May 29, 2024

KMCKrell

Taste the Home & Environment

These 3 Kitchen Layouts Are As Easy to Follow As a Recipe

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Ariel Magidson grew up riffling through her grandmother’s recipe box. But as an adult, it wasn’t until the pandemic that she picked up cooking again. “My fiancé is Palestinian, and I was like, let me learn more about your culture—I know how to follow a recipe really well,” recalls Magidson, the founder of Ariel Arts, a Bay Area–interior design studio. The best thing about a recipe book? You can take the directions as far as you want. “You can be very literal or be very creative,” she adds. It was this venture that ultimately inspired the format for her debut book, Your Space, Made Simple. While many interior design books are peppered with anecdotes and tips, her guide features “recipes” for every room in the house that show what furniture and decor you’ll need and how to arrange it—down to the inch. 

When it comes to whipping together the ingredients for a kitchen, Magidson starts by implementing the kitchen triangle, which basically suggests arranging your stove, fridge, and sink in a triangle configuration to eliminate unnecessary steps. The rest is personal. “Designing a kitchen for the masses is impossible because everybody cooks differently,” she shares. Are you the type to meal prep on Sunday or see where the week takes you? Do you only have one go-to pan for every dish or tend to use a sink’s worth? Are there six spices in your cabinet or 20? All of this affects the size, placement, and location of your appliances, cabinetry, and prep area. “You cannot design a kitchen effectively until you really understand what you’re storing,” she says. 

Once you’ve got a good sense of your priorities, you can work on laying out your space. In this excerpt, Magidson shares her recipes for a galley, L-shaped, and open-concept kitchen layout. 


Galley Kitchen

This is the most common kitchen type. The layout is super-functional and straightforward—but galley kitchens can easily become overcrowded. This recipe includes lots of tips and tricks showing how to establish efficient storage systems. I’ve included three different floor plans for a standard configuration. 

What You Need: 

  • (1) Sink: 30” W
  • (1) Range: 30” W
  • (1) Refrigerator 30 – 36” W
  • (1) Dishwasher: 24” W
  • (1) Range Hood or Microwave Hood
  • (1) Runner: 8 – 12’ L

Add Ons: 

  • (1) Pot Rail
  • (1) Pot Filler
  • (1) Bench
  • (2) Dining Chairs
  • (2) Sconces or (1) Pendant
  • Roman or Roller Shade
  • (1) Round Dining Table: 36” 

Assess your space. Refer to your floor plan or sketch things out if that’s helpful. Your sketch doesn’t have to be perfect, and it will help you envision which elements will work for your particular space. 

Organize! Remove everything from your cabinets and write up an inventory list. Yes, I’m serious, list it all out. Next, assign items to each cabinet. Keep items you use regularly in easy-to-reach cupboards and drawers. The closed upper and lower cabinets provide ample space to store everything away. The tall cabinet opposite the refrigerator works well as a pantry, and the narrow upper cabinets flanking the microwave offer handy storage for spices and oils. I installed open shelving on one side of the kitchen for cookbooks and decorative items. 

Pro tip: What’s your favorite dish to cook? Or your favorite go-to weeknight meal? Take out all the ingredients, utensils, and small appliances you need for your top two to three meals. Then put them away in places that are easy to access. Use this as a model to organize the rest of your kitchen items—it’s all about what you use most and need easy access to. 

Light it up. Consider your natural light levels. Bright task lighting is essential in a kitchen, especially for chopping, but natural light is just as important! If you have a window in your kitchen, I recommend installing a roman shade that you can keep open most of the time. In this kitchen, I positioned puck lights below the upper cupboards for focused task lighting and then relied on recessed overhead lights for ambient lighting. 

Watch your step. A long runner grounds the space and catches debris. Be sure to choose a durable fiber with nonslip backing—ideally washable. 

Accessorize. The open shelves provide a spot for decorative items and cookbooks. I set a little potted plant with a trailing vine on one side and a pretty dish on the other. I put the cookbooks on the lower shelf for easy access. If you have a window in your galley kitchen, you could add a plant rail for potted herbs. How nice to pluck a sprig of mint from your windowsill to garnish your drink! 

Pro tip: No one said the finish on your hardware has to match. Your faucet can have a different finish than your drawer hardware, and even different from your upper cabinet hardware. Play around and have fun with these elements. They’re low commitment, so you can easily change them up for a style refresh. 

L-Shaped Kitchen

An L-shaped kitchen is tucked into a corner and oftentimes flows right into a dining area. Like galley and line kitchens, counter space is limited, so you’ll need to be strategic about where you store your go-to items. This recipe shows three floor plans and a diagram for a standard configuration. 

kitchen rendering with bold backsplash

What You Need: 

  • (1) Sink: 30” W
  • (1) Range: 30” W
  • (1) Refrigerator: 30 – 36” W
  • (1) Dishwasher: 24” W
  • (1) Range Hood or Microwave
  • (1) Runner: 8 to 12’ L

Add Ons: 

  • (1) Pot Filler
  • Roman or Roller Shade
  • (1) Small Mobile Kitchen Cart 
  • (2) Sconces Above Sink or (2 – 3) Pendants
  • (2 -3) Counter Stools

In this kitchen, I added short cabinets above the upper cabinets for extra storage. In the extra bit of space above, I had room for open baskets to store nonessential items. 

Cook a meal and pay attention to the items you’re using and how you’re using them. What happens when you take the veggies out of the refrigerator—where do they go? Where does your cutting board sit? When you marinate meat, which part of the counter do you use? This will inform how and where to store things in your kitchen. 

In this kitchen, I positioned puck lights below the upper cupboards for focused task lighting and then relied on recessed overhead lights for the ambient light in the room. 

Accessorize. To keep the countertops clear, I used the tops of the upper cabinets to display some framed artwork and two little plants with trailing vines. I then relied on the bold tile on the backsplash and the bronze hood to add personality and color to the room. 

Pro tip: Don’t worry if you have a tendency to leave dishes for later. I’m guilty of the same. Here’s a hack: Choose a deeper sink so you can get the dishes off the counter and stack them out of sight in the sink! 

Open-Concept / Island Kitchen 

Open-concept kitchens are a more modern take on a galley or line kitchen. They’re perfect for entertaining and everyday life. Keep in mind that open-concept kitchens literally mean…they’re open! So you’ll need to think carefully about what you’ll store where. I’ve outlined lots of storage tips and tricks for you to apply to your space. This recipe shows three different floor plans, as well as a diagram for a standard configuration. 

open concept kitchen layout

What You Need: 

  • (1) Sink: 30” W
  • (1) Range: 30 – 36” W
  • (1) Refrigerator: 30 – 36” W
  • (1) Dishwasher: 24” W
  • (1) Range Hood or Microwave Hood 
  • (1) Runner: 8 – 12’ L

Add Ons: 

  • (1) Pot Filler
  • Roman or Roller Shade 
  • (2) Sconces Above Sink or (2 – 3) Pendants
  • (4 – 6) Counter Stools 

Pro Tip: If you have the opportunity, look into panel-ready appliances. They’ll hide your appliances behind cabinet doors to create a seamless look that will make your kitchen feel sleek and elegant. 

In this kitchen, I opted for oversize dome lights over the island. They cast warm light across the island top and make a bold style statement. 

Accessorize. I chose bar chairs with colorful upholstery to make a bold style statement. If you have a blank wall, use it to hang art, cutting boards, or aprons.