5 Most Popular Kitchen Layouts



by C. Rosenberg

While aesthetics in a kitchen are what keep us turning the Better Home and Gardens pages, at the end of the day layout is way more important for kitchen efficiency. After all, that’s what enables us to prepare those delicacies that make our family and guests wipe their plates clean.

Here are 5 of the most popular kitchen layouts for you to consider.

U-Shape Kitchen

With counters and work-spaces hugging three walls, the U-shape kitchen gives you plenty of cabinets and counter space without using a ton of floor space. Not only does this mean that you can organize all of your kitchen possessions well, but also that you can have multiple people in the kitchen. You’ll also find that everything you need while cooking and baking is pretty close to where you are.

The U-shape kitchen works extremely well with the now-popular open floor plans, as one wall can be left open to a dining room, living room, or family room.

L-Shape Kitchen

The L-shaped kitchen consists of countertops on two adjoining walls that are perpendicular, forming an L. This layout is similar to the U-shape in its ability to optimize countertop space, and in the fact that it leaves at least one side open to other living spaces. This is a great option if you can only have a small or medium sized kitchen, as it allows for an airy feel without dominating lots of space. You can also add a raised bar to one side of the L to provide extra seating or standing room.



Galley Kitchen

Two parallel walls and sets of countertops with a walkway in between them are what define a galley kitchen. While this layout is losing the

popularity contest to open floor plan, it still has its fans.  If you don’t want to dedicate too much space to your kitchen, this may be your answer. Ideal for ‘one cook’ households, the galley kitchen makes great use of every square inch.  The galley layout also keeps the kitchen mess contained to the kitchen. Additionally, galleys mean no troublesome corner cabinets to configure (and thus no hidden cabinetry costs).

Island Kitchen

Islands are work stations in the center of a kitchen, and often include appliances or a sink, and cabinetry for storage. Most kitchens with enough space to accommodate an island, have one, because they are so wonderful.

In addition to increased work surface for the kitchen which hosts multiple cooks, islands provide space for ‘specialty areas’ such as a baking area, or as a dining area. Often the island is also a great focal point in the middle of a large kitchen, and the island is designed with extra moldings or some other aesthetics.

Peninsula Kitchen

As its name suggests, a peninsula is a connected island.  This works well in an L kitchen, and sometimes in a large galley kitchen. While it offers most of the benefits an island offers, it can work in smaller spaces, whereas an island needs more space.

Before deciding on your kitchen layout, think about what you use your kitchen for, and how large the space you’re working with is. These answers will help you make a decision on which kitchen layout will work best for you.





What’s New In Kitchens



by C. Rosenberg

Summer’s heat likely has you wanting out of the kitchen, but these trends are just too good to put off sharing. And after you’ve had your share of flipping burgers at the grill, you’ll appreciate knowing what indoor kitchen trends offer.


Tech in Time

Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator is a tech lover’s favorite. If you’re a kitchen lover as well, this is pay dirt. With a touch screen, interior camera, and WiFi connectivity that allows you to search recipes based on the fridge’s content, you can see your refrigerators contents while you’re shopping. You can also leave notes and reminders to family members on the refrigerator’s board, making this one smart addition to your household.           

How’s that for tech that seamlessly integrates trends, functionality and real needs into one major appliance? Available in a variety of styles, this sleek, stainless steel fridge is sure to be your family’s best friend beyond forever.

Nature in A Rug

Are you like most of us modern human species who don’t spend enough time outdoors? We know you’ve read enough compelling blogs about the benefits of spending more time outside. We also know it hasn’t quite happened yet.

Well, we’re reversing the trend and telling you to bring nature indoors. How? Choose a durable rug in bright, fresh colors. Yup, we’re still in the kitchen. And no, we won’t tell anyone that you were thinking living room for just one confused moment. In 2019, rugs are wherever they can do something huge for your space.  And today, it means kitchens.

