How to Make the Most Out of Your U-Shaped Kitchen
People spend a lot of time in the kitchen and that’s one of the best things about it. It’s where you go for a quick breakfast, where kids head in search of their favorite afternoon snacks and the place to exercise your culinary genius all day long. That’s why it’s important to have a kitchen you love spending time in. Your kitchen can become the heart of the home – perfect for long conversations over coffee and memorable occasions celebrating life’s milestones. Want to know how to maximize the potential of a U-shaped kitchen? Check out these U-shaped kitchen design ideas for some inspiration. They bring existing U-shaped kitchen designs to life and also help if you’re planning a kitchen remodel and need some pointers.
The Advantages of U
U-shaped kitchens are ideal for food prep! They have lots of counter space so chefs can wash fresh produce, chop up veggies and have all their ingredients ready to go – which is the perfect recipe for no-pressure cooking. So go ahead and put all your ingredients into individual bowls – just like they do on TV. With abundant counters, you’re free to cook the way you want.
If you’re remodeling your kitchen, start by figuring out the best arrangement for your “work triangle,” the placement of your refrigerator, sink and stove. If possible, keep your dishwasher near the sink for plumbing purposes, and think about adding drawers for utensils and kitchen towels nearby. Spacious drawers and cabinets for pots, pans, baking sheets and cooks’ tools work well near the stove. Bowls, drink glasses and dinnerware work great next to the fridge. In a smaller U-shaped kitchen, this cuts down on the amount of time you might spend searching for things, and in a larger kitchen it lets two people work together with plenty of room to move around.
Your Ideal Work Space
When you’re placing the three kitchen essentials – sink, fridge and stove – remember that the sink can be the center point. Its area flows naturally into the other two. When you’re washing veggies, chances are you’re heading back and forth from fridge to sink. The same goes for cooking. By placing the sink between the two, it’s easier to whip up delicious meals without feeling like you’re always running across the kitchen to grab what you need. It might seem like something small, but the time savings add up fast! Plus, your feet will thank you for it.
Keep Things Bright
U-shaped kitchens can sometimes feel a little more enclosed than other layouts, so how do you keep yours feeling spacious? One way is to choose light paint colors. Bright, crisp colors make the room feel larger and lighter. All-white kitchens are timeless and sleek - plus, white goes well with just about any decorating style.
Let It Breathe
One way to get the best of both worlds is to create a U-shaped kitchen with all the counter space but half the walls. Consider the possibility of removing the wall between the dining room – or living room – and kitchen, if possible. You’ll gain the extra visual space between rooms, making each feel more connected and let clustered as a result. This idea lets you cook and converse with friends at the same time, and it creates an informal breakfast area, perfect for a pair of barstools.
Depending on the size of your kitchen, an island adds even more space for food prep, innovation and decor. Plus, placing the sink and dishwasher in the middle of the room gives you lots of options for countertop organization. Not sure if your kitchen is large enough for an island? Just measure 3 1/2 feet from each counter. If you’ve got that, you’re good to go. Square islands are smart smaller-space solutions.
Use Glass Accents
Another way to keep the room bright is to play around with shiny and reflective surfaces. They fill the whole space with light. Glass cabinets show off your dinnerware any time of day or night. Another idea is to use gloss finish on your cabinet doors. Stainless-steel pulls and appliances also bounce around lots of light. Marble countertops and a shiny white-brick backsplash are other ways to add brilliance.
The light fixtures you choose reflect your personality and stimulate creativity. They’re also an important way to add a personal touch to the kitchen. A large pendant light can easily become the focal point in the room if you like the look of statement lighting. Or, you can pick a gorgeous chandelier for a touch of elegance. More lighting is always great in a U-shaped layout, so feel free to go all out if you want to!