L-shaped kitchens give as much space as is possible while not compromising on the function of the room. Have you considered this design style? Read on to see if it can work for you.
Kitchens can be the heart of the home if managed right, but they can also present some design challenges when it comes to renovation and refit. We’d all love a large and spacious kitchen with plenty of worktop surfaces and lots of natural light but many homes simply weren’t designed with that as standard.
An L-Shaped kitchen is now a favourite design amongst homeowners. Utilising two walls to their full potential for units, appliances, worktops and cabinets, these join in the middle at a corner; the ‘L’. The rest of the room is set out around this arrangement, providing space and form across open floor space. Now very much the favoured kitchen layout of designers and developers, L-shaped kitchens give as much space as is possible while not compromising on the function of the room. While the design choices you make for an L-shaped kitchen will be somewhat dictated by the shape and size of the room overall, there are lots of designs that can work well with this set-up – have you considered the following?
L-shaped kitchens are designed to allow for all of the practical usage of appliances and units in one place; very much making along the walls and into the L the functional part of the room (combined with a kitchen island if there is or is room for one present). The rest of the room may have areas used for dining, for socialising or even for working/reading/writing and so zoning can help distinguish each. If you want to adapt your kitchen to do more than just be a home for whoever’s cooking or raiding the fridge, zoning can can be done through creative painting, colour popping, or mixing and matching the accessories and details in each.
If your kitchen is intended to act as a social space as well as a functional food preparation area, it may be worth considering installing some glazing around the L. This can be drawn around the area when guests are present to give privacy and to hide mess from others.
A U-shaped kitchen is the sister to the L-shaped design; providing an extra ‘arm’ of function in the form of cabinets and worktops. While a U layout does feel more closed-in, it does work for larger kitchen rooms and can be easily replicated without having to redo the existing cabinetry in your room. Choosing two benches or an L-shaped sofa and placing them at the end of the kitchen cupboards will trick the eye – and for a seamless line, match the upholstery or colour of the benches or sofa to those of the kitchen units.
U-shaped kitchens are now slightly less popular than L-shaped but this is only down to the space demands so many properties now face. Those who spend a lot of time cooking or baking will benefit from the extra workspace, even if it does infringe somewhat upon the open floor space.
Storage is usually placed along the L in a kitchen of this type – often both high and low in the form of cabinets and cupboards. If you do need extra storage, the hanging of cupboards high on the walls is the easiest way to gain it, but this can impact on the accessibility of worktops and will undoubtedly make the L look a little more crowded. To negate this and keep things feeling ‘open’, painting higher cabinets the same colour as the walls can help them appear to disappear. Lower cabinets should be in a brighter or more vibrant shade to draw the eye down without weighing it.
There are many clever storage solutions available on the high street and through specialist suppliers for inside of cupboards, and much inspiration available online.
The L itself must be as practical as it is pretty and so the placement of each appliance and worktop should be done in a way that maximises its helpfulness. To keep the kitchen work flowing, it is best to start at the far end of the L with the first task and design the space to work along it. For example, placing the sink at one end allows you to wash food, with a work surface next to it to chop and otherwise prep, storage space next to that for it to be placed in a clear area before cooking and then finally the oven at the end for cooking.
Ensuring the working area of your kitchen flows in a practical manner makes cooking and food prep easier but also more hygienic; significantly lowering the risk of cross contamination.
If your kitchen has plenty of room, the potential of the L design can be doubled for further workspace. With the traditional L of worktops and cabinetry around the outside, a further L can be installed within it in the form of an L-shaped kitchen island. This counter provides further space for worktops and can even fashion a separate zone; perhaps accessible from one side by those standing with a dining area within for those seated. This helps disconnect dining and cooking areas without making it difficult to deliver the food to the area in which it will be eaten – and makes it easier to nip back to grab whichever condiment you have inevitably forgotten.
A double L will only work in a large or otherwise open-plan space but is a fantastic solution for those with big families or where the kitchen is intended to be used lots for entertaining and socialising.
If you’re moving into a property with an L-shaped kitchen or renovating your own, there’s plenty that can be done to transform the space into a fun, form and functional room. Kitchen designers will be able to help advise you on maximising the potential of the room and keeping it to budget and project timescale – and you’ll be cooking homemade dinners, helping the kids with their homework and sipping on a well-deserved sauvignon blanc in there in no time!
For help and advise on your kitchen renovation project, get in touch today for a free no obligation talk with the team!
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