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Kitchen & Bathroom Layouts

During kitchen, bathroom or home renovation design process, in all layouts it is critical to consider how you anticipate using that space, and how all users in your home are likely to co-function in them. Do you and your partner like to cook together, or is only one of you be likely to be in that space at the same time? Similarly, for bathrooms – is it a place where you look forward to enjoying your own ‘me time’, or is the bathroom part of a super busy bathroom routine in a busy household?

Some typical kitchen layouts to consider:

Island Bench

Whilst most of us would love to have an island, they are not for everyone, and of course, require the space to allow for them. Space allowing, this is a wonderful kitchen design when there is likely to be more than one user in the space, as islands allow for excellent ‘through-traffic’. Very much a modern kitchen, and highly sought-after design feature. An island may be teamed with either a galley run along a wall, or an L or U shape around it, depending on the space available, and users’ needs.

L, U & G-shape

Very much an 80’s and 90’s design, where the walls to the kitchen rooms were removed to create an open plan look, but the kitchen shape itself was retained. With or without breakfast bar sections, these continue to be very functional, especially for those who do not want their kitchen space shared, or where space is an issue.
Many clients insist that they do not want anyone else in the kitchen at the same time and they love the work triangle created by this layout. Like it or not, space restrictions often mean this is an only option.


In this designs, kitchens are designed into long corridor-type rooms. A galley is generally the best and usually the only option. Good design, with special attention to user’s needs and best use of space are essential with this layout.

Kitchen + Butler’s Pantry

Today’s butler’s pantries are located just off the kitchen, and are used not only as a storage space, but also as a staging area for serving meals, as well as for the prepping of meals, snacks and drinks. They make an ideal space to have that second fridge and/or dishwasher and sink – some clients even prefer to hide their sink and dishwasher there, so as to ensure mess can be hidden away at all times.

Within any kitchen design there are many options to consider, such as whether to have the oven under bench or in a wall oven tower, to integrate appliances or not, the types of work spaces needed, and whether to make room for that separate pantry or hidden task area.

Some typical bathroom layouts to consider:

All in one bathroom

This option is where the vanity, shower, bath and WC are all in the one bathroom.

For smaller homes, duplexes and apartments, this is often the only solution. If small, it is often wise (or inevitable) that the shower is located over the bath. Many clients are opting to remove baths, especially where it is unlikely for that home the need to accommodate for children, and even so, it is still a good choice for busy lifestyles, where there is little time for baths.

Back-to wall and hidden cistern WC’s, and frameless shower screens are the best options in such spaces, as they take up the least room. Wall-hung vanities will make the space appear larger, though possibly compromising on storage. The addition of a feature shaving cabinet or additional tall, wall-hung unit, or wall niches, may be just the answer to assist with storage.

Separate WC room

This is where the bath, shower and vanity are located in one room and the WC in another, with or without a small basin for hand-washing in the WC room. Perfect for the larger family bathroom, and also where there is only one WC in the home. Allows more scope for design in the main bathroom area, as it may be available space for separate bath and shower, a larger vanity and more storage, and even a freestanding bath.

Very popular in these rooms is to have a ‘wet area’ space, where the bath is very close to the shower area and there is only a minimal frameless glass shower screen next to the shower area only. Creates a resort like feel and works well in almost any bathroom (depends on where doors and windows are located). It also opens up the possibility of another luxurious look – a bath located on a feature wall, or maybe under a large window, with the shower in a different area of the bathroom.

Three way bathroom

Very popular in the 70’s and 80’s, but not often seen in current home design, unless specifically requested. This is where the main bathing area (shower and bath), are in one room, which opens up to a common area that contains the vanity, and upon which the separate WC room also opens.

This set up is perfect for the larger family where, for example, each child can have their turn in each of the rooms separately, but at the same time. The main disadvantage is that this set up does take up a larger footprint than if you had all the services in one room. Plumbing and electrical are more spread out, so generally a more expensive option. Usually found in larger homes, where there is also a main bedroom ensuite.


Once a luxury, and now almost a necessity, a bathroom area off the main bedroom is a very popular design choice. May be combined with an adjacent walk-in robe or dressing room, which then leads into the bathroom. Even a small en-suite bathroom with only a shower, vanity and WC, are a great addition, where parents can at least have their own space for their bathroom routine, and at the same time free up the main bathroom for other members of the household.

Full or semi open-plan

A bathroom either partly or fully, incorporated into a bedroom, is the ultimate in luxury bathroom design. Think resort style living and let your imagination run free. Naturally, the placement of the WC needs to be carefully considered, however, the rest is only restricted by space and budget. Freestanding baths, open or semi closed showers, the incorporation of outdoor areas for baths or shower placement, or just an outdoor area to either look at through a large window, or small area to sit and reflect, are all possibilities. This last suggestion is, of course, also able to be added to any bathroom layout, given the space available.

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