What Are the 6 Types of Kitchen Layouts?

Designing or remodeling your kitchen can be an exciting project because, as the center of your day-to-day life, it’s one of the most important (if not the most important) rooms in your home. However, there’s often so much to consider in terms of layout, furniture, cabinetry, etc. that designing your kitchen can be a little overwhelming. Not to mention, it’s a big investment. 

So, how do you know you’re taking the right steps toward designing your ideal kitchen?

The first thing to consider is layout. Your kitchen needs to be functional so you have enough space to move around, place your appliances, and store your dishes. 

Here’s a look at six of the most popular kitchen layouts, and how to know which one is best for your home:

6 Types of Kitchen Layouts

Similar to snowflakes, no two kitchens are (nor should be) the same. Depending on factors like size and lifestyle, different types of kitchen layouts suit different families and homes. However, most kitchens fall under one of these six categories.

Galley Kitchen

Also called “walkthrough kitchens”, galley kitchens have two rows of cabinets facing each other, creating a walkable path in between. Similar to the one-wall layout, they’re ideal for smaller, one-cook kitchens. 

Galley kitchens also offer a huge bonus in that they eliminate the need for corner cabinets. Corner cabinets aren’t always the most efficient use of space, and they can be costly in terms of the special solutions needed to make them work. Therefore, galley kitchens are a cost-effective option.

One thing to keep in mind with a galley kitchen: stick to having a workspace on only one side. Reserve the other side mainly for storage. With too many workspaces and multiple cooks, the kitchen can get congested.

One-Wall Kitchen

In one-wall kitchens, all cabinets and countertops are installed on one side of the room. It’s a great layout for smaller kitchens, which is why it’s often used in studio and loft spaces. Since everything is on one wall, the rest of the room is able to look spacious and clean. 

If you’re planning on implementing a one-wall kitchen layout, it’s important to think vertically. In order to optimize storage space, you should have upper and lower cabinets on the wall. If you have taller ceilings, consider stacking your cabinets to the ceiling in order to use your space efficiently. 

Also, although one-wall kitchens are typically good for smaller spaces, if you find yourself with more room, you could consider putting in an island to evolve the space into a one-wall-galley hybrid. 

L-Shaped Kitchen

L-shaped kitchens include cabinets along two perpendicular walls. They are a good choice for both small and large kitchens because they provide a lot of room for workspace and appliances. If you have a larger kitchen, you may also be able to fit an island in the center to create even more workspace and storage. 

One downside of L-shaped kitchens is that they always have a corner. With that, you have a few options. You could either install a corner cabinet with a special solution like a Lazy Susan, or you could install a walk-in pantry cabinet. Both of these options make use of corner space that is often lost but will require a slightly larger investment. 

One final tip for L-shaped kitchens: make sure the “legs” of the L are no longer than 15 feet. This length is perfect to give you enough storage, while ensuring you’re making the most efficient use of your space. 

U-Shaped Kitchen

U-shaped kitchens have cabinetry along three adjacent walls. However, some of the more modern ones have cabinetry along just two walls, with an island functioning as the third. This is a great option for large kitchens because it offers ample storage space and optimal workflow, even for multiple cooks at a time. 

Although U-shaped kitchens provide a lot of storage, some design mistakes can make them feel congested and enclosed. The biggest issues come when there are upper cabinets on all three walls. In order to avoid this, stick to upper cabinets on just one or two of them.

Another way to make a U-shaped kitchen space feel more open is to add windows. Have at least one window in your kitchen, and keep the windowsill and area around it uncluttered.

Island Kitchen

With rising interest in open concept homes, island kitchens have become very popular. They provide a large work surface and storage space in the middle of the kitchen and can serve as a great addition to any of the other kitchen layouts if space allows. 

Islands can serve multiple purposes. They can include a sink for food preparation, a fridge or cooler for beverages, and cabinets for extra storage. They’re also a great place for family members and guests to gather around, especially with the addition of a few stools for sitting.

But before you get too carried away, there are a few important things to consider when it comes to island kitchens. First, make sure your kitchen is big enough that you have plenty of room to walk around all four sides of the island. Putting an island into a small space can make things too close for comfort. And second, don’t try to make your island do too much. Instead, pick one or two things to include (e.g. a sink and some stools), rather than overloading it.

Peninsula Kitchen

Peninsula kitchens are similar to island kitchens, but instead of the work surface floating in the middle of the room, it is attached to one of the walls. Just like islands, peninsulas serve the same preparation, storage, and entertainment purposes. 

Be honest with yourself here. Not everyone has space for an island kitchen, and that’s okay! A peninsula is a great alternative with similar capabilities. 

How To Choose the Best Type of Kitchen Layout for Your Home

After all those descriptions, how can you choose which type of kitchen layout is best for you? Here are some important factors to consider:

  • Size – The most important factor is the size of the room. Space is key to kitchen functionality, so be sure to choose a layout that maximizes the square footage you have available. 
  • Work triangle – The three primary parts of any kitchen include the sink (cleaning and preparation), the fridge (storage), and the cooktop (cooking). If you join those three items with imaginary lines, you’ll form a “work triangle”. Make sure your triangle is optimized for speed and maneuverability. 
  • Lifestyle – Answer a few important questions about yourself and what you’ll use your kitchen for most often. How many cooks will there be? Will you cook, bake, or both? Will you be entertaining guests?
  • Aesthetics – Although your first priority should be functionality, aesthetics are also something to consider. Pick a layout that combines both to get the kitchen of your dreams.

Can’t decide on the right layout for your kitchen? The Standard Kitchens team is here to help! Our expert designers will listen to your unique goals for your new kitchen or remodel project, and match you with the ideal kitchen layout for your space and your style. For more information, give us a call or contact us online today.