The kitchen remains the most popular home renovation project. On average a kitchen remodel will yield a return on investment of 75 to 100 %. So as you plan, begin by generating a design concept, one that fits the new or existing space and your family’s personality. Typically, most kitchen plans tend to be categorized into 5 basic layouts with a lot of creativity in between. 1. Galley Kitchen. This kitchen layout is typically designed in homes where space is at a premium. It’s an efficient use of space and consists of two opposing walls with a floor area of approximately 3 ft. between countertops. A great way to maximize the space would be to open up one wall to the neighboring dining room or family room with a pony wall (stub wall) and introduce a cantilevered countertop with barstools on the other side. 2. L-Shaped Kitchen The L-shaped kitchen is probably the most popular of kitchen designs for many reasons. This particular layout utilizes two adjacent walls and is best suited for the classic kitchen triangle. This kitchen design offers great flexibility when it comes to locating your workstations, and as a result makes prepping, cooking, and clean up a lot easier. Make sure to provide ample counter space between each appliance for work surfaces. 3. U-Shaped Kitchen The U-shaped kitchen is the most efficient layout. This plan utilizes three walls and provides a great workflow by keeping within the classic kitchen work triangle. In other words, placing one major appliance per side allows the cook to move and work effortlessly between the sink, stove, and refrigerator. This configuration also allows you designate one side of the U as the eat-in bar area with bar stools on the opposite side, or in the best-case scenario, if space allows, perhaps you can introduce an island within the overall kitchen space. 4. G-Shaped Kitchen The G–shaped kitchen plan is a similar to the U–shaped kitchen layout, with an additional peninsula or fourth wall of cabinetry. You need a larger space to accommodate this type of kitchen design. It ultimately provides more space for food preparation, additional state of the art appliances, and dining. It’s ideal for multiple cooks, but would function best by incorporating a second work triangle. This is easily achieved by simply adding a second sink (in the peninsula perhaps), and both cooks use the other appliances. 5. Island Kitchen Islands work best in L-shaped or U–shaped kitchens that are typically open to another area. If you have the luxury of space, an island would be a welcome addition to any kitchen. This free-floating piece of furniture allows you to socialize with your guest while you’re cooking without feeling ostracized. An ideal island size ranges from 36”+ wide by 72 to 96”+ long. Allow for at least 42” from the edge of the counter to any adjacent work surface, and preferably another 42” for aisles and traffic. Islands can be designed at counter height (36”), table height (29”), or a combination of both. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.