While the L-shaped kitchen isn’t the most efficient arrangement, we do see this configuration in many St. Louis homes. U-shaped and galley kitchens are far more common. Luckily, we are always up for the challenge!
With a little planning, the L-shape can actually work in your favor. It’s all about designing for workflow, so the placement of the work areas is key. But like any kitchen design, it has its pros and cons.
L-Shaped Kitchens: Pros and Cons
On the plus side, an L-shaped kitchen provides you with more space. If you have two cooks in the family or if you entertain a great deal, this can be highly advantageous. An L-shaped kitchen often opens into a larger room – either a dining room or living area – so that your family and guests can interact with you while you work.
On the downside, if you do not opt for an island, you will likely be working while facing away from your guests. While this is more of a personal preference, it is something to think about.
Other challenges presented by an L-shaped kitchen are in the configuration of the primary work areas – what is known as the ‘work triangle’ – the sink, the stove, and the refrigerator. In an L-shaped kitchen design, these elements can end up being placed inordinately far apart, making for an inefficient workspace.
Islands Add Greater Functionality And Separation
Islands are almost always included in an L-shaped design. An island provides you with more counter space, and it gives your guests a place to congregate while you are cooking or entertaining.
Another way in which islands can benefit the L-shaped kitchen design is that sinks and appliances can be located on the island itself. This makes the work triangle more efficient and frees up counter space for prep activities. However, some of you may want to keep your island countertop clear so you can use it as a workspace or a dining area. Either way, an island is always a big plus.
Ways To Get The Most Out Of An L-Shaped Kitchen
In older homes with L-shaped kitchens, it is likely that one of the arms features a prep sink on the extension, a butler’s pantry, a cleanup area, or extra storage cupboards. By reworking some of these features to better suit the way you use the kitchen, it is possible to create a highly functional and beautiful space you will love to work in.
Here are some ideas:
The cabinetry in an L-shaped kitchen intersects at a right angle. If the two arms are both of equal length, we would normally locate taller cabinetry and the refrigerator on the same arm as the stove or cooktop. The oven could then be housed next to the refrigerator, which would leave generous space for functional drawers beneath the cooktop. This would maximize counter space around both the cooktop and the sink, which would be located either on the island or on the other arm of the L.
The dishwasher, trash compactor, and sink could be located on the opposite side of the L, according to your personal taste and preferences. Separating the sink/prep area and the cooking area is generally the most efficient use of the space as it allows two people to work comfortably, even when space is at a premium.
While a U-shape is much better if you want to maximize cabinet space, it is possible to get a lot of cabinet functionality out of an L-shape – depending on where your windows are located. In an L-shape kitchen with different length runs, we position the upper cabinets on the long arm as it makes it more convenient to the cooktop below. Floating shelves around the cooktop or stove can also be a great solution.
For kitchens with equal-length runs, we would normally position the refrigerator at one end of a run with the cooktop or stove next to it, surrounded by plenty of counter space and drawers on either side. As the most functional prep space is generally between the stove and the fridge, this arrangement will give you the most value.
L-Shaped Kitchen Design In St. Louis
Are you getting ready for a kitchen remodel for your St. Louis home? J.T. McDermott has been serving St. Louis and surrounding areas with remodeling and design excellence since 1993. Reach out today, we would love to show you what we do and how we can help.