The work zone is where will have your fridge-freeze as well as your kitchen sink, dishwasher and kitchen waste bin - these should all be as close together as possible so you can tip leftover food into the bin, rinse the plates then stack them in the dishwasher with minimum effort. You might want to position your kitchen cabinets and drawers for storing crockery and cutlery close by as well, for ease of putting away.
If you don’t have a separate utility room, you may also need to factor in a washing zone for your washing machine and tumble dryer. A combined washer-dryer will save space and can be tucked away behind kitchen unit doors when not in use. In an open-plan kitchen, you will also need a separate dining and/or living area, placed as far away from the work zone as possible so as not to disturb anyone eating or relaxing in those areas. A breakfast bar is a smart way to squeeze in informal seating in a small kitchen.
How to choose the right kitchen layout. The kitchen layout you choose will be dictated largely by space. A U-shaped kitchen is one of the most space-efficient designs, and is perfect for small kitchens. It packs maximum storage and worktop space into minimum square footage. Make sure you include corner cupboards with carousels so not an inch of storage space goes to waste.
An L-shaped kitchen works well in an open-plan kitchen design. A row of kitchen units runs along one side of the ‘L’, while a row of low-level units runs along the jutting out portion of the ‘L’ – an easy way to create a barrier between the kitchen prep and dining or living zones.
Galley kitchens are the top choice of professional chefs and aspiring amateurs as they are super-efficient. Two runs of kitchen units run parallel to one another, putting everything within easy reach. This may not be the best solution for small kitchens, as you need an absolute minimum of 120cm between the runs of units to allow for safe traffic flow – 140cm if more than one person is likely to be cooking.
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