Fill that Space

Would you guess that the couple of inches between the refrigerator and wall, or between the oven and counter can be put to better use than a catch-all for tiny Lego pieces, random pens, and runaway coins?

Pull out cabinets are a much better use of the space. Lined with shelves from top to bottom, pull out cabinets are a great way to keep shelf stable products easily accessible and organized. Depending on the size of your roll out, you can keep spices, cans, oils, cooking utensils – or any kitchen collection, really – in this little hideout.

Capture the Color

Color in the kitchen is here to stay – until the next big thing comes around. Studies have shown that bright hues do a world of good for your mood – so why not be trendy and well-dispositioned at the same time? Here’s an economical way to achieve just that. Upholstering chairs, bar stools, or padded benches allow you to bring a pop of color into your dinette or kitchen work space without breaking the bank.

You can either choose to bring out a color that’s already present in the kitchen, or introduce a new one that complements your kitchen style. Either way, you’ll find newly minted cheer in the heart of the home we call a kitchen.

Clutter-Free Counters

Appliance garages fell out of fashion quite some time ago. But that was really a disservice to both the humble garage and to homeowners who crave clutter free countertops.  Well, its making its comeback in 2019 fashion.

If you use the coffee maker, toaster, or blender on daily basis, you’ll love knowing that you no longer have to lift them into and out of cabinets to achieve a clutter free countertop.

 New options for door hinges have led to an appliance garage renaissance. Today, appliance cabinets are made in pop-up, tilt-up, and sliding door style so that your kitchen can remain clutter-free and very much in vogue. You can also incorporate outlets and lighting within the cabinet so that you don’t have to move a single appliance in the slightest.








Top Kitchen Trends


by C. Rosenberg

Most homemakers find that their thoughts are never far away from their kitchens – and what they can do to enhance it. Here are our top picks in kitchen trends to inspire your dreams.

Raw on the Rise

Nature-inspired is indeed…well, inspirational. That’s probably why the trend in countertops is now driven by natural quartz and stone. The polished, glossy look is moving out, and the raw, rough look is taking its place. It’s not just the ‘look’, though; it’s the texture that is unfinished as well.

With outdoor kitchens on the rise, homeowners are turning toward hardy textures for both indoor and outdoor countertops. This trend is visually appealing and has extra-strength durability – a sure win for the practical kitchen lover.

Color choices continue to be a lot of mix and match, with the marble look – often with heavy veining – trending. Warm whites bring in a hint of freshness without being too cool, and gold, metallic accents add a touch of elegance.

Storage Space Solutions

One of the most valuable commodities in the kitchen is storage space, and at the core of that is easy access. If you need to remove every last pan, tray and dish from your cabinet each time you’re looking for a specific piece, something isn’t right.

Pull outs are just the solution: They bring contents out of the cabinet and into the room. This tray divider does just that, and stores trays in a super neat way.  This means that your trays don’t float around the dark depths of your kitchen cabinets, allow you to see what you have, and are super simple to retrieve.

Open Shelving

If you’re like many of us mediocre housewives, chaos hides behind your closed doors. But that shouldn’t be reason enough to stop you from trying open shelving.  All the rage, this sophisticated alternative to the classic cabinets bring modern, sleek, and spacious to your kitchen. A row of shelves atop your sink or gas range in favor of a wall of upper cabinets leaves you space to just…breathe. Simply line up your dishes and utensils on the shelves, and all excuses for chaos are gone. With utensils easily in sight, functionality definitely rates high.

Glass is a great choice here. You get a glossy, elegant and expansive look regardless of how small your kitchen space may be.

If you’re on a tight budget and still want chic, try this: Remove your cabinet doors and paint over the screw and hinge holes. If you’d like to dare, paint the interior of your cabinets a different color than the exterior. This gives you the wow of open shelving without the cost and hassle of remodeling.

Color Popping Appliances

Thinking of color in the kitchen? You’re probably thinking about cabinets, counters, and backsplashes. But in 2019, we’re daring to take it to appliances. Reds, bright yellow, sky blue, and similar bold colors sure make a statement on appliances – and you can choose to go as busy or as tame as you like within a color frame of reference.

