item

Cost Level

What Your Money Gets You

Cooking

$

$$

$$$

Freestanding ranges; variety of finishes

Slide-in ranges; double ovens; drop-in range, double-oven freestanding ranges

Cooktops; single - and double-ovens; built-in microwaves; warming drawers

Ventilation

$

$$

$$$

Standard range hood

Over-the-range microwave

Commercial and/or designer style range hood

Refrigeration

$

$$


$$$

Choice of configurations and finishes; wine cooler

Water purification; integrated or freestanding icemaker

Panels to match cabinets; Built-in; French door;

4-door and convertible styles; in-door water and ice dispenser

Dishwasher

$

$$

$$$

Range of materials; basic functionality

Built-in models; quiet models; increased functions

Dishwasher drawers; multiple shelves; fold-down tines; stemwear holder/cutlery baskets

Sink

$

$$

$$$

Stainless steel; acrylic

High-grade stainless steel; cast iron; composition and integrated solid surface

Undermount and apron front

Faucet

$

$$

$$$

Two-handle high-arch with side spray; chrome

Single-handle pull-out; stainless steel

High-arc pull-down or pull-out oil-rubbed bronze; pot-filler faucet

Cabinetry

$

$$

$$$

Stock cabinets

Semi-custom designs; storage options

Custom designs; hand-rubbed glazes; decorative details; lighting options; painted finishes

Countertops

$

$$

$$$

Laminate

Solid surface

Granite & natural quartz

Flooring

$

$$

$$$

Vinyl; laminate

Tile; solid and engineered woods; laminate

Natural stone

Lighting

$

$$

$$$

Replace current fixtures

Add in-cabinet/undermount lighting

Add new wall-mounted or ceiling lights

Walls/ Backsplash

$

$$

$$$

Paint

Wallpaper; faux finish

Tile

Window Treatments

$

$$

$$$

Blinds

Fabric window treatments

Plantation shutters

Define your budget.

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