How to plan a traditional kitchen layout

Work with the existing character of your property to choose your kitchen layout.

The most important aspect of any kitchen renovation project is the layout. This should be finalised before any decisions can be made about materials, fixtures or fittings.

1. Create space and showcase original features

Your budget and the layout of the rest of your home will determine whether you have the option to remove a wall to create a larger kitchen-diner or a single, open-plan living space.

Work around original features where possible to preserve a sense of character – locating a range cooker in the original fireplace or hearth area, for example.

2. Pick your basic layout

Most kitchen design still starts with the classic ‘wrap-around’ kitchen which follows the perimeter of the room, with a mixture of fitted and freestanding furniture. It often takes the form of an ‘L’ or ‘U’ shape, with a table at its centre where space allows.

In homes where the available kitchen area is narrow, the parallel counters of a galley kitchen offer a practical choice, with plenty of storage space on either side.

3. Take the ‘working triangle’ into account

The principle of the ‘working triangle’ is a useful tool when deciding on your layout. You can make preparing meals that bit easier by minimising the distance between the following areas:

  • Food storage area (the fridge)
  • Food preparation area (sink and countertops)
  • Cooking area (the hob)

Make sure your bin is included within the triangle too, and most importantly, choose a layout that suits the way you live. By taking the time to give it some careful thought, you can create a space that both looks great, and is easy to use.

4. Make sure the layout works for you

To ensure the layout works for your lifestyle, consider the different roles your kitchen plays, providing space not only for food preparation and cooking but also for working, entertaining and relaxing.