Tips and Guides

Design School: The Efficient Kitchen (Part 2)

Discover more kitchen layouts and how you can set up your kitchen


Last week, we featured two kitchen layouts that you can consider for your space. This week, we turn the spotlight on four more layouts. Remember, you need to keep your existing space and lifestyle in mind when choosing the perfect layout.

Styling by Issa Villar. Photographed by At Maculangan.

Read the original article ("How to Make an Efficient Kitchen”) in the December-January 2007 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

Island Kitchen

Has an additional counter located at the center of the room that may house a sink or range. The "island" can also function as a breakfast or snack bar.  Should be large enough for counter space on both sides of the sink or range. Apt for large, square kitchens in big houses and spacious condominiums.

Galley Kitchen

Places the three work centers on two counters opposite each other. Suited for long, narrow and rectangular-shaped areas, commonly found in condominium units, apartments, and townhouses. 

One-Wall Kitchen

Locates all three work centers on one counter, with the sink placed at the center.  The work centers should never be placed directly beside one another in order to have free counter top space between them. Excellent in very small spaces, like studio or one-bedroom units.  

Peninsula Kitchen

Addresses a lack of wall space.  If you have enough floor space, you may add an extended counter perpendicular to the existing counter to house the sink or the range. You can also use it as a space-saving dining nook.

Your Appliance Checklist

Complete your efficient kitchen with the right pieces

The Basics

  • Refrigerator
  • Cooktop (with or without convection oven)
  • Range hood

The Add-ons

  • Microwave oven
  • Toaster oven
  • Coffeemaker
  • Blender
  • Food processor/mixer
  • Separate freezer
  • Dishwasher 

For more items that you can consider, check out list of kitchen must-haves here:

Quick Tips

4 Things to remember when buying kitchen appliances:

  1. Measure it. Measure the space available for your kitchen appliance before you go shopping, and always take a tape measure with you.
  2. Maintain it. Once you've purchased your appliances, keep them in good condition. This ensures longevity and kitchen safety.
  3. Multi-task. Having too many appliances may not work for everyone. Buy what you really need, and choose appliances with multiple functions, which are good for a small kitchen.
  4. Unify them. Stick to one type of surface finish for your appliances-be it stainless or matte steel, white, black, or veneer-to tie your kitchen look together.- Issa Villar

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