Deciding on a kitchen layout is an important step when building a kitchen or planning a
remodel. Researching various layouts and designs can help this process. Functionality and
efficient use of space are also important, along with deciding on a budget early on in the
The most popular kitchen layouts include the L-shape, the U-shape, the galley layout and the
one-wall layout. The L-shape and the U-shape can be used with or without a kitchen island.
The type of layout you choose will depend on the size of the kitchen, and how many cooks
might be in the kitchen at the same time.
An L-shaped kitchen with an island is a great way to go if you enjoy entertaining in the kitchen
while you and/or others cook. If everybody usually winds up in the kitchen, this layout is ideal.
Each leg of the L can be a functional zone. One leg can contain the oven and microwave for
cooking and the other can contain the sink and dishwasher for cleaning. The island provides a
third zone for socializing and entertaining. An under-counter wine cellar is a good addition,
along with a sink and some barstools for your guests. If you have a small or medium sized
kitchen, an L-shape without the island may be more efficient.
A U-shape with an island is a good layout for a larger kitchen. This will allow you plenty of
space for cabinets, storage, and workspace. A U-shaped kitchen can be made even more
efficient by installing the fridge outside the U. This will prevent the fridge from taking up
valuable counter space. If you decide against an island, you could set up a breakfast bar on
the outside edge of the U, as long as the counter has an overhang. Other benefits of the
U-shape are the ability to accommodate multiple cooks, and the elimination of through traffic.
Galley kitchens are best for small spaces. The key to creating an efficient, visually appealing
galley kitchen is to maximize the space and incorporate design features that add the
appearance of greater depth, height and width. One idea is to install your floorboards
lengthwise. This will give the appearance of a longer kitchen space. Removing clutter can
make your kitchen look larger as well. Keep your cabinets simple as a more complex design
can create a cluttered feel and remove appliances from countertops whenever possible.
Lastly, opt for a light and bright color scheme. Darker colors can make your kitchen look small
The one wall layout takes the need for space maximization to the next level. Some ideas listed
for the galley kitchen will apply here, but there are others that can be extremely useful as well.
Consider using open shelving. Leaving the doors off cabinets can effectively open up the
kitchen and make it look larger. Liven up the space with design and décor flourishes such as
mosaic tiles on the backsplash, and colorful additions such as window treatments and artwork.
Getting creative will give your small kitchen a dose of visual appeal.
No matter which layouts appeal to you, our designers will work with you on creating the
kitchen of your dreams, whatever the amount of space you have available.