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Kitchen Layouts | A Guide to the 7 Most Popular

Kitchen Layouts

Kitchen layouts are the shape that is made by the arrangement of the range, sink and refrigerator. This floor plan creates the kitchen's work triangle - the path that you make when moving from the refrigerator, to the sink, to the range to prepare a meal. When designing your kitchen and choosing the best cabinetry solutions for your home, one of the first considerations is the overall kitchen layouts.

The 7 most popular kitchen layouts:

Depending on the overall size of your kitchen, an island can be added to many of these layouts to expand storage and create additional counter space. Islands can be created in all shapes and sizes and you are not limited to a standard square or rectangular shape.

This post will walk you through the 7 most popular kitchen layouts to identify which is most similar to your current kitchen.   When looking at each layout, focus on the work triangle created in the room, you may find a kitchen floor plan that you prefer over your own.  Keep in mind - even if you're not making significant structural changes to the kitchen, you can still enhance the layout with the right cabinetry.  

One Wall


Bradley Oliver Designs

The one wall kitchen layout has all appliances, cabinets and sink on a single straight wall.  This is a functional design that saves space while remaining open.  Popular in smaller kitchens, apartments, efficiencies but not uncommon in larger kitchen designs.  

The one wall kitchen layout is ideal for smaller homes.  The work triangle in this kitchen layout is less like a triangle and more of a work line with all three kitchen zones along one wall.

In the above example, this one wall kitchen layout has an island. 



The galley kitchen layout derives its name from a kitchen on a ship or airplane.  It's the most simple and straight-forward kitchen design.

Popular among smaller houses and apartments due to the fitted standard styles and sizes, making them the most cost-effective and efficient to produce kitchens in mass.

A galley kitchen is open on both sides as shown, helping to bring in more light and efficient pathway through and in the kitchen.   The stove and sink tend to be parallel to one another with the refrigerator offset to create an efficient work triangle.  

U - Shape

With a U Shaped Kitchen, you have easy access to the main preparation, washing and cooking areas. While most u shaped kitchens don’t allow enough space for a table and chairs, they tend to function well by allowing generous space between the various areas. 

The U-shaped kitchen is the most versatile layout for kitchens large and small because the layout offers continuous counter tops and ample storage, which surround the cook on three sides.  

U - Shape & Island


Adding an island to an u shaped kitchen with Island increases the kitchen's functionality as well as its interactivity.  As shown in the above example, the island allows for seating directly in the kitchen for family and guest interaction with the cook.  An island also makes it much easier for a second cook to help with meal preparation and cleanup.

The versatility of a u shaped kitchen with island means that you can have multiple different layouts.  In the above example this layout has the island serve as an eating and food prep area.  With this layout you could also have a built-in desk, a bar, or a "kids' zone" where children can use the microwave and store their snacks.

G - Shape

The G Shaped Kitchen is a version of the U-shaped kitchen layout, with countertops forming a G shape.  This layout has the same amount of counter space and storage options that surround the cook on three sides.  However, the difference with the G-shaped kitchen floor plan is the peninsula or partial fourth wall of additional cabinets.

The G shaped kitchen layout is essentially a hybrid version of the U-shaped layout. It's best suited to those who want to pack every square inch of kitchen possible into their space but don't have room for the clearance required around an island.

L- Shape

The L shaped kitchen is the most common kitchen layout. Symmetry with cooking zones, food prep and the sink all while being open makes this a popular kitchen layout.  L shaped kitchens provide various storage options, given the various corners units and effective use of space. 

A natural work triangle is created from the L shape with continuous counter space and work stations on two adjacent walls.  The L shape also provides an efficient work area, but it typically opens to a nearby room, making it easy for entertaining guest and interacting with family.

In the above pictured example you can see the effective use of the black kitchen cabinets

L - Shape & Island


By far the most popular kitchen layout in the modern kitchen is the L shape kitchen with island.  This layout allows for maximum flexibility in meal prep, cooking and entertaining.   With many islands doubling as a dine-in table the L shape with island allows for the maximum amount of people in the kitchen.

The l shape kitchen shown here has three distinct zones, with enough space between them to have multiple individuals in the kitchen. On the right side, you have the range with storage cabinets. On the back wall you have open counter tops with small appliances, sink, large open window and even more storage.  

About the author


Hi, I'm Tim. I write about all things dream house, from curb appeal to the backyard swimming pool. I believe everyone has their dream house in mind and I hope to do a small part in inspiring ideas that will help you turn your dream into a reality.