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Create Your Ideal Kitchen Set Up: Efficient Kitchen Design with our Kitchen Zone Guide

White kitchen cabinets with oak details in an island kitchen set up
White kitchen with island

Transform your kitchen experience by optimizing your kitchen set up with our expert Kitchen Zone Guide.

Welcome to your kitchen, the heart of your home! Whether your space is vast or snug, getting your kitchen layout right is critical. We draw from commercial kitchen layout wisdom. Use our guide to design an ideal kitchen layout even in limited space. Explore essential factors for planning and arranging key kitchen zones. Learn how to create a kitchen space that suits your needs. Start with maximizing restricted areas and organizing your kitchen equipment. Let's dive in and make your custom kitchen a hub of ease and enjoyment for all your kitchen activities!

Table of content:



What Are the Essential Steps in Kitchen Workflow?

A kitchen workflow is the step-by-step process of how you cook and prepare meals. It's like a recipe for how you work in your cooking space. When planning a kitchen floor plan, it's super important to think about this workflow. Why? Because a well-organized kitchen makes cooking easier and more enjoyable. It saves you time and effort, and it keeps your kitchen safe and efficient. So, when planning your dream kitchen, think about how you'll gather ingredients, cook, and clean up. That's your kitchen workflow!

Process and steps of a good kitchen workflow.
Kitchen Workflow Steps


Your kitchen design structure: 5 Kitchen Zones to consider.

Thinking about your workflow and kitchen zones ensures a smooth traffic flow. Incorporate them regardless of your square footage or layout. They are necessary whether it's a larger kitchen or a cozy galley kitchen.

  1. Cooling / Consumables Zone: Ensure the longevity and freshness of your perishable foods by designating this area for your refrigerator and similar appliances. Plan for a kitchen pantry and food storage while also accounting for dry food storage needs.

  2. Cleaning Zone: Your wet area is multi-functional. Use your kitchen sink during food preparation and post-meal cleanup. Consider an extra sink near your food prep area in large kitchen setups.

  3. Preparation Zone: Reserve this zone for your food prep. Get your ingredients ready, chop, and use your counter space to prepare your meal.

  4. Cooking Zone: Fire up your stovetop, oven, or microwave to bring your recipes to life. Keep this area near your meal preparation kitchen counter and cooking tools. Consider your cooking appliance placement for the utmost functionality.

  5. Storage / Non-consumables Zone: Don't forget about an area where you store your non-consumables. You'll require space to store various items like cookware, Tupperware, and flatware.

Bonus: Don't forget to consider the seating and dining Space. This is where you'll share your delicious creations with loved ones. It could be a banquette seating or extra seating space on your island counter.

5 Kitchen Zones for a good kitchen structure
Kitchen Zone Design


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What can we learn from efficient commercial kitchen layouts for our home kitchen set up?

Efficient commercial kitchens teach us valuable lessons for improving our home kitchen layouts. We'll focus on three key areas that help us create a more efficient kitchen cabinet set up:

  • Flexibility & Modularity | Space Efficiency

  • Simplicity and Minimalism | Ease of Sanitation

  • Flow of Materials & Personnel.

Discover the principles that help you create a more efficient and functional kitchen.


1. Flexibility & Modularity | Space Efficiency:

Flexibility and modularity are key in commercial kitchens. They adapt to change with multi-use workstations and movable equipment, boosting efficiency. These principles apply to home kitchens too. Embrace flexibility and adaptability to make the most of limited space. Tailor your space to your evolving needs, whether for cooking or entertaining. Versatile layouts and storage solutions are the secrets to modern household kitchens.

Key Considerations:

  • Allow for Changing Needs: As a result of multi-use workstations commercial kitchens enjoy streamlined processes. You can achieve this by adding flexible countertop space. Use them for different cooking and preparation tasks. Further, make sure to consider diverse family needs, from daily family meals to special occasions. This way your family kitchen is equipped to meet your personal needs.

  • Optimize your space use: Maximize every inch of space for efficient workflow. Enjoy clever kitchen storage solutions and adaptable layout options. Adapt the layout to make the most of limited cabinet space. Consider ceiling-height wall cabinets or corner cabinets to use available corner space.


2. Simplicity and Minimalism | Ease of Sanitation:

Simplicity is key in efficient commercial kitchens. They avoid clutter and unnecessary accessories, which can confuse and compromise cleanliness. By keeping it simple, you save money and make your kitchen plan more efficient. A clutter-free space ensures smooth operations and better cleanliness.

Key Considerations:

  • Focus on Organization: When planning your kitchen layout, ensure ample storage space, including pantry space. Ensure ample countertop space for accessible appliances and utensils. Organize your cabinets and create distinct zones for various kitchen tasks. A Zone-Style layout will ensure seamless kitchen activities and workflows.

  • Keep your work-space clutter-free: Maintain a clutter-free workspace. Stick to essential equipment, especially in small spaces. Consider smart storage solutions for countertop appliances to free up countertop space. This keeps your kitchen functional and organized.


3. Flow of Materials & User Movements

In bustling commercial kitchens, maintaining order is crucial for efficiency. While Commercial kitchens come in various layouts, they all have one thing in common. They establish a logical flow to keep things moving. Common Restaurant kitchen layouts are the Assembly Line layout, Zoning layout, Island layout, and Galley Layout. Each of them follows a circular pattern. They make sure meals go out one way, and dishes come in the other, keeping everything organized and in sync.

