Have you ever thought that our home kitchen reflects the traditions and culture of our society?
Let’s take, Russian kitchens for example (hope you remember where I am from – if not pls visit my first blog. Most of Russian kitchens unite cooking and dining functions in one closed-off room, as traditionally Russian families eat together in a kitchen and entertain themselves with chit-chat and life routine discussions. For big occasions there is a separate big table which is located in living room.
As a result, most common kitchen layouts in Russia are:
- L-shape - when all kitchen furniture and appliances for cooking, food preparation and storing located along two walls which meet in one corner;
- Single line layout - when all kitchen furniture and appliances for cooking, food preparation and storing located along one wall.
In both cases, fridge can be moved to the opposite wall (or even outside kitchen) and there is always some space for small table and chairs.
Now take the example of my adopted home – i.e. India. In India, if you take joint family as an example, women gather and cook together and then serve the food outside the kitchen. More than that, spices which are used during food preparation create a lot of smell which preferably should be kept inside the kitchen only.
According to lifestyle here, I notice kitchen is for cooking only but should be big enough for at least 2-3 women. At the same time, it is not opened to the living room due to heat, smoke and strong smells of spices.
Most common layouts here are:
- U-shape - when 3 walls, two corners are taken to place all kitchen necessities;
- Galley kitchen – when all kitchen furniture and appliances are located on two opposite (parallel) to each other walls.
Nowadays lifestyle is changing everywhere. European influence, fashion (and local builders ;)bring open layout kitchens, sizes of the closed-off kitchens are also becoming bigger which gives more options for kitchen design.
So, which kitchen will suite you the most?
To answer on this question, it’s helpful to know some basics regarding kitchen zone planning, kitchen lay outing and how it can be connected to your needs.
1. Zone planning
There are two most used kitchen zoning theories (yes, people even created theories of this kind): first – “Kitchen triangle”, second - “ Dynamic space” concept, which actually can be united and used together for the best result.
The main propose of the Kitchen triangle is efficient and most effective kitchen space usage. According to it, kitchen has three main working areas: cook top, the sink and the refrigerator. Together they create work triangle.
For a comfortable work space it is suggested that depending on the height of the individuals working in kitchen and space available the space should be organized in such a way that all sides of the triangle (see the adjacent picture) are between 1.0 m to 3.0 m. Also the sum of all three sides of the triangle should be between 4.0 m to 8.0 m. Less than that makes it too crowded. More than that makes it too tiring to get the work accomplished in kitchen.
At the same time it should be ensured that no cabinets or obstacles should intersect any leg of the triangle by more than 12 inches (30 cm). Reason - intersection means impediment to smooth work flow.
Once the space in kitchen is organized according to the work triangle, the furniture and various sub-sections in kitchen can be planned according to a concept known as “Dynamic Spacing”.
“Dynamic space” concept – focuses on kitchen furniture and its module types, sizes, their efficient allocation and kitchen zones connection with each other, not only horizontally but also in vertical positioning.
According to this theory, there are 5 zones in a kitchen, which for the most effective and comfortable kitchen use should be arranged in the following order:
Consumables – to store your fresh, frozen & preserved food. Usually refrigerator and freezer along with food shelves are located in this zone.
Non – Consumables – shelves and drawers for kitchen utensils, glasses/caps, crockery & cutlery.
Cleaning – sink, dishwasher, dustbin & co are usually located here.
Preparation – keep here utensils and other frequently used things (like spices, oil, flour, etc.) required for food preparation. It’s also a place for most cooking processes, so your kitchen slab is the must part of this zone.
Cooking – gas/ electric stove, oven, microwave& cooker hood accommodate this zone. Store your pots & pans here as well.
Notice that for left-handed this kitchen zones order should be clockwise (from left to right), for left-handed – counter clock-wise (from right to left).
On the picture bellow, you can see practical application of the both theories in a kitchen.
Courtesy to: beaulieudesign.ca
2. Zone planning & your priorities
While planning the space for every zone in your kitchen make a list of priorities which are linked to your lifestyle.
For example, you are a white collared, bachelor, non-vegetarian, who spends most of the time at work, whose “chief dish” is fried eggs which you make for your breakfast. Lunch you eat at office cafeteria, dinner time is spend with friends outing. On weekends you can invite friends and order food from a restaurant to be delivered at home.
Courtesy to: forwallpaper.com
Your list of priorities for your kitchen zone planning can look this way:
As you can see, this particular person does not need big kitchen in general. Only Consumables zone may be significant as it can contain long stored food items. Other zones can be minimized and united in multifunctional way.
As an option, portable and foldable kitchen units, as shown on the pictures bellow, can be used in kitchen design.
Lets say, you are a vegetarian family person, with wife and two kids: 3 months and 4 years old. Your wife likes to cook and you eat at home frequently. Your wife’s hobby is bakery, yours- collecting coffee from different countries.
Courtesy to: buzzfeed.com
Kitchen for such family needs a lot of storage space, as well as space for cooking and preparation. If size of the kitchen allows, there is no big problem in sizing all zones according to their priorities.
Courtesy to: office-and-home-interior.blogspot.com
In case of the limited kitchen space, there can be applied same creative portable mini-kitchen concepts as was shown above. Smart shelving and space saving drawers are the mast here. Also, same tricks I described for smallbathroom design can be used.
Courtesy to: myhomeus.com
At the same time, great attention should be paid to the kitchen layout, as not all of them are suitable for limited space.
3. What is the best kitchen layout for you?
Now, let’s see what kind of kitchen layout can suite you the best. There are 6 of them, so it seems that you have plenty of choices. But actually, when it comes to real planning and taking into consideration all nuances, one of always hard pressed for the right choice.
Notice, that I simplified lifestyle section as there are too many people with different lifestyles (especially in India;) to put all of them into one column.
Also, I didn’t take into consideration shape of the kitchen room, kitchen windows & doors location, electricity & plumbing network (possibility of it’s remodeling) and some other minor things. If you need more information on this subject, feel free to contact us ;)
Hope, this information will help you to achieve best result in designing your dream kitchen.
Did you already make your own kitchen design or are going to design one soon? Share your experience and questions below!