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Guide: The Best Kitchen Layout Based On Your Lifestyle

January 4, 2017
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To cook or not to cook? - It’s a serious question many of us ask ourselves on a daily basis. Whether you enjoy gathering with family over a home-cooked meal or prefer a quick microwave-dinner, the kitchen is undoubtedly the place where all the wining and dining magic happens - Which is why it should not be overlooked in a renovation.

Configuring the right layout, materials and fittings goes a long way in maximising a kitchen's potential. So, what layout best reflects your cooking style? We teamed up with our friends from honestbee to create a guide featuring 5 unique lifestyles and their kitchen solutions!

Guide: The Best Kitchen Layout Based On Your Lifestyle
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Needs: Durable and efficient layout, able to withstand heavy-duty cooking.

Home-cooked meals are a family tradition, and everyone in the household makes it a point to come home for dinner daily. Heavy-duty, traditional Asian cooking methods, such as steaming, braising, stir-frying or deep frying are often used to create homely dishes like kang-kong with belachan or clear chicken soup. Of course, a lot of preparation goes into place, and smells of ingredients like minced garlic or pounded chillies tend to waft in the air.

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Interior Designer: LS2 Design and Construction

Kitchen Layout: Enclosed U-Shaped/Galley Kitchen

With all that culinary action happening on a daily basis, your kitchen layout needs to be highly efficient and easy to manoeuvre about. A U-shaped kitchen works best, as it:

  • Allows you to construct a ‘working triangle’ that promotes ease of movement between the three core kitchen components (stove, sink and countertop).

  • Can accommodate all kitchen room sizes, and maximises any available countertop space needed for preparing food.

However, a minimum width of 3 meters walking space should be available from one end to another in order for a U-shape layout to work efficiently.

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Interior Designer: Fuse Concept

If not, for longer and thinner spaces, a galley-style kitchen works as well. With countertops that run parallel against the walls, this layout creates a singular aisle where users can easily access and alternate between counters. Lastly, having an enclosed kitchen is recommended, as it will stop straying smells from spreading into other parts of the house.

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Needs: Ability to fit multiple cooks, a social connection.

There’s never such a thing as too many cooks in a kitchen! Cooking just isn’t the same without the buzz of voices or a concerted team effort with those you love. Good food means being with good company, and you often hold dinner parties, serving shareable dishes like roasted chicken or salads. A useful kitchen space is one that allows you to mix practicality with pleasure.

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Architect: UPSTAIRS_

Kitchen Layout: Open-Plan Kitchen

If being able to socialise is as important as cooking, consider implementing an open-concept kitchen. Adjoining either to the living or dining area, this configuration:

  • Enables the cook to keep tabs on what’s happening in the communal spaces.
  • Is able to accommodate a larger number of people within a cooking space, as there are no wall constraints.
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Interior Designer: The 80's Studio

Most open-plan kitchens often include a separate island counter, which works as a multi-purpose space where others can dine and prepare food at the same time. The island acts as a form of visual demarcation between the living and dining areas.

However, if smells and grime contaminating other parts of the home is a big concern, go for a combined, wet/dry kitchen solution instead. The enclosed, wet kitchen is where all the heavy cooking and cleaning is done, while homeowners can still mingle and do some light cooking at the open, dry kitchen.

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Needs: Low-maintenance, efficient cooking space.

Your cooking is fuss-free, quick and mainly a private affair. For you, the kitchen is where you make a simple plate of spaghetti or reheat a ready meal as dinner after a long day at work. A full fledged, professional kitchen would be a complete white elephant in your hands; all you need is a space that’s got the basics intact.

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Interior Designer: Bowerman

Kitchen Layout: One-Wall/ L-shaped Kitchen

Efficient and space saving, a one-wall layout is great for low-maintenance cooks. By keeping all the necessary kitchen elements (such as the refrigerator, sink and stove) into a single, unbroken line, your working footprint is minimised and users can easily access whatever they need without moving much.

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Interior Designer: Nitty Gritty Interior

Similarly, by utilising only two walls, an L-shaped layout is a space saving alternative that still promotes an effective ‘work triangle’ formation.

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Interior Designer: A Plan Interior Design

Both of these configurations tend to free up space, enough for incorporating in a dining area within the kitchen. By adding a compact dining set, the journey from cooking to eating is made faster and easier!

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Needs: Ample storage solutions, preparation space and quality fittings.

Cooking is a serious hobby - And you’re capable of executing incredible culinary feats like a seasoned restaurant chef. But serving up a perfectly grilled Entrecôte steak or sumptuous lobster bisque needs more than just a simple stovetop; Your kitchen needs to have space for the extensive range of accessories and appliances you utilise to concoct restaurant-level cuisine.

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Interior Designer: DISTINCTidENTITY

Kitchen Layout: U-shaped / G-Shaped Kitchen

One of the main priorities is having ample storage space to accommodate all sorts of kitchen tools. A U-shaped kitchen works best, as:

  • It provides the best balance between efficiency and counter space. Cabinets and countertops are built against the kitchen walls, and this configuration allows more wall space to be used.
  • Promotes easy access and frees up floor space.
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Interior Designer: Black N White House

For homes that boast a larger kitchen area, implementing a G-shaped layout is equally useful. Instead of utilising three walls in the case of a U-shaped layout, an additional wall or angle is introduced in a G-shaped layout. As a result, this configuration brings in more counter and storage space.

Beyond the countertops, having sufficient storage compartments, like built-in wall cabinets and pull out drawers are equally important. To squeeze more out of your storage capabilities, think vertical space - install floating shelves or wire racks to place frequently used objects like pans or utensils.

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Needs: Basic kitchen elements with an alternate twist.

There are some who cook insanely well, and then there are those who just can't help but char everything on sight. You are neither - You don’t cook much or at all. Since most of your eating business is done outside, dining at home involves drinks and perhaps a light snack at most. Your pantry is more likely to be stocked up with nut mixes and cold-pressed juices than fresh cabbage or fish.

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Interior Designer: Edge Interior

Kitchen Layout: Island / Single Wall Kitchen

Just because your cooking frequency borders on zero doesn’t mean you should forsake the kitchen altogether! Adopt a small-scale layout, with just enough preparation space and the essentials. If practicality isn’t a priority, an island layout is a lightweight and uncommon spin; Instead of using countertops to shape out a kitchen area, an extended island counter becomes the main kitchen core, with a sink, a stove and seating area installed. Meanwhile, the refrigerator can be built into a wall cabinetry area for a seamless look.

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Interior Designer: The Scientist

The island layout is better suited for open-plan homes as it needs sufficient space surrounding it for ease of movement. If you prefer an enclosed space, choose a single wall layout instead, which is simple to navigate and compact enough for your needs.

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Interior Designer: Chapter B

Likewise, your kitchen doesn’t solely have to be about cooking and eating. To ensure the area is well utilised, You may combine it with other functions, or incorporate a personal hobby space into it. For example, building a wine vault or a reading nook alongside the main kitchen.


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  • Coupon code is applicable to new users only.
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