A U-shaped kitchen is one where three walls in the kitchen provide work surfaces, appliances and cabinets. Many consider a U-shaped kitchen the most convenient for cooking because the utensils and materials for cooking are within easy reach. The kitchens often have enough room to accommodate several cooks, compared to galley kitchens that are long and narrow
Kitchen designers consider the best layout for kitchens is to place the refrigerator, stove and sink placed in a triangle, shortening the steps between these critical components of a kitchen. Placing each of these components on a separate wall also ensures counter space is next to them, making it much simpler to remove items from the refrigerator, place dirty dishes near the sink and use the stove.
Sink and Dishwasher
A good kitchen design places the dishwasher adjacent to the sink with ample upper cabinets to make unloading the dishwasher easy. Having separate cabinets for dishes and cups and another for plates and serving dishes makes it convenient for household members to pour a glass of water. Besides the plumbing considerations, having the dishwasher next to the sink makes rinsing and loading the dishes more efficient. Often architects try to place the sink under a window ideally facing the backyard to monitor the activities of children.
Pantries provide plenty of storage space for food and small appliances in a U-shaped kitchen, helping to clear the counters of clutter. The best doors for pantries are smooth, solid doors that are easy to wipe down. Glass pantry doors, while attractive, are impractical in a kitchen since light breaks down food. Louvered pantry doors collect dust and are hard to clean. Pantries with pull-out shelves are ideal for deep pantries because the shelves help people select food from the back of the pantry.
Having ample lights in a well-designed kitchen is critical. Overhead lights help, as do under-the-counter lamps that illuminate work areas. Lights over the kitchen sink are indispensable, as are lights over stoves. LED and CFL bulbs use less electricity and create less heat in the kitchen.
Most people regard the kitchen as the most social room in the house. If the space is large enough in a kitchen area, builders often designate an informal space called a kitchen nook large enough for a kitchen table and chairs. If space is too tight for a nook, builders often design an eating bar that looks directly into the kitchen to provide an informal eating area and a place for people to visit with those working in the kitchen.
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