Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, and you can be spoiled for choice with kitchen layouts and molding options when starting a project. The key is to think carefully about how you use – and move – within the space.
Also try to imagine how your family might use the room in the future. It might be all about preparing food now. But in the future, it may need to double as a place to finish homework, a “learning zone” where your kids learn to bake, or a sophisticated entertainment place for extended family and friends.
Practicality is key to kitchen layout ideas, and the look you select should be able to not only accommodate your lifestyle, but enhance it. We’ve got plenty of thoughtful design tips, so go ahead and dive into our layout options.
What are the six types of kitchen designs?
Our kitchen ideas guide to the six types of kitchen layouts covers all the bases to help you reach the full potential of your kitchen.
While you might think options can be limited for small kitchen ideas, these small spaces are often more efficient in practice.
These are the six types of kitchen designs:
- kitchen layout
- L shaped design.
- U-shaped design.
- Island layout
- Peninsula layout
- One wall kitchen
1. Kitchen layout
Named after a ship’s kitchen, kitchen ideas were originally associated with simplicity and tight spaces—there isn’t much room for redundant details on a regular ship. But the reason kitchen designs are so successful is that they are ergonomically sound – it’s easy to have everything within easy reach.
‘I love classic cuisine,’ enthuses designer Heidi Keeler in Seattle (Opens in a new tab). They just feel intimate and special, and there is something very attractive about them from a practical point of view. It forces you to think about how to place every inch, and I also love the mentality of using all of your kitchen against that angle between the range and the sink.
To get the most out of kitchen kitchens, you simply need smart ideas. A good kitchen designer will be able to come up with solutions for awkwardly shaped spaces, but if you feel you want to explore a room’s potential further, and perhaps consider structural work, it’s worth consulting an interior designer or architect.
Similar to a chef’s kitchen, hoppers follow a similar linear plan, with lines of scales or spurs divided into specific stations for preparing different types of dishes. When there is space for parallel operation of the units – a duplex board – you can introduce the classic work triangle, arranging the main task areas of the refrigerator, cooker and sink in this style to reduce the distance between them.
2. L-shaped layout.
L shaped kitchen ideas work beautifully whether the space is small, medium or large. L-shaped plans work with both contemporary and traditional cabinetry, and the shape is flexible enough to adapt to structural needs, such as sloping ceilings or bay windows.
If you’re wondering what to do with an L-shaped kitchen, it’s important to keep practicality in mind – as with all kitchen layout designs. It is also necessary to think about your everyday life in space, as this will help you to arrange an L-shaped kitchen.
The L shape has the potential to be a very awkward space to work in, especially at a corner point. It’s not the most social design either. However, if the hot, humid, and prep areas are well spread out, L-shaped kitchens can be very practical.
From an aesthetic point of view, small L-shaped kitchens can be made to appear larger by choosing cabinets in pale or neutral colors, which give the impression of space. Deep or rich kitchen color ideas work the opposite, as they seem to shrink with the room, but also warm, so they work well in larger kitchens.
According to Marco Rossi, Head of Product at Magnet: “Each main workstation should be within two meters of each other – the refrigerator, sink, and stove forming a work triangle.”
Sophia Bon Strand, Managing Director of Sola Kitchens, agrees. L shaped kitchens make excellent use of space. It is easy to work with as the work triangle can be easily created.
3. U-shaped design
U shaped kitchen ideas are efficient 3 sided designs that maximize kitchen storage possibilities with everything within easy reach. If space is tight, these horseshoe shaped layouts free up plenty of space for kitchen countertops, cabinets, and drawers above and below for a very streamlined look.
U-shaped kitchens don’t have to be limited to three walls either and the layout can be adapted if there is room for an island unit or a breakfast bar at one end of the set of units.
Modern designs include a combination of U-shaped plus island, which sees an island reaching the middle of a large U-shape, as well as free-standing U-shaped islands located in the middle of an open-plan room.
“As its name suggests, the U-shaped kitchen features cabinets on three adjacent walls to create a U shape,” says Charlie Smallbone, founder of Ledbury Studio. (Opens in a new tab). “This design is very flexible and works regardless of the size of your space.”
4. Island layout
The best kitchen island ideas can greatly enhance your kitchen space, whether that’s adding storage or creating a comfortable dining or sitting area. The island will naturally become the heart of the kitchen, allowing for the flow that makes cooking and socializing a real pleasure. You can choose to incorporate integrated kitchen features into your island, such as a stove or sink; Keep stockpiles with open drawers or shelves; Or use it primarily as a breakfast centerpiece.
There are plenty of ways to add kitchen seating as well, whether it’s simple bar stools, a divided worktop, or even an adjoining dining table. No matter the size of your kitchen, this guide will provide you with ideas so you can create the perfect centerpiece for your space.
‘The kitchen is the heart of social life in the home, and it’s important to consider the comfort of the chef.’ Eggersmann manager Daniel Boehler adds that incorporating the island’s cooking appliances puts it at the center of the action – and even better if there’s also bar-style seating so guests can socialize while preparing food. (Opens in a new tab).
Even in ill-shaped or small kitchens, island layout is a great way to maximize space, as you can make it as multifunctional as possible by incorporating integrated appliances and smart storage solutions.
5. Peninsula layout
Peninsula Kitchen Ideas is one of the most serious kitchen designs – and a popular design for anyone looking to delineate an open space or embrace a broken living plan.
The peninsula on the map is a piece of land almost entirely surrounded by water but connected to the mainland on one side. The peninsula in the kitchen is very similar, albeit less waterlogged. Attached to the wall on one side, the peninsula is a functional addition to a wide variety of kitchen designs and can make an unattractive kitchen wonderfully sociable.
“The peninsula is often seen as an alternative to large island units for limited-sized kitchens,” says Daniel Buller, Eggersmann’s director. While this is certainly the case, the peninsula offers a wealth of opportunities to design any kitchen. We’re talking food prep, a breakfast bar, and a place to work from home — even the home bar comes in the evening. The options are endless.
6. The one-wall kitchen
One wall kitchen ideas are often considered the best kitchen design for small or narrow kitchens. The simplest of all design options, this single-wall kitchen aims to maximize space efficiency without giving up functionality. This design usually consists of cabinets fixed to one wall. You can combine upper and lower level cabinets or shelves above base cabinets, resulting in a clean, linear aesthetic.
If you’re wondering how to make a kitchen layout from one wall: think vertically. Remember that you may have a limited width to work with, so it is recommended that you take your cabinets as high as possible. Not only will this increase the storage potential, but it is also believed to be a good feng shui kitchen.
While a traditional work triangle isn’t possible in a one-wall kitchen, try placing the refrigerator on one end, the oven and stove in the middle, and the sink on the other. If your cabinets don’t rise to the ceiling, use the space above them by storing less-used items there. Alternatively, if you have a gap between your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling, you can fill that space by decorating the kitchen cabinets above to create an attractive feature, rather than letting it accumulate dust.
What is the best kitchen design?
The best kitchen design is the one that fits your space without too many compromises. However, if you have a blank canvas and enough space, a U-shaped kitchen design is best to ensure that the kitchen triangle is formed perfectly and that you have plenty of space for storage and preparation of the work surface.