The Best Kitchen Layouts

Best Kitchen Layouts featured photo

Gone are the days when the kitchen served only one purpose. Kitchens today are much more than just a place to cook, store your food and run your appliances. It’s a space where you entertain guests and spend time with family. 

We might shift from focusing on the work triangle as a design model to adding zones or even more triangles, making the design that much more complex. You can pre-plan your ideal kitchen, pondering what kind of aesthetics to go for, and maybe even consider elements such as color palettes, materials, and accents — these are all a part of the process.

Before planning all those details, you must first explore the different kitchen layouts, what works for the space you have, and how you use the kitchen.

Kitchens come in all sizes, but your kitchen’s layout (the placement of your counter space, sink, appliances, and storage) will greatly impact the functionality of your space.

In this guide, we will cover the best kitchen layouts that you should use as a starting point for your project. Before that, we’ll talk about kitchen ergonomics and why it is important to consider when planning your kitchen layout.

First, let’s talk about kitchen ergonomics.

Kitchen ergonomics is the backbone of a successful kitchen design. It’s all about creating a space to accommodate you. Rather than designing an environment to fit the people who use the kitchen.

Ergonomics in the kitchen also entails placing your dishwasher or oven at a reachable position in tall cabinets. Rather than straight on the floor. Properly positioned appliances and nearby storage could spare you a lot more time. It also allows you to use the appliances more easily, saving you from back strain.

What is the work triangle?

The kitchen work triangle is a concept often used to design practical kitchens. As well as creating visually attractive kitchen layouts. Developed in the 1920s, it was among the earliest metrics of productivity in residential kitchens. 

The work triangle provides a clear route between the three main kitchen components. There should be a good traffic flow between your stovetop, the sink, and storage space.

Picture an imaginary straight line from the center of your sink to the center of your stove, to the center of your refrigerator, then back to your sink. It basically tells you where you should place them. The work triangle has become an essential part of efficient kitchen design.

Kitchen Work Triangle Basics

The Kitchen Work Triangle Basics:

The kitchen triangle, as per design principles requires:

  • Each leg should be between 4 and 9 feet long.
  • The overall length of the three sides should be between 12 and 26 feet.
  • No impediments like cabinets or an island should cross a leg of the kitchen triangle.
  • There should be no traffic flowing through the work triangle.
  • There should also be 4 to 7 feet between the refrigerator and the sink, 4 to 6 feet between the sink and the stove, and 4 to 9 feet between the stove and the refrigerator.

Here Are the Best Kitchen Layouts To Consider for Your Renovation

The design of your home may influence the arrangement of your kitchen. But you may still adjust the space to function more effectively. These are the common kitchen layouts to help you create your ideal cooking space.

One Wall Kitchen

One Wall Kitchen Layout

Often referred to as the single wall or the “Pullman kitchen”, the one wall kitchen layout is typically found in loft apartments or smaller kitchens. It’s compact and saves floor space without sacrificing utility. The one-wall kitchen layout is made out of cabinets set against a single wall. And it can comprise upper and lower cabinets or shelves above base cabinets.

The placement of those units also simplifies construction. It reduces the cost by avoiding awkward corners. And it gives a kitchen a streamlined look.

The Galley Kitchen

Galley Kitchen Layout

A galley kitchen layout consists of two one-wall kitchen layouts that are parallel to one other. It’s a compact, practical layout that’s perfect for tiny spaces — particularly for homes with only one cook. And, due to the limited space within the work zones, it’s actually mainly designed for just one cook.

This kitchen layout has fallen out of favor recently, owing to the rigid form and confined feel it brings, which does not fit an open-plan dwelling. Nevertheless, a galley kitchen has several perks in certain homes.

Galley kitchen layout may provide two-walled storage and amenities in a compact interior. This means whatever you need will be accessible on either side. So, it still is a wonderful approach to keeping space with minimal mobility.

Besides that, the lengthy pathway linking the two work zones may free up more space along each side. Offering a continuous flow of traffic between both the backyard and the dining area. It can also lend the space a collaborative atmosphere.

