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How to Plan a Kitchen Layout

Puja Lalwani Mar 12, 2019
Deciding to remodel your kitchen? Take a look at some of these ideas that will aid you in making the right choice.
While deciding your kitchen layout, you have to consider several aspects such as adequate light, ventilation, and most importantly, functionality. More than the colors of the tiles, or the cabinets, or the countertops, what is important is the ease with which you can, or should be able to, function in that room.
Here are some helpful tips to make this favorite place of yours functional first, and beautiful later.

The Shape and the Available Space

There are essentially four types of kitchen shapes or layouts that are possible. These plans play an important role in determining the placement of various appliances and storage spaces in that room.

The Corridor Kitchen

This particular shape is identified by parallel worktop counters; one of the sides will house the refrigerator and the cooking range or sink.

The U-shaped

Similar to the corridor counterpart, this has an additional countertop that connects the parallel worktops.

The L-shaped

As the name suggests, the countertops are placed in an L-shape that uses a corner. The refrigerator also fits into the L-shape. If spacious enough, this kitchen can house a small breakfast table.

The Island Kitchen

An island counter is one that is placed in the center of this room, with the other countertops running in any shape discussed. If you are working on a layout with an island counter, then ensure that you have adequate space around it for easy movement.

The Work Triangle

The most important factor to be considered while planning your kitchen is the work triangle. This is essentially meant to reduce unnecessary movement from the sink to the refrigerator and the cooking range. Ideally, the three of these should be placed in a triangular fashion, in order to provide easy access to the most important areas of this place.
Important rules regarding the work triangle are:
  • Any side of the triangle should not exceed the length of nine feet, neither should it be any less than four feet.
  • The triangle should be formed in an area of uninterrupted workspace. No cabinets or other appliances should be placed in its path.
  • Its perimeter should not exceed 26 feet, neither should it be any less than 12 feet.
  • In the case of a layout with an island counter, ensure that the work triangle is within the space between the island and the regular countertop.
The work triangle is applicable to any and every kitchen layout and is a prime rule in keeping the latter functional.

Incorporating Appliances

Enlist all the appliances you would like to incorporate in your kitchen. Sometimes, its size may not be adequate to fit all appliances. In such a case, give preference to the ones that you require more often than the others. Here is a list of appliances that are usually placed in this room.

Cooking Range/Countertop Stove

Ensure that there is counter space on either side of the cooking range for preparation and serving. It can also be placed on an island counter. Never place a cooking range in a corner.


It is a bulky appliance and should be placed in the corner and not between counters.


This goes below the counter, ideally, next to the sink, and will reduce lower cabinet space.


If possible, you can create a tall cabinet with a space for a microwave oven, in order to save counter space. The maximum height at which it is placed should not exceed 4 feet.

Electric Oven

Similar to the space for the microwave, it can be placed above or below the microwave oven, as per your convenience. The height should be adequate for you to be able to operate, and keep a watch on the oven with ease.

Food Processor

This appliance requires counter space.


It does not require much space and can be easily tucked into one corner on the counter.


This can be placed on a stand on the wall and does not require any separate counter space.
Once the location of these electrical appliances has been finalized, ensure that you have suitable electrical outlets for each of these, which do not come in the way while you are working.


Determine your storage requirements and accordingly, allocate space for the same within your kitchen layout. You can accommodate storage in the form of cabinets above the countertops, except for spaces where there is a window, or to accommodate a chimney above the cooking range.
Storage can also be incorporated in the form of cabinets below the counter, except for the space required for the dishwasher. In some cases, an island counter can also be used to increase storage below the counter. If possible, the tall unit that houses the microwave and the oven can also be used for storage, above and below these appliances.
You can work around these thumb rules while planning the layout for the same, and create your dream kitchen around it.