Design your kitchen: the advantages of an ‘L’ kitchen layout

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Design your kitchen: the advantages of an ‘L’ kitchen layout

Lily Cichanowicz Lily Cichanowicz
Our Kitchens Cocinas de estilo clásico de Harvey Jones Kitchens Clásico
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Whether you ask a Feng Shui guru or cutting edge Danish designer, most interior experts will agree that functionality is of the utmost importance in the kitchen. This room ought to be clear of clutter and outfitted with as much workspace as possible. 

While these guidelines are clear, putting them into action can sometimes be easier said than done. This is largely because the kitchen is rarely the largest room in the house, and there are usually only a few ways the layout can go since most appliances must be situated near pipes and fastened securely in place. Indeed, redesigning the kitchen can be expensive and labour intensive. 

For this reason, it’s important to be particularly thoughtful about the best layout for the space you have to work with. While there are a handful of standard options ranging from galley kitchens, to modular U-shaped ones and one-wall kitchens, today we are going to cover the unique benefits of opting for an L kitchen.

The best option for storage space

Due to the fact that L kitchens are usually modular and span across two walls in the kitchen, they provide lots of storage space. L kitchens can be outfitted with a row of cupboards beneath the counters in addition to shelving or cabinetry running along the walls above the counters. 

Take a look at the wide shelf in the back corner of this L kitchen by Gutman + Lehrer Arquitectas. This configuration is uniquely possible in the L layout. Further, modular L kitchens can also have corner cupboards, which are perfect for stowing bulky items like pots and pans out of the way. For their enhanced storage capacity, L kitchens score major points in the functionality department.

It allows multiple cooks to work at the same time

Another way that the L kitchen is more functional than the rest is that it is ideal for multiple people to be working in the kitchen at the same time. If you and a partner both love to cook, this could be a major asset. We all know how difficult it can be to get things done when there are literally too many cooks in the kitchen! 

The reason why L kitchens are optimal for multiple people to do their thing is that the L shape creates a lot more open space to move around than, say, the galley kitchen. Unlike the one-wall kitchen, the L layout also comes with two separate vectors of workspace for two separate people to cook simultaneously without getting in each other’s way.

You can have an extra sink

Painted Shaker kitchen by Harvey Jones Cocinas de estilo clásico de Harvey Jones Kitchens Clásico
Harvey Jones Kitchens

Painted Shaker kitchen by Harvey Jones

Harvey Jones Kitchens

Because the L kitchen essentially comes with two segments of counter space, it is completely possible to incorporate two sinks into the kitchen on either leg of the L shape. Alternatively, you could reserve a segment of the counter for the stove, the other for a sink and then situate a kitchen island at the centre of the room with another sink. 

Having two sinks is ideal because the smaller one can be used for filtered water while the other one is made for washing dishes and cleaning. Two sinks can also help you to achieve a more optimal work triangle in your kitchen.

It’s a great solution if you want to use different countertop materials

Cocinas de estilo mediterráneo de Pixcity Mediterráneo

You can take advantage of the L kitchen beyond its more practical functions. Since the L kitchen is comprised of two separate stretches of countertops, you can decorate them as such. For anyone who has an indecisive streak, the L kitchen’s appeal might lie in the fact that it is one of the few set ups that can accommodate two different countertop materials simultaneously without looking totally bizarre. 

This ultra-Mediterranean kitchen offers the perfect example. With the yellow kitchen cabinet standing as a divider, two different materials are used for the counters on either side. The result is a more aesthetically dynamic kitchen, where the more colours and textures there are, the merrier.

Cons: usually you need more room for an L-shaped kitchen with an island

It is important to remember, however, that the L kitchen can only accommodate a kitchen island if the kitchen itself is large enough. Because the kitchen occupies two separate walls, it does encroach on floor space more than say, a one-wall kitchen does. 

This is not to say that an L kitchen can’t work nicely in a smaller kitchen. In fact, the modular L shape can be a very efficient use of space. If your kitchen is small and you’re smitten with the L layout, try incorporating a table here instead of a kitchen island. After all, the table can be used for both eating and food prep.

Tip: square island is better than a rectangle

For those among you that have their hearts set on the kitchen island AND the L kitchen layout, there may still be hope! A square shaped kitchen island is a viable option because it is more compact. It’s a good idea to keep the square shaped island small, though, because it’s more difficult to reach into the middle of a square shaped island than it is with a rectangular one. 

While a smaller island probably can’t accommodate both a workspace and a seating area, it could serve to enhance your kitchen triangle because a stove or sink can easily be situated on the island.

Want to consider some other options, check out advantages of a galley kitchen layout and the benefits of a one-wall kitchen, too. 

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