Kitchen Layouts Pros and Cons: L-Shaped Kitchen

Whether you’re working on a new home right now or you want to remodel your kitchen and give it a complete new look, the way you position your cabinetry and appliances around the room will always be a needed consideration. Each kitchen layout finds harmony within differing families and varying lifestyles, meaning that choosing the wrong layout for you can very quickly build up annoyances. So, to ensure that the functional integration of the kitchen in your life is present, we here at QN Designs are compiling this new blog series to help you achieve just that by showing you both the pros and cons of each layout.

In our first part, we’re looking at the L-shaped kitchen. In this layout, two perpendicular walls form an L shape with each wall lined with cabinetry and appliances. Generally, the sink and the cooktop are on separate arms of the L which allows each side to act as their own designated work zone. Read on to see what makes the L-shaped kitchen such a great design as well as where it may fall short in certain households and lifestyles.

Pro: Perfect for Open Plan Living

As we continue to move towards an age where the political sphere is characterised by the breaking down of barriers and acceptance of the unconventional is becoming more commonplace, it seems that the home life seems to reflect this same paradigm shift. With literal walls being knocked down, there is an increasing preference in contemporary style living to have open spaces where rooms are no longer sectioned and separate. Instead they have become connected and communal which allow for a much brighter, much more open and much more sociable space to reside in You’ll find that the dining room is also the kitchen room which is also the living room. This is known as the open plan living style that many have begun to incorporate into their households.

The L-shaped kitchen is a layout that perfectly adheres to the principles of open plan living as access is not restricted. This means that people can come and go to talk to those in the kitchen as they please or they can easily see those who are cooking from the living room. It means that if you’re in the dining room you can easily have a chat to the other whose washing up the dishes without any obstacles in the way. If you love seeing the kids playing in the living room or enjoy talking to your parents as they sit at the table or appreciate the vibe of a lively group together in one spacious room, then an L-shaped must be a consideration for you.

Pro: Awesome Work Triangle

If you haven’t heard of the fundamental golden triangle rule for kitchen layout designing, then you’re in for a lesson. The golden triangle rule has the purpose of optimising workflow within the kitchen by making access to the three essential stations –the cooktop, fridge and sink – as convenient and hassle-free as possible. The vertices of this hypothetical triangle are placed at each of these three stations and the aim is to minimise each side of the triangle as much as possible so that the distance between one station and another is not inconveniently far.

The L-shaped kitchen, with its two adjacent legs, creates a great work triangle by keeping two of the stations on one leg and the remaining station on the other. Furthermore, being connected by a continuous benchtop also helps with the workflow as preparation work can be easily shifted between each station with ease. Through the increased mobility and flexibility that you have in this design, productivity and efficiency is multiplied. Thus, if you are an avid cooker and enjoy great utility from your kitchen layout then an L-shaped has strong capacity to provide that for you.

Pro: Minimises Dead Corners

What is a dead corner? A dead corner is a space in the corner of two perpendicular lines of cabinetry which is inaccessible and thus reduces the storage capacity of the kitchen. Although there are a number of ways that one can circumvent this problem through innovative storage options, the volume of storage that can be held with these contraptions can still be lacking in comparison to a front facing drawer system of the same size. Of course, if you employ a corner drawer system then this can also prove to be a superior solution, but it can be an option that takes a huge blow out of your renovation budget. Then of course, you can simply use a shelf – but then you’ll have to deal with getting on your knees each time you want to pull something out of the back of the cabinet.

Altogether, it means that minimising the number of corners you have in the room can be useful and having only one corner cabinet in the room is quite a solid deal when you choose the L-shaped kitchen.

Con: Large Kitchens Aren’t Ideal

Remember the golden triangle concept that we had discussed previously? Let’s think about how that works in an L-shaped kitchen. Honestly, it’s a pretty solid work triangle which is why we’ve included it as an advantage above. However, let’s think about what happens when this L-shaped kitchen starts to scale larger. The longest side of this triangle will become unreasonably big which means that in a larger kitchen, you might be having to walk three or four metres to get from the fridge to the cooktop!

As a result, larger sized kitchens are not particularly suited for L-shaped layouts as efficiency begins to diminish rapidly as the room becomes wider. If you implement an island bench however, you can salvage yourself some valuable productivity. You can place the cooktop or the sink on this island, ultimately reducing the size of your work triangle. Rather than having three stations situated around the legs of the L shape, you can instead have two on one wall and the other on the island creating a look similar to a galley kitchen.

Con: One at a Time

An important point to note about the L-shaped kitchen is that workflow is optimised when the kitchen is used by a single person. It allows them to quickly move between stations with minimum distance. However, when another person enters the scene and tries to work alongside the first, there is a significant amount of swivelling and swerving which again, reduces efficiency of the work being conducted. The nature of having two adjacent lines of cabinetry means that the work triangle can be particularly narrow, leaving minimal space to manoeuvre to different stations without having to sway away from the other person.

Thus, if people constantly have to be in and out to use the kitchen while you’re cooking up dinner or you really enjoy cooperating with your significant other to make your meals then be wary of the potential struggles that the L-shaped kitchen can hold. However, this is also subject to the size of your kitchen and whether you choose to include an island bench. Wide arms of an L-shaped kitchen can make foot traffic more manageable and an island bench can allow for a separate preparation or workstation that is removed from the works of the other.

Contact Us Today

If you’re sold on the idea of having an L-shaped kitchen in your home or you have any inquiries about areas we didn’t quite touch upon in this article, please feel free to contact us. Visit us firsthand at our Malaga showroom at 1914 Beach Road or our Morley head office at 1/18 Boag Place. On the other hand, call our showroom at 9249 9492 or our head office at 9275 8253 to speak to one of our professional design consultants. Our experts are always happy to chat and provide you with ways that we can help you bring your kitchen renovation dreams to life.

By Jacky Lu, QN Designs Kitchens