A Flexible Floor Plan
For maximum flexibility in cooking, entertaining and hanging out, an L-shaped kitchen with an island is the way to go. This set-up lends itself to a zoned approach to kitchen planning rather than the more traditional work triangle approach.
The L-shaped kitchen shown here has three distinct zones, with enough space between them to avoid collisions and catastrophes. On the right leg, the sink and dishwasher create a clean-up station. On the left leg, the range with griddle and the adjacent wall oven and microwave comprise an impressive cooking zone. The island, with its under-counter wine cellar and raised bar top, makes a great place for casual dining or drinks. It can even encompass a fourth zone when necessary, as the lower counter provides an extra surface for prep work (and he upper level conveniently hides the mess).
Some people prefer to have the cooktop on the island. "I don't like having my back toward anyone," says Scott Gottlich, executive chef of Bijoux Restaurant in Dallas. "I'd I rather be seeing out while I'm cooking and have a conversation." His home kitchen features an L-shaped layout with two islands: a center island with a cooktop and a multi-level bar island on the outside. He enjoys this floor plan both for entertaining family and friends and for spending time cooking and connecting with his son.