Crucial Considerations:

  • Consider a Circular Flow: Incorporate circular patterns in your design to maintain order. Avoid crossing paths with other zones in your kitchen. Keep your kitchen workflow in mind when planning. A logical flow to enhance efficiency in the kitchen. For example, allow for a landing zone near your fridge, pantry & oven.

  • Separate Tasks: Ensure a separation between your tasks. This way many people can work in your kitchen at the same time while maintaining a smooth process. For example, separate Cutting & chopping vs. Plating and serving.

  • Consider Aisle Clearance and Walk-ways: Think about walkways and clearances. Ensure that there is enough space for easy movement even in narrow spaces. Especially with a U-shaped layout, island design, or L-shaped layout. Allowing for enough clearance ensures easy movement throughout your space. Make sure 2 people can comfortably work your space.

  • Importance of the golden triangle concept: Consider the placement of appliances and your cleaning area. The kitchen work triangle connects your cooling zone, cooking station & sink. This concept maximizes efficiency and convenience. Keep the work triangle as small as possible even in a larger space. It makes cooking a breeze and ensures everything you need is within easy reach in an ample space.

L-shaped layout with a small kitchen work triangle.
L-shaped kitchen layout


How to set up kitchen cabinets: examples

Galley Style Kitchen: Kitchen zone organization considering a typical kitchen workflow.
Kitchen Set Up for Home Kitchens

One-wall kitchen layout with an independent island
Kitchen Zones Organization


Kitchen zones organization: Obstacles & Challenges creating a perfect kitchen design structure.

Crafting your dream kitchen set up is an exciting journey, but it comes with its fair share of hurdles. These challenges can influence your kitchen zones and workflow. Let's dive into the common obstacles you may come across when designing your ideal kitchen.

Limited Space | Small kitchen set up:

  1. Space Efficiency: In a small kitchen, you might need to compromise. To make it work, you may have to give up some storage or counter space. Try space-saving appliances or ceiling-high wall cabinets for extra storage. Do some research on kitchen brands that offer you multi-functional cabinets. This way you can optimize your space.

  2. Traffic Congestion: In tight spaces, it's tough for everyone to move around. This is especially important if many people use your kitchen at once. Keep your layout open and consider one-way traffic patterns. It is important to understand your kitchen workflow to avoid bottlenecks.

  3. Storage Challenges: Limited storage can be a real headache when it comes to keeping your kitchen organized. But there are solutions! Make the most of vertical storage. Use ceiling-height cabinets, hooks, or wall racks. Keep your countertop appliances down to the essentials and remember to declutter. These steps will create more room for your kitchen and make life a lot easier.

Appliance Placement in your kitchen structure:

  1. Workflow Disruption: Placing your appliances can mess up the kitchen flow. Arrange them for easy access to different zones without blocking the way. Keep your kitchen workflow in mind. Also, consider planning for functional landing zones next to your fridge and ovens.

  2. Appliance Size: Balancing the right-sized appliances with your kitchen space is a puzzle. Consider your needs and how you use your appliances. Sometimes you can opt for a more compact or slim appliance while delivering what you need.

Clutter in your Kitchen Design:

Balancing an organized and functional kitchen can be tough. This often means messy countertops and cabinets. Small kitchens face extra challenges with big appliances and too many gadgets. So, keep what you need and utilize. Put essentials where you need them for your workflow. That way, you'll keep your kitchen tidy and handy for your cooking adventures!

Traffic Flow Challenges:

Unconventional shapes or limited square footage can make smooth traffic and workflow tough. Consider your circumstances. If you are planning on an island, ensure that it won't impede traffic. Further, it should provide you with a functional workspace. Make sure it does not disrupt your flow and movement. Keep in mind to always maintain distinct zones in your kitchen. Especially in open-concept kitchens. Allow for seamless movement between the kitchen and adjoining living spaces.

Budget constraints

Budget constraints add complexity to setting up functional kitchen cabinets. You'll juggle Quality vs. Costs and Customization vs. Affordability.

  1. Kitchen Cabinetry Types & Costs: Consider the type of kitchen cabinets that meet your needs and budget constraints. Are custom features worth it or will a more budget-friendly option do?

    1. For a tight budget, consider ready-to-assemble or stock cabinets. They're affordable but the least customizable.

    2. Semi-custom cabinets offer more variety and some customization options. You will have a broad range of cabinet sizes and multi-functional cabinet options.

    3. Custom cabinets are the priciest but allow complete design freedom.

  2. Kitchen Renovation Type & Scope: Remember that the scope of your Kitchen Renovation Type impacts your budget. Opening up your kitchen to another room might give more space but can cost more. Weigh the benefits against the costs for a wise decision. By the way, check out my post on "Kitchen Renovation – What are the common kitchen remodel types?" for more insights!

Do you need help with your kitchen structure design?

Ready to elevate your current kitchen into a stunning and functional masterpiece? Our expert Kitchen Designers are here to help. Take advantage of our Online Kitchen Design consultations. Don't wait any longer to create the kitchen you've always dreamed of. Reach out to us today, and let's turn your kitchen vision into reality!


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