There are a lot of pluses to small kitchens: they make prep work a breeze, are designed to be extremely ergonomic, and ultimately save you time and money. If you’re getting ready to upgrade your small L-shaped kitchen, here are some layout ideas to keep in mind as you plan and design your remodel. They’ll help you maximize space, improve overall functionality, and make your smaller kitchen a more efficient, happier space for the entire family.
How to Design the Perfect L-Shape Kitchen
The L-shape kitchen is a classic design that is popular with many homeowners. It’s highly flexible and easily adaptable to a variety of styles and its setup lends itself to multiple cooks in the kitchen. As it name suggests, an L-shape kitchen has two “lines” or legs of counter topped cabinets with one leg usually longer than the other. Some include an island or dining table that separates the work area from the living space.
Key to a successful L-shaped kitchen remodel is designing the work triangle in a way that doesn’t involve walking 10 feet to get from the sink to the stove and refrigerator. A good option is placing the fridge and a wall oven on one leg that also houses the pantry or food storage. Place the sink and cooktop or range on the other leg, with the sink positioned opposite the refrigerator. You can also add a second sink, either in one leg or an island.
The main design goals for any kitchen are:
- Sufficient counter space.
- Ample storage.
- Good traffic flow.
In smaller L-shaped kitchens, counterspace is at a premium making it important to maximize every inch, so try to keep as much space open as possible. To accommodate dirty and clean dishes, for example, you want at least 2 feet to the left and 3 feet to the right of your sink and cooktop. Another option is to install a pantry cabinet for large appliances (appliance garages take up valuable countertop space).
For ideal layout effectiveness, keep these tips in mind:
- Put serving utensils and spices on the side with the range, not the wall oven, which you only go to two or three times while preparing a meal.
- Make sure there is someplace immediately adjacent to and behind the cooktop and wall oven to put hot items.
- Keep the silverware, glassware, and plates near the sink and dishwasher (which should be near the range/cooktop). It makes it easier to both serve right off the cooktop and put items away from the dishwasher.
- Put less important or rarely used items like crock pots and larger pots and pans on the refrigerator leg.
Many people think an island will make a small L-shaped kitchen feel crowded, but a rightly scaled piece can be an ideal choice that provides additional storage, food preparation space, and a dining area without taking up too much real estate. You can create a feeling of openness by either painting your existing cabinetry a lighter color, adding glass cabinet doors, or removing some or all of it and using open shelving.
Note in this picture how the homeowners have eliminated most of the overhead cabinets. A closed island would provide additional storage, if needed.
This space also has workstations on both walls and the island is perfectly positioned for routing traffic.
There are hundreds of exciting options for remodeling a small L-shaped kitchen. Need more space? Consider reconfiguring the current layout or removing a wall. Our designers can help you determine the best course for your own remodel.
If you’re ready to transform your small L-shaped kitchen into a modern and efficient space, drop us a line today. We look forward to showing you how fun and rewarding a small kitchen remodel can be!
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.