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Exploring Kitchen Layouts

NJ Architect kitchen designAn adage as old as the ages: The kitchen is the heart of the home. Even with the abundant use - and sometimes overuse - of this statement, the truth of the matter is undeniable. A kitchen is no longer a one-person room in the back of the house that only the chef enters; between the cooking, entertaining and everyday life that takes place in the kitchen, the room sees a steady flow of traffic and is truly a family room. When working with a NJ architect, together you consider factors such as the square footage appropriation and the overall feel of your dream kitchen. The most important decision you make together, though, is the layout.

A Galley Kitchen

With their beginnings on board ships and airplanes, galley-style kitchens are perhaps the most functional of all. Using this layout, all of the essential kitchen elements - the stove, sink and refrigerator - are within easy reach of one another. Preparation space is ample, as there are stretches of countertop on both sides of the galley, with space in the center to move between the two areas with ease. Though highly efficient, and the top-choice kitchen style of restaurants, galley kitchens can feel slightly removed from the rest of the house. To give this layout a more social feel, many architects choose to ditch the second line of cabinets and include a large island instead.

Linear Kitchen

The most space-saving of all kitchen types, linear kitchens feature a layout that is set against just one wall. This puts the kitchen's major appliances within easy reach of one another and minimizes the overall footprint of the kitchen. Linear kitchens, also called one-wall kitchens, are often the choice when homeowners either want little visual obstruction resulting from the kitchen itself. Best of all, the positioning of these kitchens often allows for a great deal of natural light. Homeowners appreciate how easy it is to conceal linear kitchens when not in use - an option not many other layouts offer. Even with their small size and lack of counter space, linear kitchens can make a big impact with the right design choices.

L-shape Kitche

L-shape kitchens are growing in popularity, and for good reason: They offer convenience and easy entertaining in one package. In this layout, the cabinetry and appliances are split between two adjoining walls, and this adheres to the modern desire for wide-open living spaces perfectly. Each leg of the L can be as short or as long as the homeowner desires, which adds great flexibility and room for customization. It is rare that there are too many cooks in an L-shaped kitchen, as its layout keeps people to flowing in and out of the main cooking area with room to spare. The shape of the kitchen keeps much of the floor space open for a table or large island - both of which are important for entertaining.

U-shape Kitchen

The U-shape kitchen is somewhat of a kitchen hybrid, as it has a traditional galley design but has one end closed off with additional cabinetry. This kitchen layout is often efficient, and is ideal for homeowners that prefer to only have one cook in the kitchen. U-shaped kitchens are more closed off in many cases and are not the primary choice for entertainers. The placement of appliances and the sink are convenient with this layout, and depending on the size and age of the kitchen, the countertop space varies. Some modern U-shaped kitchens are large enough to accommodate a small island in the center to enhance entertaining possibilities.

NJ Architect kitchen design
NJ Architect kitchen design

This being said, kitchens do not have to fit one specific layout model. Our firm is in the process of renovating a kitchen that features an L-shaped section of countertop, yet also features an entire wall - floor to ceiling - of built-in cabinetry. The addition of the built-ins almost gives the kitchen a detached U-shape. A small island completes the look and gives the homeowners more workspace. Natural light flows through the kitchen, thanks to the lack of walls between the kitchen and the dining areas and the glass-panel exterior doorway. Whether you are working to renovate an older home in the N.J. area or are building a residence from scratch, only you and your architect can decide the best kitchen type for your home.

NJ Architect kitchen design

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