How to Improve the Design of Your L-Shaped Kitchen
An L-shaped kitchen is one of the most popular types of kitchen layouts because of its outstanding functionality and ability to adapt to just about any home. You may have once loved your kitchen, but as time goes on, kitchens become outdated and just don’t work as well as they once did, especially if you have a growing family. On the other hand, you may have just purchased an amazing home, but need to make some improvements to bring it up to speed. Demo and construction can be extremely costly which is why most homeowners opt to preserve their current layout. With an L-shape this is easy to do. Whatever your reason, improving the look and function of your L-shaped kitchen is one of the best home improvements to invest in. However, you don’t have to completely demolish your existing kitchen in order to bring things to life, all you need is a little facelift. Because L-shaped kitchens are so easy to work with, you can recreate a beautiful and functional kitchen without draining your savings account.
Planning ahead is important for every project. Even during a small kitchen revamp, you might incur unexpected costs so it is important to budget properly. As all homeowners know, it’s much better to fall below your initial budget than to end up breaking it. For this reason, utilizing a professional to help plan all aspects of the project is highly recommended. Contractors and project managers can better forecast your exact vision and how much it is going to cost you. They will also help protect the rest of your home during the process by taking care of all the moving parts and permits- if any. And most importantly, they will help keep your kitchen remodel on a timeline so that you can enjoy your finished product as soon as possible.
Aside from all the physical work, having a good vision of what you’re looking for can get the ball rolling much quicker. From backsplashes and accent walls to countertops and appliances, the designing process alone can be a pretty arduous task. If you’re like most people and don’t naturally have an eye for palette and texture design, there are a plethora of popular kitchen design layout ideas on the internet. Remember, this should be an enjoyable process that leaves you with a product you’ll enjoy for a very long time!
Rework the Work Triangle
Ahh, the work triangle. If you’re not familiar, the work triangle refers to the placement of the three most imperative components of a kitchen: the refrigerator, sink, and stove. When done correctly, this geometric shape single-handedly improves the ergonomics of your kitchen. It does this by providing a fluid motion from station to station during the preparing and cleaning process. Unfortunately, some work triangles are not up to par. In the case that your work triangle isn’t configured correctly, it can cause quite a bit of a hassle for anyone who wants to get the most out of their kitchen. Reworking the triangle is your best option and will definitely improve the feel and functionality of the space. So what goes into this project? In most cases, plumbing and electrical work need to be rerouted to move around the necessary appliances. However, a task like this can get expensive. Because his project can be on the more costly side of the potential projects, if you can skip this step, you’re better off. So if you are already happy with your work triangle, you can use this budget elsewhere.
Implement an Island
An L-shaped kitchen layout is known for its ability to frame a room and make space for the addition of an island. If your kitchen does not already feature an island and has room for one, you should seriously consider adding one to your list. Islands are great in an L-shaped kitchen for many reasons. First, they provide all the extra counter space you need for preparing meals which is a highly sought-after resource in kitchens! Not only do they provide you with surface area, but the portion underneath can be structured with drawers and cabinets to give quite a bit of extra storage. On the other hand, a kitchen island is great for entertaining guests. Adding stylish bar stools to one side provides seating for guests to socialize as you prepare drinks and meals. If you choose to go this route, there are many ways to maximize the area provided by an island.
On the other hand, if you already have an island, consider updating its look and functionality. Simple things like upgrading island countertops make a kitchen appear much less outdated. You can even get the cabinets underneath stained to adhere to your new color palette. To take things further, if you really want to add to the functionality of your existing island, you can opt to add an extra sink for food preparation or cleaning. Remember to choose updates that fit your needs and lifestyle. If you find that entertaining is high among your priorities, go for a breakfast bar or stool seating area. On the other hand, if you find that you need more space to clean and prepare, use the island as an extra space for just that.
Perfect the Peninsula
In smaller or apartment sized kitchens, you may have to forego the island. So if you don’t have room to add one, a peninsula assumes much less room and provides much of the same functions. However, this will turn your beloved L-shape into more of a U-shaped kitchen. A peninsula can offer even a few extra feet of surface area which can be useful when it comes to extra storage, counter space, and seating. Peninsulas are also a great way to section off the kitchen from the rest of the home while maintaining the integrity of an open concept feel.
