Not everyone is fortunate to be blessed with a large area for their kitchen – in fact, many are faced with the opposite problem – a space that’s simply too small for their needs. However, if you’re a household with ample space to fill, or have a big family who really does need a large kitchen, there are several issues to consider, to ensure that the space looks good, works well for you and your family, and is cosy and comfortable.

Planning a large kitchen can be just as complicated and even daunting as planning a small kitchen, so that’s where a professional kitchen designer is important. They can optimise your kitchen’s efficiency and ensure that layout and design mistakes are avoided.

Large kitchen layouts

A good kitchen layout makes the most of available space and ensures that everything is well organised. So, first things first – decide on the best layout. This will depend on the shape and size of your kitchen. Layouts that work best for large kitchens include the U-shape, G-shape and L-shape.

The U-shape is a highly interactive kitchen layout for massive spaces. It ensures that you can engage with guests as you cook, or watch children as they play, and also allows for abundant storage and an extra area for appliances. Also known as the horseshoe kitchen, this layout is most common in larger kitchens and really suits families who love to spend lots of time in their kitchen. It offers benchtops and workspaces on three walls, and is an efficient design for integrating all three workstations.

The flexible L-shaped kitchen is more open, allowing easy movement for more than one person to help in the kitchen at a time, and has ample benchtop space. Versatile and practical, the L-shaped kitchen suits open-plan spaces and long rooms, and can fit well in large open spaces because it can be placed in one corner. In the L-shaped kitchen, two runs of cupboards sit at right angles along adjacent walls.

Meanwhile, the G-shaped layout, also known as a peninsula kitchen, has a continuous stretch of benchtop, and the attached island is ideal for use as a breakfast bar.

Tip: Keep your sink, cooktop and fridge no more than 1.8m to 2m apart from each other for smooth workflow.

Include an island (or two)

One way to break up ample space in the kitchen is with an island in the middle, for storage, preparation, cooking, eating and even homework. An island makes the most of unused space, cuts down on steps to the various workstations and provides a great focal point or centrepiece in a generous space. It also can separate a kitchen from a living area, help create distinct kitchen zones, and create a social gathering spot with the addition of barstools.

For the ultimate in extravagance, if you have room, consider a two-island kitchen – this style dedicates one island for cooking and another for eating. One can only dream!

Living large

A large kitchen is all about endless possibilities, and will most likely have ample room for desirable items such as an oversized French-door fridge/freezer, double sink, double oven and even a wine fridge. However, it’s important to consider what you really need – all the latest appliances and design features should only be included if they are going to be used on a regular basis. Don’t just fill the space for the sake of it.

Large kitchens also allow abundant options for kitchen furniture design such as tall cupboards, and pantries for food storage – options include walk-in, freestanding or a luxurious butler’s kitchen to hide away kitchen appliances, food preparation and post-meal mess.

Bigger is not always better

Ergonomics is a key priority when designing a large kitchen. For example, it’s not practical to have the fridge or freezer far away from where you cook – it’s important to keep food preparation, cooking areas and eating areas distinct in a large space.

Without professional design advice, a large space can feel sparse and cold. Your professional kitchen designer can incorporate furniture, artwork and a centrepiece, such as an island. To make the space feel comfortable rather than oversized and overwhelming, consider design touches such as casual banquette seating, a long dining table and chairs, and different styles of lighting to inject an extra dimension to the space. We especially love pendant lights that hang delicately over islands.

Tip: Think carefully about how you use the space and don’t overwhelm or overcrowd certain areas.

Contemplating colour

A large kitchen is the perfect opportunity to use a bright and bold colour – it won’t make the space appear cramped like it might in a small kitchen. In an all-white kitchen, the design can get lost, so integrating a darker hue in a large kitchen adds balance. A vibrant kitchen island or splashback is the ideal way to incorporate colour.

Budget for a bigger kitchen

Don’t forget that a large kitchen essentially means more of everything compared to what you would pay for a smaller kitchen – this includes cabinetry, flooring, tiles, appliances and, of course, labour. Be sure to consider this when budgeting for your new kitchen or renovation, so that there aren’t any surprises.

To plan your large kitchen and to ensure that your space works for you, speak to the kitchen design professionals at Art of Kitchens.