Whether you’re a gourmet chef or casual cook, for many families, the kitchen is the heart of the home. As the main area for socializing with family, hosting holiday get-togethers, and grabbing quick bites to eat, creating a user-friendly design here is essential. There are several factors to consider when planning a kitchen design, but this general guide should help you get started!

The Work Triangle

A well-designed kitchen is one of the best ways to add to your home’s resale value. It’s a common misconception that bigger is better, but this isn’t always the case. Whether your kitchen is large and expansive or small and compact, functionality is the key to creating a valuable design. To begin, it’s important to understand how your kitchen will be used. From there, the ultimate goal is to design a user-friendly space that makes moving, cooking, and everyday tasks a little bit easier.

Reducing the amount of space between frequently-used appliances can make cooking and cleaning up a breeze. Often, cooking involves taking produce from the refrigerator, washing it underneath the sink, using a cutting board on the counter, and transferring the ingredients to the oven. In this sequence, several appliances are used to achieve a single goal, and that’s why placing them within reach of one another can make life easier.

When designing a kitchen, this is called the “work triangle.” This design improves work efficiency in the kitchen by grouping the refrigerator, sink, and oven closely together in a triangular formation.

Kitchen Layouts

The most common layouts for a kitchen are the galley, the L-shape, and the U-shape.

The galley design features either a single run of cabinetry or two runs of parallel cabinetry. This configuration is ideal for smaller spaces but does not allow much flexibility in planning a work triangle with your appliances.

Galley kitchen







The L-shape is typically the standard for most kitchens. This design is formed with two adjacent walls and runs of cabinetry.

L shape kitchen






A U-shaped design features three adjacent walls and runs of cabinetry.

U shape kitchen







Regardless of the design you choose, you can increase your countertop space by adding a kitchen island—given there is enough space.

Moving Appliances

If you are re-designing a kitchen, some appliances may be flexible in placement, but moving sinks and dishwashers may require relocating plumbing hookups which can be prohibitively expensive. Additionally, refrigerators likely won’t be flexible since they require special outlets to operate on a separate circuit, often called a dedicated outlet. This is because refrigerators require a large amount of energy to operate, typically just under the amount provided by the average electrical receptacle. If a refrigerator shares a power supply with another appliance, it may cause occasional power surges or outages.

Kitchen Lighting

Aside from the typical overhead lighting situated on the ceiling, it is often recommended to include some task lighting. For example, placing LED lights under cabinets to illuminate the countertops. You may also consider placing lights on either side of your cooktop’s ventilation hood.

Additionally, decorative lighting above a kitchen island is a great choice. The pendant light is a timeless element that can give your space more elegance while also enhancing the functionality of your island.

Discover the Possibilities

We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to design the perfect kitchen! At the Anderson Studio, our goal is to demystify the design process. Whether you’re hoping to renovate your kitchen or have an entirely new project in mind, our design team will be at your side throughout the process. Explore our portfolio today, and let us know what inspires you!