Arguably the most common style of cooking space, square kitchens are the epitome of traditional kitchen design. Allowing for a spacious feel, multiple preparation areas and ample opportunity for natural light, it’s easy to see why homeowners and designers alike opt for a square kitchen. Be it a classic U-Shaped kitchen, a G-Shaped one or even a Galley kitchen, square kitchens allow so much scope to crate the kitchen of your dreams. In this week’s blog post we look at some of the top tips designing a square kitchen.
Square Kitchen Layouts
Before our top tips, we’re going to look at the most popular types and designs of square kitchens.
The classic U-shaped square kitchen is an efficient layout designed for one primary cook. It keeps onlookers out the main work area whilst remaining open to other rooms of the home.
The G-Shaped square kitchen is the U-shape’s big brother. It’s perfect for people who want to pack every square inch of kitchen possible into their space but don’t have room for the clearance required around an island. Instead, a fourth leg is attached to one side of the U at a right or obtuse angle. Typically this fourth leg is a peninsula, because having a wall and upper cabinets would nearly close off the kitchen from the rest of the home.
Finally we have the Galley kitchen, which is arguably the most efficient square kitchen of the lot. Taking its name from the typical Galley of a ship or plane, its narrow symmetrical design is perfect for professional and amateur chefs alike. Now we know the types of square kitchen, here are our top tips on how to design one…
Remember the Golden Rule of Square Kitchens – The Kitchen Triangle
The sink, the oven and the fridge are often referred to as the Kitchen Triangle and it’s one of, if not the most important aspect of kitchen design, square or otherwise. Of the three, the sink will see the most action and as such should have easy access to the oven and the fridge, so careful planning is required to ensure unobstructed access. Regardless of your kitchen’s size or layout, the total distance between the three elements of the triangle should be no less than 10 feet and no greater than 25 feet. If they’re too close you’ll be tripping over each other, but too far apart and cooking will become a tiresome task.
Lighting is Important for Square Kitchens
The kitchen is the one room in your home that simply can’t afford to have poor lighting. Apart from the obvious, yet often overlooked, safety aspect, the atmosphere of the whole room hinges on the lighting. For a square kitchen lighting is especially important, in order to avoid the room having a dark, “boxed-in” look and feel. Rooms generally need three types of lighting, general lighting for overall brightness, task lighting for specific activities, and accent lighting which is mainly decorative.
Use subtle lighting directly above the working areas and use pendant lighting in areas that will enhance the beauty of the kitchen such as above the sink or a breakfast bar. Too many people use a feature light as their sole source of light, leading to a dark and dreary square kitchen. Under cabinet lighting is also a super stylish method of giving your kitchen sufficient lighting. High gloss kitchen doors are also a great asset for brightening up your kitchen as they will reflect massive amounts of both natural and artificial light.
Always remember, the brighter the kitchen, the better you show of all those amazing design features you’ve spent hours designing and installing.
Utilise Storage Space
Square kitchens usually have the potential for a lot of storage space, however far too often is that space misused leading to a messy kitchen. Kitchens typically have a lot of stuff, for lack of a better word, and finding a home for it all whilst keeping it easily accessible can prove a challenge. Kitchens are expensive, so you don’t want to spend all that money only to find you can’t fir your deep fat fryer anywhere.
Almost every kitchen will have some wasted space, but with adequate planning this can be kept to a minimum. If you’ve got a small square kitchen, consider fitting extra-long upper cabinets with molding for extra storage space. Also, by installing shelves across the backs of the lower kitchen cabinet as they will save you nearly a 2 foot by 2 foot or 4 square foot potential storage area. Otherwise, the kitchen will feel smaller than it is because you will constantly be trying to find more storage space.
Square kitchens are popular for good reason, but if you’re designing the kitchen yourself think long and hard about the design as it’s not as easy as it looks.
Got a square kitchen? We’d love to hear your top design tips. Let us know in the comments.