The L-Shaped Kitchen

L-Shaped Kitchen Layout

The L-shaped kitchen layout is among the most common types used in many kitchen designs because it is extremely useful and it can be modified to virtually square footage.

An L-shaped kitchen plan has cabinets and kitchen appliances across two adjoining walls. Which provides a clear triangular route connecting work zones. The L-shaped kitchen layout seldom needs non-chefs to move across the area. Although there is definitely greater space if family members decide to gather in the kitchen and cook together. 

The two walls that make up the L-shape do not have to be identical. However, for larger spaces, you may add in a kitchen island. This way, you will maximize the room you have.

The U-Shaped Kitchen Layout (Horseshoe)

U-Shaped Kitchen Layout or Horseshoe Kitchen Layout

The U-shaped kitchen layout or U-shaped layout is often known as the horseshoe kitchen, and provides a third wall to the L-shaped layout. Which gives you a workstation across all three sides and a progressive counter space and storage capacities. The U-shaped layout works well in both small and large kitchens.

You may convert the third wall into an integrated peninsula or floating island. This way, you’ll be able to prevent the space from seeming blocked. It also improves traffic flow. Plus, it allows for two cooks in the space at the same time.

The Island Kitchen

Island Kitchen Layout

The island kitchen is a common solution in an open-plan house. It features a large work table or storage area in the center of the kitchen. The island kitchen can have a surface for cooking, a prep sink, as well as a bar or wine refrigerator.

You can also use it as simple prep space or to host family dinners. Although this layout is best suited for spaces that are large enough to accommodate an island, its location is an excellent approach to establish circulation in the space.

The Peninsula Kitchen

Peninsula Kitchen Layout

The peninsula kitchen layout is essentially a linked island that modifies an L-shaped plan into a horseshoe or U-shaped kitchen. It can also be a horseshoe kitchen converted into a G-shaped layout.

A peninsula kitchen operates in the same manner as an island kitchen. But it provides more clearances in kitchens that lack the necessary floor space for a true island. It features a kitchen counter that protrudes from a wall or cabinets.

A peninsula kitchen is a fantastic approach that provides the conveniences of a kitchen island. This means that the space does not permit the installation of a separate island. In events that you get busy preparing meals, you can use the peninsula for preparing meals and as a dining area. As well as performing other kitchen chores.

The G-Shaped Kitchen

G-Shaped Kitchen Layout

The G-shaped kitchen completes the letter-inspired layouts by occupying three full walls. As well as a portion of a fourth, which is usually a peninsula that is great for barstools.

This particular kitchen layout can seem very claustrophobic in a small space. And it will probably benefit from eliminating one of its walls. This is to break the space up into more of an adjacent area. You may also dismantle the upper cabinetry, then mount shelves, instead. Doing so will free up space.

The G-shaped kitchen layout also allows for more base cabinets which provides additional storage space while simplifying the cooking zone.

Two Island Kitchen

Two Island Kitchen Layout

Simply put, the two island kitchen is a layout with literally two kitchen islands. It’s arguably the most lavish kitchen layout of them. This particular layout is ideal if you have a large enough space to accommodate two islands.

But there are two ways to fill it in. You may opt for a classic island kitchen layout or two islands. In spacious kitchens, a two-island kitchen layout sounds reasonable since one big island could become inconvenient. But you still need to assess whether or not you will use both if you divide the area and create two different islands. 

When it comes to two islands, there are several alternatives and design concepts to explore. You might have one island built for cooking and one for dining, or whatever purpose you want them for. This concept of a two island kitchen is interesting, but it needs much thinking.

Which kitchen layout is best for your cooking space?

The amount of square footage you have and how you operate in the kitchen is what determines the rules for your best kitchen layout. You could incorporate specific elements like an island into the layout, but you should also recognize what you need when you’re working in your kitchen and take note of those details. 

The kitchen layouts I’ve discussed should give you a better understanding of how to plan out a kitchen. I hope they inspire you to build a beautiful, practical, and comfortable cooking space that’s perfect for you.