Sounds like a simple plan, right? However just how do you cook for sixteen people while keeping a kitchen clean, stylish and entirely unlike an industrial carbonara factory? It might seem daunting but with the right layout, it’s entirely possible to combine functionality with style to make the neighbours swoon. Just pay a little attention and you’ll soon be party planner of the year, we promise.
If you have room to spare, centring your kitchen around an island is a perfect option for creating a practical space as well as a social hub. Because an island can be turned from an area to prepare food to one where it can be enjoyed it offers fantastic flexibility, plus it means the chef can join in on the festivities while serving up their culinary “delights”. As a general rule of thumb islands only tend to work in larger, open plan spaces meaning a relative lack of privacy. However, every cloud has a silver lining and people often find this acts as a reminder to keep the kitchen clean and organised.
Almost the opposite of the island, yet no less effective. The galley kitchen works well for smaller spaces and allows its user to easily reach most surfaces by effectively surrounding them. Admittedly these layouts aren’t the best for socialising in; however, their efficient use of all available space means that more room is free in areas such as the dining room. These layouts are also fantastic when it comes to transforming “dead” space such as corridors into legitimately functional areas, making them great for those looking to make the most of what they have.
The U shaped
They say too many cooks spoil the broth. Well not in a U shaped kitchen! Combining the practicalities of a galley kitchen with enough space for multiple people, the U is a good choice for families and house shares. As its name implies, it has counters running around three walls, allowing bundles of space for food prep. In smaller homes space takes on a cosier feel, similar to that of a galley. In a larger home, an island can be built into the central space, adding yet another preparation surface as well as a point for social interaction.
The L shaped
Remove one side from the U and you’ve got the L-shaped kitchen. These maintain almost all the advantages mentioned above but allow for an open plan configuration in conjunction with a dining space. As it’s part of a joint room it’s important to use similar colour schemes and design styles, otherwise, the home may look fragmented. However, done right, the L is an exceptionally versatile style of kitchen and brilliant social space. No wonder it’s so popular.
Want an island but don’t quite have the space? Don’t worry the peninsula layout is here to save the day. By melding a bench into a wall or counter it’s possible to gain extra seating, dining and/or storage space all in one swoop. While it may not be as easy to circulate around such spaces (compared to a full island), the bench acts as a natural divide in an open plan room making it ideal for social interaction and food preparation at the same time.
The Straight line
Perhaps the most versatile of the kitchen styles, the straight line (sometimes known as the one wall) is a layout that can be applied to almost any open plan area. Particularly suited for studio apartments or large combined kitchen/dining rooms, the simple design takes up little room while still offering a full range of appliances. Compared to alternatives, counter space is somewhat limited although still adequate for everyday use. The main advantage is that it allows virtually the whole room to be dedicated to a more social aspect - perfect for hosting friends and family.
Kitchen layouts can be confusing at times and it’s often difficult to plan to meet your needs until you find yourself juggling thirty plates of trifle. This is why we highly recommend speaking to expert designers who can help you plan a kitchen to fit your individual space and unique style. Every home is different and as a result, a bespoke layout, incorporating features from the above (or not) can turn your home into something truly special. Speaking of special, isn’t it time for your party?