How to Make the Most Out of Your L-Shaped Kitchen
It can be exciting and stressful when you’re preparing to redesign your kitchen. The room is such an important part of your daily life, so you likely have worries about how you will survive the remodel. You may also be wondering how you will decide which kitchen layout is right for you and your family.
No matter how big your room is, it’s important to utilize your entire kitchen layout. You want to maximize your storage area and meal prep space while also creating an inviting area for family dinners and entertaining. One of the best ways to do this is by implementing an L-shaped kitchen design in your home.
We are experts in remodeling kitchens, so we have a wealth of tips and tricks to help you make the most of your kitchen space. In this blog, we will go over the main features and of an L-shaped kitchen and offer popular L-shaped kitchen design ideas to show you the different ways you can fully maximize your space.
As you might have guessed from the name, this type of kitchen layout is shaped like the letter L. Two adjoining lengths of cabinets and countertops make up the legs of the L.
Depending on the design of the kitchen, the cabinets and counter space can be on two full walls, or one of the legs can be a half wall. It is common to have appliances for cooking and cleaning on one side of the L and storage on the other. This means that your stove and sink may be separated from your refrigerator. Many kitchens with enough space also feature an island in the middle of the room to add more storage and cooking area for food prep.
Due to the versatile nature of an L-shaped kitchen design layout, it is an excellent choice for small and large kitchens. Simply by varying the floor plan and the length of each leg of the L, you can likely make this popular style work in your home.
The Pros and Cons of L-Shaped Kitchens
There is a good reason why the L-shaped kitchen layout design is so popular. With help from an expert, this type of interior design creates an efficient and organized workflow by maintaining the kitchen work triangle, making everything from cooking to cleanup a breeze. The kitchen triangle refers to a kitchen that has an efficient relationship between the sink, stove, and refrigerator. Additionally, this layout allows you to separate your kitchen into work zones, which is perfect for families that need to accommodate multiple cooks at the same time.
Although cooks and bakers love L-shaped kitchens, they are good for so much more than meal prep and cleanup. Because they often open into a larger room or living area, this eat-in kitchen layout is perfect for entertaining. You can carry on a conversation with your guests or family members while you prepare delicious treats and meals, keeping you from feeling isolated from everyone else.
Another benefit of the L-shaped kitchen design is versatility. The style is perfect for many different lifestyles and tastes. Whether you’re looking for something to accommodate your family in a dining area or a space that is ideal for entertaining, an L-shaped kitchen can work for you. You can also achieve entirely different looks simply by switching up the cabinets, backsplash, appliances, hardware, colors, and patterns.
L-shaped kitchens are known for using two adjacent walls to create the versatile shape. While some kitchens place upper and lower cabinets on both sides of the L, some designs only feature lower cabinets and an open countertop. This type of layout opens up the kitchen to a neighboring room and provides a more-open flow for your home, but it has one distinct disadvantage. You lose the extra storage space that is found in the upper cabinets. However, this problem can often be solved by adding an island.
When this type of kitchen has a sink in the island, it can create another issue. This layout can add more space for cleanup and meal prep, but it often means that you have to reconfigure the plumbing. Doing so can raise the price of your kitchen remodel, but you may find that the efficiency is well-worth the additional cost.
Ways to Make the Most of Your L-Shaped Kitchen
Designing the perfect kitchen for your needs and space is an art and a science. No home is exactly the same, so what works in one kitchen might not be a good choice for another. To get the right fit for you and improve your L-shaped kitchen, you need to consider many different aspects of your room and lifestyle. The best layout for your kitchen will make the most of the space, offer an intuitive workflow, and allow you to do everything you love.
Handling Kitchens with Different Wall Lengths
Some people worry when they have kitchen walls that are different lengths. They assume that it will make it more difficult to remodel the room. Luckily, L-shaped kitchens are very flexible, especially when it comes to the position of the sink and stove.
When you’re remodeling a kitchen with different wall lengths, you should include tall cabinets and appliances, such as oven housing or the refrigerator, on the shorter length. However, they should be as far away from the window as possible. The goal is to avoid blocking the natural light coming into the room.
Speaking of windows, their placement will also determine where you place your overhead kitchen cabinets. Most of the time, an L-shaped kitchen with different wall lengths should have the upper cabinets on the longest wall. The reason why is simple. It provides more overhead storage space than you would get by using the shorter wall. You will often place the cooktop on this wall as well, which makes it easy to reach the cooking essentials.
