WHAT IS AND L-SHAPED KITCHEN LAYOUT?
An L Shaped Kitchen as its name suggests is a Kitchen whose design and layout takes on a letter L shape. It consists of two adjoining perpendicular walls/ sides of cabinets that connect to form a letter L shape.
The two sides connect at a right angle creating an open space in the middle. This turns out to be the workspace in your kitchen.
The L layout kitchen is one of the most liked kitchen classics layout designs for a number of reasons. It is suitable for all kitchen sizes, small, medium and large spaces.
What Is An Ergonomically Efficient Kitchen?
An ergonomically efficient kitchen is one that is designed to adapt to the user’s requirements and needs.
It reduces the stress of the user by creating a comfortable workspace that enhances time management in the kitchen.
Kitchen ergonomics, therefore, look at away a kitchen should be designed and arranged to optimize movement during meal preparation, clean up and minimise stress to the body while performing daily kitchen Affairs.
Kitchen ergonomics has existed for a while but it got a big boost in the 1970s when the need to design workspaces that are accessible to people with disabilities after the world war left very many American soldiers disabled.
Principals Of An Ergonomic Kitchen
Adapts to the user
An ergonometric kitchen is tailor-made for the user’s needs. A very tall user may prefer higher kitchen cabinets and a short user shorter one.
This will create a kitchen that fits the body physic and preferences of the user.
An adaptable kitchen ignores the standard designs and dimensions and concentrates on making a kitchen that fits a particular user. Kitchens should work for every user and not just the “average user”
Ensure good work flow
It incorporates the kitchen triangle which connects the three most important and busy areas of the kitchen -the sink, refrigerator and the cooking place top are set up in a way that the user can multitask between cooking, cleaning and food preparation.
Ergonomics aims at making this work more efficient, livelier, enjoyable and less tiring.
Task centric storage
Items in the kitchen are stored according to their frequency of usage. Kitchen designers aim for the ability to do work with minimum wasted motion and maximum efficiency.
Less energy will be spent bending, twisting as you look for what to use in the kitchen cabinets, you will have more energy and time left for cooking.
Improved comfort while walking and standing on the floors of our kitchens daily is a requirement for the user.
A sprung floor with improved resistance to the constant stepping and standing encourages the use of materials such as cork and bamboo which are much easier on the body than tiles.
Kitchen mats should also be placed in the right positions that protect the floor from stains and add a little bounce to the steps of the user.
Some areas of the kitchen need much more light for the user for carrying out particular activities like chopping vegetables. Supply task lighting is needed for such workspaces.
A light is strategically placed to cast a little shadow from the user.
TYPES/ EXAMPLES OF L- SHAPED KITCHEN DESIGN LAYOUT
Classic L- shaped kitchen layout
The classic kitchen design has two legs/lines of base cabinets that are covered with a countertop.
One leg /line of cabinets is longer than the other and they meet in the centre at a right angle creating an L shape.
The longer line / leg therefore will provide most of the counter space than the shorter leg.
This layout is common in a small room enclosed by four walls whereby two of the walls are enclosed with an entry door, window, passage door or seating area.
The apartment sized L- shaped Kitchen layout
In small apartments/ condos the one wall/ straight kitchen layout often takes precedence. But it is possible to fit an L –shaped kitchen layout in these small spaces as well.
The kitchen sink is placed on the shorter side of the L which has a limited countertop space and the rest are attached to the side of the longer L.
Open kitchen with a large dining area.
This works where one has a large open space. In this plan, the L Shaped kitchen layout works well with an open kitchen plan that includes an island and a large casual dining area.
There is no physical barrier between the kitchen workspaces and the dining table as both areas share the same floor space.
Open kitchen with a small dining area.
This works for a medium-sized open space. This layout, therefore, features a medium-sized island in the middle of the kitchen L shape.
It incorporates a 4 seater small dining table for a small nuclear family setting.
L shape for open –concept floor plans
A small L shaped kitchen is integrated into an open concept living room /living area.
Partition walls are created to add separation between the dining and living spaces. Depending on the size of the space the kitchen could include an island or not.
Advantages of the L-Shaped Kitchen layout
The great working triangle
The L Shaped kitchen layout offers an ergonomic working triangle for the user.
This allows easy access and movement between the sink, oven /cooktop and refrigerator.
The user will find it less stressful to do activities in the kitchen like cleaning, cooking and food preparation process.
The L shaped layout is tucked into corners or one right angle leaving two open ends. One can utilise these open ends efficiently by creating a flowed entry point to the kitchen and exit from the kitchen.
A free-flowing kitchen will entertain fewer traffic jams in the kitchen for a number of users.
L –shaped kitchens come in all sizes
L shaped kitchens can fit in sorts of sizes small and big. They can be fitted in small apartments (one wall), two wall spaces, and four wall spaces.
This makes them perfect for ergonomic purposes because they can be tailored to every user’s workspace they have available.
Perfect for open plan designs
Open plan designs can be tailored to fit an L shaped kitchen layout with an island and dining table while leaving ample room for the living area
Disadvantages of an L shaped Kitchen Layout
- It is not efficient in large kitchens since kitchen appliances are too spread out
- It is no easy for multiple cooks since it hard for all of them to have the same ergonomic body shape and needs
- Might not have enough storage unless an island is added to the kitchen