How to Renovate Your Kitchen for a More Functional Layout

Whether it’s because you’re rinsing off dishes in one corner of your kitchen and taking them to the dishwasher in another, or it’s because foot traffic comes to a complete halt every time you open the refrigerator door, you know your kitchen needs a layout remodel. When the functionality of your kitchen is compromised, cooking is a hassle and takeout becomes the norm.

A kitchen renovation is a big undertaking. Do your homework. Vet your contractors thoroughly. And don’t get caught up in going for aesthetic over functionality. It’s okay to fork out $4k for granite countertops if you can afford it but not if you’re still storing your pots and pans in another room.

Choose a Layout That Works for the Space You Have

The first concern is how much space you have to work with. Let’s go over a few layout ideas. HGTV outlines six popular kitchen designs based on space: the One-Wall, the Galley, the L-Shape, the Horseshoe, the Island and the Peninsula. These are each fun designs that can work depending on what your kitchen allows for.

Photo by Jaffa Group Design Build

The One-Wall is popular in apartments and condos with limited space. All the cabinets and appliances are aligned against one wall, often with an island containing the sink and major food preparation surfaces opposite. The Galley is also popular if you’re short on space. The kitchen is divided between two walls with a hallway going down the middle.

Photo by Tim Reid GC

An L-Shaped kitchen basically fits into a corner of your room and radiates outwards along two walls. How far you extend the cabinets and appliances along these walls is up to you. The Horseshoe, also known as a U-Shape, is like the L-Shape only with an additional counter top and optional upper cabinets.

Photo by UNEKUAL Construction

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An Island applies to any kitchen that has a free-standing island in its center. Then there’s the Peninsula which essentially turns an L-Shaped kitchen into a G-Shaped kitchen by connecting an island. This is for a kitchen that could use the additional counter space an island provides but doesn’t have the square footage for a full Horseshoe.

Photo by Faure Halvorsen Architects

Think About the Nuts and Bolts

When you’re renovating, think about workflow. Your dishwasher should be next to the sink. Your refrigerator should be within easy reach of work spaces and traffic flow shouldn’t be interrupted when the door is open if at all possible. The same rule applies for the dishwasher door, the oven door, etc.

Photo by The Home Co.

Consider installing deep pullout drawers for storing pots and pans. They’re so much more convenient for retrieval than having to kneel down and rummage through a cavernous space under the counter.

Photo by Design Platform

You’ll also need to think about plumbing. If you’re rearranging the existing layout of your kitchen, you’ll need the plumbing services of a local contractor. While you’re at it, consider a few upgrades like new piping, appliances or even a water filtration system.

Renovating your kitchen can be a big project but the rewards can be big as well. The more functional your kitchen is, the more excited you’ll be about using it!

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