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Kitchen Layouts

Updated: Jun 24, 2022


How to Open Up Your Kitchen

Opening up your kitchen to make it feel more spacious can be tricky, but not impossible. You have to consider plumbing lines, potential gas lines and load-bearing walls to work around. Before taking on any of these recommendations, consult with a licensed contractor or a structural engineer first and foremost. Here are a couple of revisions you can make to your kitchen both physically and visually.


Opening up a Galley Kitchen

A galley kitchen is a shot gun style layout where you have a central walkway and cabinets on either side. Although this kitchen layout is the most efficient, it more often than not does not feel the most open. If you are trying to entertain, and everyone is gathering in the kitchen, this layout can feel very claustrophobic. So how do you make this layout feet more open? One option is to demolish a piece of your kitchen wall where you can add bar seating for guests to chat with you while you are preparing meals. This revision also opens up the kitchen to the adjacent room for a more natural flow from space to space.

At the end of the galley kitchen, you could also add an opening or a window, depending on where the end of your galley kitchen leads, either interior or exterior. This option can bring in more natural light or could add two entries or exits to your kitchen for a continuous flow.


Opening Up An L-Shaped Kitchen

L-Shaped kitchens are laid out just how the name suggests, in an L-shape. While this layout is pretty open already, there are ways to open them up even more. Adding an opening between the kitchen and an adjacent room is a great way to connect two rooms. This makes the kitchen and the adjacent room seem like extensions of each other. Also adding an island is a great way to utilize all the extra open space that an L-shaped kitchen layout has. The island helps define an additional eating or prep area.


Opening Up A 'U'-Shaped kitchen

'U'-Shaped kitchens are pretty open and efficient to begin with, but can you optimize them even more? If you have enough distance between each set of cabinets in your kitchen, try adding an island. Just like in the L-shaped layout, adding an island gives the extra circulation space that you have in your kitchen some purpose. Another couple of options would be adding windows, if you don't already have them, to let natural light in to help the space feel more open, or add an opening between your kitchen and another room and extend your countertop.


With all of these kitchens, if you are unable to tear down a wall or create an opening, there are other ways to make your kitchen feel more open.

Natural Light

Add natural light if you are able. Most kitchens are located on at least one exterior wall to make the kitchen easier to ventilate. If so, you may be able to add a window on the exterior wall to allow daylight in. This will brighten your kitchen making it feel more open.

Update Lighting

If you're thinking, Chelsea, adding a window is more expensive than we want to go, another option is updating your lighting. Changing our your fixture types and changing out the bulbs from fluorescent to LED can more cheaply make your kitchen feel more inviting. I would recommend changing your fixtures to LED's since they are more efficient and have a wide array of color temperatures. Color temperature is the color of the light that the bulb emits. The true color of daylight is in the range of 5000K-6500K while true white light is around 4000K. A warm white color temperature ranges from 2500K-3000K while a cool white temperature ranges from 4500K-5000K.

Updating Cabinets or Backsplash

Refinishing your cabinets or backsplash is another option for giving your kitchen the effect of feeling more open. Refinishing your cabinets to a lighter color creates the illusion that your kitchen is larger and more spacious than it may be. Changing out your backsplash also has the same effect, but may be more accessible for most people. Try changing your backsplash to a lighter color, such as a white or a light gray to achieve a more welcoming feel.



There are various options on potential ways to expand your kitchen and make it feel open. Some of these ways are more costly than others, but try making a priority and expense list for your home to see where your kitchen falls. This list will help you determine how much you are willing to allot to the renovation and what is the best option for you.


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