Many manufacturers cater to the retro look and offer appliances in hundreds of choices on the color wheel. Ovens, refrigerators, hoods, microwaves, dishwashers, and other large appliances in all types of cool and zany colors are yours for the taking. To ease into this very drastic switch of colors, you may decide to start with just one appliance to splash color onto your kitchen palette, but once you see those eyeballs pop you’ll want to go for more.

Mix n’ Match Hardware

Nostalgic hardware has made its comeback – with a twist. Chrome, steel, brass and wood combinations are once again seeing the inside of classy kitchens. Hooks, latches, and knobs are all the rage here, with functionality and chic coming together for an “I love it” effect.

A latch is a neat accent on under-sink cabinets or large pantry cabinets which aren’t pulled open that often. Handles and knobs can be used on drawers and central cabinets where ease of access is more important.   

Hardware finish is another area you can have fun mixing and matching.  The ever-expanding variety of available finishes in hardware gives you plenty to think about. Match matte, shiny, or other finish types in different colors for a cool, modern effect.


Cheers to a facelift that’s fun, simple and inexpensive.







Kitchen Palette Knockout


by C. Rosenberg

An exploration of kitchen cabinet color trends


You know how classics have always been well, classic, and by definition, lacking the bling that makes jaws drop? And you know how the colors that have been in yesterday only serve to date our kitchen to an era we may have fond memories of but don’t want to remain stuck in? It’s finally time to roll out the red carpet for a boldness we haven’t seen in decades. After all, shedding winter doldrums and welcoming spring is a lot about out with the old and in with the new.

Exploding Color Box

Do you absolutely love shaking up a box of 164 Crayola crayons and watching color explode? Well, then, 2019 kitchens were designed for you.  Surrounded by bold, dramatic style, meal prep  – and the fun aftermath called cleanup –  turns into a fun experience.

So, what are the actual choices? Light tones are mostly neutral, and project a timeless style, perfectly complementing other elements in the kitchen. Medium hues include standard shades of blue, grey and yellow. Dark shades are bold, and with colors such as emerald green, black, navy, deep plum, etc. they sure make a strong statement.

Manufacturers are meeting demand, and providing cabinet finish colors in nearly every shade of the rainbow, providing homemakers with a delightful candy shopping experience in the gingerbread house of paint colors. This is perfect for consumers who are no longer satisfied with cookie-cutter vanilla and want to express personal style with all the bells and whistles that say: “This is me”.

Are you of the belief that the more color choices the merrier? Here’s some more good news. You don’t have to choose between two color besties: The two-toned kitchen style is peaking.

How to implement the color delight for a winning 2019 statement?

  • A bank of eye-popping colored cabinets flanked by neutrals
  • Classic neutrals surrounded by power hue
  • Contrasting colors for upper and lower cabinets


Beyond the Icebox

Not everyone likes living in a crayon box – but that doesn’t mean they like being confined to the dull ice box of whites and grays we’ve seen the last couple of years. The trick for conservative trendsters is to hold onto classics while easing into the new.

Chances are neutral colors are favorites here. Pairing them with tones of yellow, green, black, navy, or bright ruby as accents allows homemakers to express their individuality without completely letting go of classic conventions.

Another conservative approach is to ramp up color on an island. Since islands are generally  breakaway pieces, this gives a kitchen popping character without destroying its fixed identity.


Bold Blue – This Toms River kitchen perfectly pairs white and blue shaker cabinets.


Pro Tips

  • A budget friendly solution for joining the 2019 up-and-comings is to paint one bank of cabinets super bold.
  • The danger in dark colors is that too much of it can be depressing and create the perception of a much smaller room. In order for the style and drama to break through lighter hues in a dark kitchen are important for a nice balance. This can be achieved with light colored countertops, under-cabinet lighting, and an abundance of natural light.