In a kitchen broken up by several doorways, the solution was an island-based layout that divides the 22x13 space into five zones: cooking, food storage, baking, breakfast, and meal prep/clean up. Wide traffic lanes throughout promote easy movement to and from the kitchen, as well as around the island.
The range, housed in a separate niche, is the cook's domain, located safely away from the busiest traffic routes. The cook and guests can smoothly converge at the island, with one side housing the sink and dishwashers, and the other offering seating for casual diners.
The refrigerator and microwave are set opposite the cook's side of the island: convenient during meal prep, but also easily accessible to those just seeking snacks and beverages. A walk-in corner pantry is roughly equidistant to the range, island, and refrigerator, leaving a short commute for comestibles.
Stealing a couple of feet from the adjacent garage made this kitchen wide enough for an island, which holds the cooktop in a central spot. Downdraft ventilation eliminates the need for a hood, which would have put a visual barrier in the middle of the room.
The island is framed by generous stretches of countertop space, including one wall that accommodates the sink, dishwasher, refrigerator, and microwave. This consolidation of essentials -- all opposite the cooktop -- saves steps for the cook.
The working part of the 15x18 kitchen opens into an eating area, creating a setup for casual meals or parties. For more formal occasions, a doorway to the adjacent dining room eases serving and cleanup.
This 15x20 kitchen employs the L-shape-with-island layout that has become popular in contemporary design. The configuration accommodates a long island while enclosing the kitchen on only two sides, leaving the room mostly open to adjacent living areas. In this case, a partial wall separates the kitchen from the dining room. The two spaces retain their visual identities, yet there's easy movement between them, a boon for entertaining.
The long L trades the traditional work triangle approach for widely separated zones -- one for cooking, one for prep/clean up, and one for food storage. The island acts as a way station -- an intermediate stop between zones.
This layout also is good for multiple cooks and helpers because there is plenty of counter space for all. Guests who aren't helping can share the island with those who are.
This plan takes the L-plus-island idea and gives it a tweak by abbreviating the short leg of the L and making it even with the outside edge of the island. This creates an express lane for traffic moving through the 12x18 kitchen on the way to the family room while shielding cooks and helpers as they move among the sink, dishwasher, range, and refrigerator.
The island is a shared buffer zone, providing counter space on the cook's side and seating on the other for guests, spectators, and casual diners. A short pass-through between the kitchen and dining room serves as a butler's pantry. It includes a wine cooler and storage for bottles and glasses.
This is a galley-plus-island setup, in which the single wall of the classic galley kitchen is paired with a parallel island. The result is step-saving efficiency with openness.
The sink, dishwasher, refrigerator, and microwave are all right next to each other on the same wall, with the cooktop on the island. The island provides lots of counter space, as well as seating and a wine cooler.
Unlike galley kitchens of old, which tended to be wedged in the back of a home, this 10x11 kitchen is part of a great-room floor plan that includes a living room, dining room, and family room.
Take a galley-plus-island plan, add a third parallel section -- a long dining table -- and you get a trifecta of kitchen efficiency in a 17x22-foot space. The design is based on the 40-inch rule adopted by some restaurants: With 40 inches between counters, a person only has to take one step and make a pivot to get to the next counter.
The restaurant approach is appropriate given how the island includes diner-style seating on one side, with a table for 6 or 8 just behind the stools. From the cook's perspective, the range, refrigerator, and island sink form a tight triangle, and the pot-filler faucet over the cooktop saves steps, too.
By surrounding a center island with more than an L but less than a full U, this 14x21 floor plan is able to provide long stretches of countertop space and a wide opening to the adjacent dining room.
The layout is clearly zoned, with the refrigerator and pantry forming a food-storage area, the sink and dishwasher paired for cleanup, and the range anchoring the long cooking/prep wall. The microwave is tucked into the cook's side of the island.
For casual meals, a small eating area takes advantage of window views at one end of the room. Formal occasions move to the nearby dining room, and the open space between it and the kitchen is ideal mingling space for guests.
This basically U-shape layout combines galley efficiency and intimacy with the openness of contemporary plans.
One hardworking wall holds the refrigerator, cooktop, and a wall oven, as well as a pass-through to the adjacent family room -- a handy feature when entertaining or serving snacks at family gatherings.
The sink shares a second wall with the dishwasher, forming a convenient cleanup zone.
A two-level island completes the 13x18 kitchen, providing prep space for the cook and an eating/beverage bar for guests. From the island, the cook can see into the living and dining areas thus staying part of the action.
This L-plus-island layout is the epitome of efficiency and simplicity. The island sink, range, and refrigerator form a perfect right triangle, allowing the cook equal access to the three main kitchen elements.
With the kitchen open to the dining room and family room, the island naturally attracts guests, but its mass shields the cooking area. Standing at the sink, the cook enjoys views through the dining room window. And the refrigerator's position allows family members and guests to grab things out of the refrigerator without entering the cooking zone.
A U-shape perimeter around an island is a popular kitchen layout, and the two long legs of the U in this 15x19 room are especially long, sized to keep pace with the island in the middle.
The island is practically a kitchen unto itself, with a sink, dishwasher, refrigerator drawer, warming drawer, and microwave, in addition to seating at one end. It's a great place for kids and guests to help themselves while the serious cooks work on the two long walls. One of those walls is for cooking -- it holds the cooktop and separate oven -- while the opposite wall is for cleanup, home to the main sink and dishwasher.
The refrigerator sits in a corner accessible to everyone. A beverage station equipped with another sink, a built-in coffeemaker, and a wine cooler fills the short end of the U, with an eating area off the open end of the U.
