Every kitchen has a unique appeal. The placement of the stove, sink, and refrigerator shape your cooking experience. Your counter space and where it is located determine where you can do prep-work – and how many people can work in the kitchen at once. Some homes are built around the kitchen as the central area, some miraculously fit a whole kitchen into a very small space. Once of the best solutions for a small kitchen is the parallel kitchen design.
The parallel kitchen takes a long, narrow space and turns it into a fully functional everything-in-reach cooking paradise. Most importantly, a parallel kitchen is made up of two long countertops facing each other. The stove, sink, and fridge are part of these inward-facing parallel lines with cabinets below and hanging above for maximum storage.
But what makes the parallel kitchen so special in home design? Why is this simple double-countertop layout so dear to the hearts of many home cooks? We’re about to dive into those answers right now.
Clean Lines Down the Center
The first thing you’ll notice about the parallel kitchen design is that they are remarkably photogenic. Look straight down the long shot of a parallel kitchen and you will see clean, matching lines. The line of your upper cabinets, the workspace, the countertops, and the lower cabinets create not just one but dozens of parallel lines that look just perfect when clean and organized.
There is incredible design potential for a parallel kitchen exactly because you’re working in a a straight-line limited space. Use the parallel shape of your kitchen to influence your vision and create some beautiful mirrored or asymmetrical designs.
Everything Within Reach
One of the great things about cooking in a parallel kitchen is that everything is in reach without feeling cramped. Standing at the stove, you can not only reach the cabinets to the right and left, but also those above the countertop behind you. You may be able to reach the refrigerator from the sink. You may also be able to reach across your kitchen to the opposite countertop while doing your prep work.
Redesigning your parallel kitchen, you have the opportunity to make it even more convenient. Turn that small space into a one-chef orchestra of storage and handy kitchen features. Tuck your appliances into cabinet nooks and build tiered storage into your pantry to make the most of your space and bring everything into reach of the stove.
Two Separate Countertops
Many kitchens have one arching countertop that forms an L or horseshoe shape. This creates a continuous surface broken only by the stove and sink. The parallel kitchen, however, has two separate countertops that do not connect. The benefit of this is organization. You can turn one counter into your appliance and supplies counter while the other is your prep counter. Or you can separate your raw meat prep space completely from your fresh ingredient prep space.
Two separate countertops gives you the freedom to sort your kitchen workspace into categories that have zero risk of cross-contamination. In the right parallel kitchen, this could be the workspace of two different people or just allows you to keep uncomplimentary ingredients away from each other.
Tons of Kitchen for a Tiny Space
For a small home or a small kitchen area, the parallel kitchen is one of your most efficient options. The dual line of countertops and cabinetry give you a lot more kitchen for the floorspace you have to fill. The straight shot down the center is ideal for a single home cook who knows exactly where all their supplies and utensils are – and keep them handily in reach of your favorite places to cook and prep.
Parallel kitchens are uniquely compact and can be made even more efficient with a redesign of the cabinets and fixtures. Make sure every cabinet opens the right direction and is embedded with helpful internal storage design.
Open or Enclosed
Most people think of parallel kitchens as enclosed between parallel walls, but this isn’t always the case. You can actually design an entertainer’s parallel kitchen in an open floorplan by mirroring your wall-backed counters with another row of counters on the other side. Get rid of that kitchen door and turn your parallel kitchen into a breakfast bar and a delightfully efficient place to cook while spending time with family who are in the living room.
An open-plan parallel kitchen leaves plenty of space for the living area while bringing the family cook into the flow of social household activity. The parallel design keeps the kitchen compact without taking anything away from the cooking experience.
One-Cook Optimal Design
Uniquely, most parallel kitchens are designed for one cook. The single walk down the center rarely leaves room for a second person to easily pass by through the kitchen, but the space is ideal for one person who is the master of their kitchen domain. If you like to cook alone or if there is little competition for kitchen use in your home, a parallel kitchen is optimized for one chef who knows their own kitchen inside and out.
High Potential to ROI
Parallel kitchens are among the most practical designs you can choose when remodeling your kitchen. Kitchen renovations have among the highest potential to ROI in terms of home resale value, as long as you don’t go overboard on high-priced details that buyers won’t recognize. Redesigning a shotgun kitchen into a parallel kitchen or remodeling your parallel to better use the space can be extremely beneficial both to your at-home experience and your eventual market value when selling the home in the future.
Is a parallel kitchen right for your kitchen remodel design? Are you updating or renovating a parallel kitchen that is already in your home? We can bring your parallel countertops to life with countless beautiful natural and manufactured stone slabs to choose from. Contact us today to talk about your kitchen renovation plans and the perfect countertops for your new kitchen design.