If the goal of revamping your kitchen is to update the overall look, updating your cabinetry should be one of the first considerations that you make. This is an essential step as cabinetry is one of the first things our eyes tend to focus on in a kitchen. The upside is that there are many ways to do this at very different price points. If your budget is relatively sensitive, staining the cabinets that are currently in your kitchen is one way to go and can be done by fairly inexperienced individuals. In smaller kitchens, using a light colored stain or paint is a great way to open up space and make it appear larger.
If this is an area that you would like to allocate more of your budget towards, the l-shaped kitchen provides a layout for you to put in all different shapes and sizes of cabinetry. If you have a large family, you’ll probably find yourself needing more storage space. Mixing in full-length cabinets will provide you more area to store snacks and baking essentials. On the other hand, updating your overhead cabinetry by extending it to the ceiling is another option. One of the areas that the l-shaped kitchen excels in is corner space. There are all sorts of corner optimized cabinetry on the market for maximizing corner space. The primary purpose of these is that they give homeowners the opportunity to store larger pots and pans away without cluttering small cabinets or drawers.
Aside from revamping the cabinetry in your kitchen, mixing in sleek shelving is an excellent way to offset the appearance of bulky cabinets. Intertwining a full wall of overhead kitchen cabinets with shelves looks more natural on the eye, especially in larger kitchens. For example, adding shelving onto end cabinets with blind corners will make sight lines more visible. Another place where this can be implemented is in the corner space that inevitably comes with an L-shaped kitchen. So what will these shelves be used for? They will be used to make sure every inch of available storage space has a purpose. If it fits the style of your home, you can get creative and find aesthetically pleasing dish sets or dainty wine glasses to store on them. Or if you’re prone to chipping plates or do not have time to keep them so organized, you can simply use the shelf space as a decorative function. Think a cute cookbook or trendy succulents and word boards.
While searching the many kitchen design layout ideas out there, you may have decided to update the whole theme of your modern kitchen regarding visual appearance. Once you’ve gone through the process of picking the stain for your cabinets, it’s time to focus on the countertops. Revamping your countertops is a great way to bring even the most outdated kitchen into the 21st century. There are tons of options to choose from on any budget which makes this an essential part of any kitchen renovation. If you’re looking for something that is a little less maintenance, think about adopting an engineered stone. On the other hand, a naturally hewn countertop creates an elegant facade. The point is, you’re inundated with options, so make sure to choose one that fits your needs and lifestyle.
Consider switching out your old appliances with new ones. The first step in picking out new appliances is choosing a standard material that will look cohesive throughout your kitchen. This typically means deciding on either a black finish, stainless steel, or a fully integrated design. However, there are so many bonuses to updating your kitchen appliances aside from the obvious change in aesthetic appeal.
One of the most important bonuses of new appliances is the added safety that comes along with them. Changing out old machines with new ones helps keep your family safe by eliminating risks such as electrical shortages. Updating kitchen appliances can also save you quite a bit of money in the long run. New appliances that have hit the market have come a long way in terms of operating energy efficiently. For example, some dishwashers are equipped with advanced washing and drying technology designed to not only reduce wash time and conserve energy but save water as well. Because of this, modern appliances are not only pocket-friendly but economically friendly as well. As we move towards an era where protecting the planet is a central concern, appliances have adapted to be more sustainable and make less of an impact.
Aside from having an exciting and rewarding project, one of the most apparent pros to giving your home a little facelift is a high return on investment. With the kitchen being such a high priority space, updating it will only make your home more valuable on the market. Kitchens are where people spend a lot of time in their homes, and it’s easy to tell if money has been put into creating something functional that looks nice. The good thing is that professionals know how to plan a remodel that won’t strain your budget, but will still give your home enough push to sell at a higher price point. So whether or not you’re planning to sell your home, putting a little extra TLC into your kitchen is a surefire way to increase its value.
Updating your kitchen doesn’t have to include diving into full construction or breaking the bank. Making small changes such as reworking the work triangle, revamping cabinetry and countertops, or updating old appliances can go a long way in terms of enhancing your existing kitchen and increasing the value and feel of your home. The L-shaped kitchen has many benefits including being one of the easiest floor plans to rework and update, therefore, anything you plan on doing should be pretty straightforward.