If you don’t have a window on either of the two walls of the L, you can also place overhead cabinets on the shorter wall with under-cabinet lighting. If you are looking to create an open feel for the space, you can make these cabinets floating shelves or give them glass-front doors. This allows you to have more storage space while also giving the impression of having a larger kitchen.
Maximizing Kitchens with the Same Wall Lengths
When you have a kitchen that has walls of the same length, you should typically place tall cabinets on the same side as the oven. This gives you more counter space around the sink, which you will generally place on the adjacent wall. If you are right-handed, you can also place a pull out trash container under the counter to the left of the sink and a dishwasher on the right side. This layout will be reversed if you are a leftie.
In a kitchen where both walls are about the same length, you will often have the room to separate the sink and oven on different walls. Any cook can tell you that the main food prep space is between the sink and range. By separating these two fixtures, you can gain more countertop space between them. As an added benefit, this creates a distinction between your kitchen’s cooking area and cleanup zone, which helps you stay organized.
Even if your walls are the same length, it’s still important to consider the location of your windows when you’re deciding where to place different appliances and features in your kitchen. You want to make sure you’re not only maximizing efficiency, but also that precious natural sunlight.
Work With Doorways
There’s no need to panic if one of the legs of your L-shaped kitchen has a doorway in it. This is called a broken L-shape, and it allows you to try unique designs. For example, the height of the doorway gives you the option to add a tall wall of cabinets on one leg of the L. You can also use the break to use different materials for your countertops.
The broken L-shape has another benefit. You can use it to create distinct workstations for food preparation, cooking, and cleanup. Such a setup is perfect if you will have more than one cook working in the space at the same time.
Make the Most of the Corners
So many homeowners lose the valuable storage space in the back of the corner cabinets. People often avoid using this space because it is difficult to reach and see the contents of these corner areas. Rather than losing out on a place to keep your kitchen essentials, you can implement creative solutions to make the most of it. This is especially important in L-shaped kitchen designs for small kitchens.
Some of the options include pull out units and carousel units. The first choice fully retracts into the back of your corner cabinet, which allows you to easily use all of the once-wasted space. When you want to use the pullout unit, you pull on it to make it swivel outward, which allows you to see and access everything that would otherwise be hidden in the back of the cabinet. As for the carousel unit, it does not extend outward, it simply rotates 360 degrees to let you reach whatever you need.
These corner solutions can work just as well in overhead cabinets as they do in cabinets beneath the work surface. This makes it easy to access everything from your spices to your stand mixer. No more losing items in the back of a cabinet – or giving up completely on ever using the storage space.
Incorporate an Island – or Add a Table and Chairs
An L-shaped kitchen is a favorite not only for its functionality, but also because it often allows you to incorporate an island or breakfast bar. Although smaller kitchens might not be able to fit an island, it can work for most spaces. Best of all, it can work in rooms regardless of whether their walls are the same or different lengths.
Not only does it add more storage space, you can use an island to house your cooktop or sink, depending on your personal preference. But keep in mind that this is not a great option if you want to use the surface of your island for entertaining or doing homework with your children. If this is the case, keep it clear and add seating on the side that is farthest from the cooking area.
You need to consider the size and shape of your kitchen when you’re putting in an island. If the room doesn’t have a lot of space, you may have to settle for a smaller island. Additionally, while most people think of this kitchen feature as being a square, it might make more sense in some cases to have a rectangular island.
If you don’t have room for a kitchen island, you may be able to add a small dining table and chairs. This is common in L-shaped kitchen design for small kitchens. This allows you to add a space to eat and socialize with your family or guests while you are preparing food or cleaning.
Personalize Your Kitchen
You’re taking the time and spending the money to remodel your kitchen, so you want it to be the right fit for your life. Think about what would make your life easier.
For example, if you’re left-handed, you’ll want to set up your kitchen differently than someone who is right-handed. If you or a family member uses a wheelchair, you may want to ask an expert about how you can make your kitchen more accessible. The goal is to customize your kitchen for your needs and lifestyle.
With these tips, you can design a kitchen that includes the layout and features you need to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing space that is ideal for cooking, eating, and entertaining.
For more ideas and information about L-shaped kitchens, check out our blog post that explains what an L-shaped kitchen is.