Slightly larger spaces can accommodate a corridor-style kitchen, which is like the one-wall layout but utilizing a second, parallel wall.
And most of us tend to end up with the popular L-shaped kitchen, a 90 degree angle section of cabinets and appliances that promotes great kitchen ergonomics as movement is minimized.
As John Summers of Creative Design in Brewster, NY, notes, "In an L-shaped kitchen, you want to be very careful that you don't put appliances too far apart." He concludes: "If you've got a small- to mid-sized kitchen, L-shaped may be the best layout for you.
But if you've got copious space, you might want to think about that Hummer of kitchen designs, the double L layout.
Double L Kitchens: The Social LifeNowadays, kitchens are more than just places to cook; they are the focal point of family life. As such, they are integrated into the house-as-a-whole and are not separate entities.
Tom Pierro of T and M Kitchens tells us, "A lot of these double L's open up into a family room or your dining room."
By virtue of its larger space, the double L kitchen invites a crowd. If you're not comfortable with gawkers, then you may not want this type of kitchen.
Two Kitchens in OneIn a sense, the double-L operates like two kitchens. Instead of that "extra space" being used for a family dining area--as it would be in a smaller house where space is at a premium--it is given over to auxiliary kitchen functions.
"While you're cooking dinner," says Pierro, "the kids could be microwaving a snack."
Anyone who entertains large numbers of guests knows how valuable it is to have extra burners, microwaves, freezers, or even a butler's pantry or side prep area.
But how about a second kitchen? In a sense, the double-L gives you just that. The second L can be scaled up or down, according to your needs. It can have a small burner, another microwave, a below-cabinet fridge, or whatever you need for those extra cooking needs. Or if you just need more prep space, you've got plenty of room to add those extra counters.
The Island LifeIsn't that enough? No. With the middle of the kitchen scooped out--all functions tight against the walls--you've got a cavernous middle to fill.
Most homeowners opt to install a kitchen island. As Pierro says, "We have the entire island for prepping or for taking stuff out of the microwave. We also have seating across the back of the island."
More Than a KitchenPierro notes that in these bigger spaces, it's possible to install areas that aren't necessarily related to the act of cooking.
You can carve out places to put a small desk for bill-paying or surfing the Net. You can grab space to install a TV. And of course, you can install hutches for storing everyday plates or fine china.