09 Aug Remodeling the L-Shaped Kitchen in Your Hamptons/East End of Long Island Home
So you’ve decided it’s time to redo your small L-shaped kitchen. The goal of a good kitchen remodel is to make it more convenient for you, the homeowner. In our experience, this usually involves creating enough storage space, maximizing the counter space that exists in a smaller kitchen, and good flow from one area to another.
Is my kitchen L-shaped?
An L-shaped kitchen consists of two countertops on two adjoining walls that form an “L.” The layout allows for more efficiency, and aids in creating that ideal kitchen ‘triangle’ for the stove, fridge, and sink. This is a classic design and is pretty popular in American homes, mainly due to the flexibility it allows. It can be adapted to many sizes of kitchen, as well as many types of kitchen design. There can be other elements, like an island or pantry or the like, but the main hub of activity happens within the L area.
What’s this triangle you mentioned?
The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) defines it as an ”imaginary straight line drawn from the center of the sink, to the center of the cooktop, to the center of the refrigerator and finally back to the sink.” This is often the area with the greatest level of activity and tends to be someplace where you want unobstructed access. In other words, this is the area you’re most likely to move around in as you’re prepping a meal, cooking, or baking.
The basic NKBA triangle guidelines are:
- The sum of the 3 sides should not exceed 26 feet, with each ‘leg’ measuring somewhere between 4 to 9 feet (depending on the overall kitchen size).
- No major traffic patterns should cross the triangle.
- If you have a kitchen island, the work triangle shouldn’t cut through it by more than 12 inches.
- If your kitchen only has 1 sink, that sink should be placed either between or across from the cook top, prep area, or fridge.
Size Matters, Sort Of
A kitchen doesn’t need to be huge to be functional. In smaller kitchens, maximizing counter space is much more important, and can sometimes take more skill and ingenuity than in a bigger one. This means paying careful attention to placement of items and spaces. For example, the space where the dishes, glasses, and silverware go should be near the dishwasher and/or sink. Things you use less, like a slow cooker or lobster pot, can even be stored outside of the triangle. And while it’s popular to store the trash under a counter, it’s not a requirement. After all, that under the counter space might be better utilized storing pots and pans.
A small kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t have an island, which can be very useful for storage. It just needs to be one that’s scaled for the space you have. There are a lot of options when it comes to this, and a mistake that many people make is choosing the wrong one. We have a lot of experience designing kitchen islands that fit well and are functional.
Contact FD Building Co. at (631) 779-2859 or send us a message to discuss how we can make your L-shaped kitchen a more functional space for you and your family.