Flow. It's the feeling of slipping your hand into a cool stream of water. The same feeling you get when you get wrapped into a good book or are fully concentrated on an activity, whatever it may be. Things are easy; unnecessary weight falls away. You are entirely in the moment.
People spend their lives chasing flow. Some, like alpine climbers or deep-sea divers, only find it when pure adrenaline enters their system. But you don't have to go to such extremes to facilitate flow in your life. Flow can be found in your very own home — though perhaps you need a few adjustments to help you get there.
Kitchens are one home area where it's difficult to find your flow. Towering rows of cabinets and storage make you feel claustrophobic. You can never locate the measuring cups or utensils you need. You don't have enough counter space, or maybe your layout just doesn't make sense.
Fix your problems with a kitchen remodel. Keep what you like about your kitchen and transform what you don't! But first, check out PAXISgroup's picks for the best kitchen layouts to create flow in your home.
Kitchens Layouts For Flow
Choosing a kitchen layout comes down to your needs and preferences. As we go, consider which kitchen layout might best fit your home, style, and spatial limitations.
1. One-Wall Kitchens
Let's start with the basics. Imagine a flat wall of cabinets and appliances; this is a one-wall kitchen. Minimal and practical, this layout is ideal if you work with a lengthy, narrow space. However, it's just as effective in large open rooms. One-wall kitchens don't offer as much storage space, but you can remedy this by adding an island or butler's pantry. What the one-wall kitchen does offer is an incredible sense of flow. A one-wall kitchen makes your entire home feel more open — take this modern farmhouse one-wall kitchen with an island, for example. In this design, the kitchen anchors the living room with a counter-to-ceiling quartz backsplash as the centerpiece.
Be warned that a one-wall kitchen without an island or peninsula breaks the kitchen triangle rule. The rule recommends placing your main elements — the fridge, stove, and sink — in a triangle as the most efficient layout for kitchens. But, having originated in the 1940s, some feel the kitchen triangle is outdated. Don't be afraid to throw the rules out the window! Just make sure you collaborate with your designer to create the most efficient kitchen layout for your home.
2. L-Shaped Kitchens
Two walls of cabinets and counters join together at a corner to form an L-shaped kitchen, or a pantry in the corner to maximize space. This layout often opens into a family dining room or living room, encouraging a sense of flow throughout the house. An L-shaped kitchen makes it easy for you to create various work zones, though you may find it challenging to transition from one to another.
L-shaped kitchens are desirable because they leave enough room for a kitchen island. Kitchens with islands are generally more popular among homeowners vs. kitchens without because they provide extra storage, seating, and preparation space. An island acts as an in-between point for the two walls of an L-shaped kitchen, creating an easier workflow and plenty of rooms for multiple chefs.
3. Double L-Shaped Kitchens
Double your space by adding another L-shape on the other side. This setup is ideal for using all the available areas in square or rectangular rooms. With the double L-shape, you get space to spare: four counters and walls of cabinets yield two distinct work zones. Using separate workstations makes cooking and cleaning up immensely easier. If you often have more than one person in the kitchen at a time, this setup will prevent you from getting in each other's way. Consider keeping all appliances on one side of the kitchen while leaving the other open.
4. U-Shaped Kitchens
Add a third wall, and an L-shaped kitchen becomes a U-shaped kitchen. This layout is optimal for utilizing the kitchen triangle rule and is known for facilitating ease. With only one entryway into the kitchen, this may feel too closed off to create the desired flow. Remedy this by replacing the third wall with a kitchen peninsula. A peninsula counter juts out from the wall, creating more space while leaving the area above empty. The opening allows you to see from the kitchen into other rooms and vice versa.
Now that we've covered the layouts most conducive to flow, let's talk about the ones that aren't. Here are the kitchen designs most likely to harsh your kitchen harmony.
Take a one-wall kitchen, add a parallel wall, and you have a galley kitchen. This layout makes the most of limited space. Depending on your setup, two counters and sets of cabinets face each other, open on both ends or closed on one. Major appliances like the stove and refrigerator are often installed on one counter while the other plays host to the kitchen sink. While this layout follows the kitchen triangle rule, a narrow passage between counters makes having multiple cooks a nightmare. Plus, two walls of kitchen cabinetry may feel too cramped for some.
The downside to U-shaped kitchens is that they don't usually leave enough room for an island. A square kitchen design — the G-shape layout — is your best option if you just have to have an island. You create a G-shape structure by attaching an island to one outer wall of a U-shaped kitchen. While this layout offers you tons of space to work with, it can sometimes be clunky and interrupt the flow of your home. This likely isn't the best option if a streamlined space is your goal.
Layouts For Your Lifestyle – Custom Made
Get more inspiration for your remodel by visiting our gallery. When you're ready to take your custom home dreams and turn them into reality, our team is here to help – get ahold of us! PAXISgroup is not just in the business of building homes, we're in the business of building lifestyles.