This is a rare P-shape plan, which is appropriate given that its distinguishing element -- a peninsula -- starts with that letter of the alphabet. The peninsula links an L-shape perimeter portion with the opposite wall and an island. One wall of the L is the cooking zone, where a cooktop mounts above two built-in ovens. The other wall of the L is the cleanup zone, anchored by the main sink and the dishwasher.
The opposite wall consolidates food storage, placing the separate refrigerator and freezer at one end, and pantry storage at the other. A prep sink occupies the middle ground. The peninsula section is clear counter space, though the microwave is mounted below. The island, set outside the working area, accommodates casual meals, conversation, and homework.
The shape of this floor plan is something more than an L but not quite a U. Functionally, the layout is more of a galley. And the space is notable for its lack of an island.
At 11 feet wide, the space was too narrow for the typical island, but what it lacks in breadth, the kitchen makes up for in its 20-foot length. This allows the long wall to pack in the cooktop, dishwasher, sink, and oven, while the slightly shorter wall accommodates separate refrigerator and freezer units, as well as a welcome stretch of prep space. A banquette eating area at one end makes efficient use of perimeter space and draws on light and views from the window.
Architecture often dictates the shape of the kitchen. In this case, the owners wanted to preserve their 18th-century home's massive fireplace, so they created a 35x26 combined kitchen and dining area that flows around the two-sided hearth and adjoins the living room.
The working kitchen is an L-shape perimeter augmented by a small island. The refrigerator, dishwasher, sink, and range sit in the long leg of the L, while the short leg offers unbroken counter space. The island, next to the fireplace, offers additional work space and storage. Traffic between the kitchen and dining area flows naturally around the fireplace.
The working part of this kitchen is an efficient two-wall galley, with the refrigerator, cooktop, and wall ovens set opposite the sink. But the sink wall "floats" islandlike in the middle of the room, attached to a cozy banquette that resembles a restaurant booth and is positioned to take in garden views. It offers a wealth of storage on each end, including a place for the microwave.
A wide traffic zone follows the perfectly square perimeter of the 16x16 kitchen, which opens to the dining room at one end.
Few people want their kitchen completely closed off from the dining room, but not everyone wants the two spaces to be completely open to each other either. This plan finds a good middle ground, using a dividing wall to set a clear boundary between the kitchen and dining room while maintaining some openness in the 18x12 footprint.
The dividing wall, which holds the dishwasher, extends from an L-shape perimeter. One leg of the L is home to the refrigerator and range, while the other provides prep space around the sink, highlighted by angled windows. The dividing wall extends to the ceiling, but it includes a large pass-through to the dining room in the middle as well as two-way cabinets on either end.
Galley kitchens are typically intimate, but that doesn't mean they have to be tiny. At 9x19-feet, this galley is long on space, but it maintains the style's inherent efficiency.
The sink, dishwasher, and cooktop line the exterior wall, while the refrigerator, wall ovens, and microwave occupy the opposite wall. Windows above both the sink and the cooktop treat the cook to natural light and pleasant scenery.
One end of the interior wall features an eating bar that links the kitchen to the adjacent family room. At the other end of the kitchen, a doorway leads to the formal dining room.
The layout of this spacious kitchen was determined by the location of the only window, which brightens a cleanup zone that includes an extra-large sink and two dishwashers.
The adjacent wall incorporates the range, while the refrigerator and separate freezer are paired on the other side of the room. An island with seating, a microwave, and a warming oven bridge the distance between the walls.
The kitchen segues into an open dining area, turning the 25x15 rectangular room into an all-occasion cooking and gathering space that comfortably accommodates multiple cooks and guests.
With an island and eating area in its middle, this 26x19 kitchen (in a rough U-shape floor plan) is geared for people and performance. Function is focused on an L-shape section that includes the refrigerator at one end, a double oven on the other, and the sink and dishwasher about halfway between.
The cooktop takes up one side of the island, but the other is for seating, giving guests a great view of the action. The eating area offers more seating and casual dining space.
A third wall caters to guests as well: It boasts a beverage station equipped with a sink, wine cooler, and icemaker.
Food is the focus of most kitchens, but in this one, eating literally takes center stage -- a dining table and chairs sit smack dab in the middle of the nearly square 16x15 space.
The range is a focal point, too, anchoring one wall and flanked by tall storage units for pots and pans, spices, and oils. One wall features a refrigerator at each end, with a small prep sink and lots of counter space in between. This breakfast/coffee station means guests can serve themselves without invading the cook's regular space. The opposite wall, with a full sink, is the everyday prep and cleanup zone.
A U-shape layout often opens to an eating area or a family room, but in this 21x13 kitchen, the U faces an impressive wall of storage. The U features the range on one wall, the refrigerator and wall ovens on another, and the sink and dishwasher set beneath a large window.
A narrow table in the middle doubles a slender island, offering seating for two and acting as a way station between the perimeter zones. The storage wall features floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinetry and shelves for cookbooks and office/desk equipment.
Many U-shape layouts include an island in the center, but this 17x20 one features an island with a capital I. The large, I-shape island was designed to accommodate everything, whether a family-size breakfast or a buffet dinner. The cooktop is at one end, putting the chef in the seat of power, while the raised bar at the other end hides clutter from the adjacent dining area. The island also holds the microwave and wine cooler.
When it comes to function, the U-shape perimeter is no slouch, either. It incorporates two sinks, the dishwasher, the refrigerator, and the wall ovens in addition to plenty of counter space.