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A new you with a U-shaped kitchen

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Scandinavian style kitchen by stabrawa.pl Scandinavian
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When it comes to kitchen layouts, the U-shaped design has always been one of the most preferred options. Making use of clever design, this layout is not only convenient for the host, but presents a multi-purpose work zone for the chef (whether culinary master or novice) as well.

In general, the U-shaped kitchen layout consists of work spaces on three adjacent walls, or two parallel walls which are perpendicular to a common third wall. And when it comes to its advantages, there are many. For example, the kitchen allows for several different work zones with a lot of platform surfaces. And the addition of a kitchen island and/or peninsula makes no difference to its functionality whatsoever. 

This layout also makes effective use of the “work triangle”, which is the kitchen’s three key appliances (fridge, oven/hob, and sink/dishwasher) existing in an unobstructed and handy layout. 

In addition, the U-shape layout can be applied to both small and large spaces, providing sufficient and smart storage options. And should an assistant be required in the kitchen? No problem, as the U-shape allows for adequate space for two people to effectively move around each other. 

When it comes to a big family or a house full of guests, the U-shaped kitchen is a prime choice. This layout allows guests to take a seat on benches and keep the host company as the latter continues to cook. Sometimes a kitchen island is included in such a layout to separate the cooking- and dining zones, which also increases the chef’s working space – thus, everybody wins! 

Let’s discover the benefits of the U-shaped kitchen up close.

Perfect for big and small kitchens

As the heart of the home, the kitchen is generally the most used space in any house. And when it comes to the possibility of increasing space for work and storage, more people opt for the kitchen than any other room. After all, it’s not just where we cook, but also where we spend quality time with family and friends.

Sometimes an added peninsula works out better than an island. Think of the peninsula as an island attached to a wall; thus, it allows for circulation on three sides, where the island has four. Homes that don’t have enough space for an island can really benefit from a peninsula layout, which increases space and storage options affixed to a wall. 

Another benefit of the peninsula is its ability to function as a room divider, effectively separating the kitchen from an adjoining space, like a dining room or living area. 

Let’s scope out some: Kitchen Islands.

Zoning in on the work triangle

As we've mentioned, the work triangle is the concept used to determine efficient kitchen layouts. It tells us how effective the spacing between the sink, oven and fridge is, ensuring an easy and comfortable work space for the cook. 

Placing these three common work locations within an efficient distance from each other minimises traffic in the kitchen area, helping us to effectively cut down on distractions while cooking. 

homify hint: If the kitchen has only one sink, it should be placed between or across from the cooking surface, preparation area, or fridge. In addition, no major traffic patterns should cross through the triangle if you want your kitchen to be classified as an easy and suitable work space.

Multiple work stations

As it offers continuous counter space and sufficient storage areas, the U-shaped kitchen layout is the most versatile option for both big and small kitchens. This is always a good idea for any kitchen, but even more so when that kitchen is being used by multiple people with each one requiring his/her own work station.

Your kitchen work station is the area in which you commit to your specific chores, whether that be doing dishes, stirring pasta sauce, or trying to dish up the perfect omelette. Work stations are planned according to the particular equipment or ingredients that are essential for a certain task (i.e. working on your omelette at the oven, and not the sink). 

The elegantly styled kitchen would also feature comfortable seating options, such as folding chairs or stools. A charming bench can also be brought in for entertaining guests. By placing it in a small nook, multiple seats are immediately created for an eat-in kitchen.

The more the merrier

But we all know that guests regularly flock to the kitchen for some gossiping or just to keep the cook company. That is why the U-shaped layout is such a great option for visiting friends, as it enables high-efficiency cooking as well as highly important chattering by keeping the guests on the other side of the peninsula – and, thus, out of your work area. 

So, no matter whether you are cooking or cleaning, you can still continue with your chores while listening to your friends jabbering on the other side of your work station. 

Take a look at the medium-sized kitchen pictured above, courtesy of Infinity Spaces. It showcases a kitchen island and dining table in the middle of the room. Is this not a winning design, bringing the guest and host together in a sufficiently spaced kitchen where each can comfortably progress in his own space? We certainly think so!

Separating walking from working

The U-shaped kitchen is ideal for when you do not want any walk-throughs in your work zone. Any kitchen activity happens either at one of the three elements that make up the work triangle, or in-between them. The U-shaped layout effectively spaces these three elements apart, allowing for efficient progress without disruption. 

When it comes to larger kitchens, the work triangle increases, and multiple work stations or work zones are added (think of restaurant kitchens where numerous cooks need to function, perform, and prosper at a rapid pace without getting in each other’s way).

Lots of counter space

Contemporary Kitchen in Huddersfield at Bradley Modern kitchen by Twenty 5 Design Modern
Twenty 5 Design

Contemporary Kitchen in Huddersfield at Bradley

Twenty 5 Design

The U-shaped kitchen is a dream come true for anybody who requires heaps of counter space. As this layout provides an efficient stretch in the work triangle, it means that there is sufficient counter space in-between the different zones, but also not too much. 

Taking the vegetables out of the fridge is one action. Rinsing it in the sink is another. Chopping it on a cutting board is also an action, and finally cooking them on the stove is another. Not only should movement between these actions be fluid, but it must also be swift. That is where the magic of counter space comes in, as it provides sufficient surfaces for elements like chopping boards, microwaves, etc.   

To open up even more counter space, appliances like microwaves can be stored in wall cabinets, and cooking utensils stashed away in cabinets or drawers. 

That is why we say that it is like discovering a new you in the U-shaped kitchen, finally realising how easy (and quick) cooking, baking or cleaning can be with the right kitchen layout.

Do we have your vote for the U-shaped kitchen? Or do you prefer another layout? Share your thoughts in the comments, below!
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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