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Designing a kitchen is hard work! You have to make hundreds of small decisions that impact the flow, functionality, and aesthetic of your kitchen layout. One of the biggest decisions you have to make up front though is which of the different types of kitchen layouts you’re going to go with.
In this post, we’ll help you figure out which of the 6 kitchen layouts are right for you. I’ll share the details of each type of kitchen layout and some things you should consider before picking one. The kitchen layout you decide on will greatly impact what kind of kitchen you have!
There are a number of factors you should consider to decide which kitchen layout is right for you: the size of your house, floor layout, wall arrangement, and your own cooking needs. We’ll also help you figure out how to make the most of the kitchen layout that you plan to design.
Each of these different kitchen layouts will meet the standard kitchen needs: a sink, cooktop, storage cabinets, refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher.
If you want some help figuring out the right size of different kitchen tools, check out the following articles!
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6 Different Types of Kitchen Layouts
1. L-Shape Kitchen
This kitchen type is common nowadays because it’s easy to adjust to any kind of house. The L-shape consists of two perpendicular walls meeting in a corner that are being used for kitchen space. These walls contain the cabinets and appliances needed for your kitchen layout to be a functional space.
An L-shape kitchen can be great for studio-style apartments that don’t require a dining room. An L shape kitchen works well in open concept home designs where the kitchen layout blends into the rest of the living area.
How to Make A L-Shaped Kitchen Layout Work:
The corner space where the L meets is an ideal space to fit countertop appliances that take up space. The key with an L-shaped kitchen is to make the best use of your more limited cabinet space. If you’re able to fit an island in your kitchen layout, that would give you more countertop and cooking space.
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If you have space for a kitchen hutch or pantry that will help free up more space to be designated for cookware and cooking use.
2. Peninsula Kitchen
With a peninsula kitchen, it is like having a parallel kitchen minus one wall. A peninsula kitchen layout has an island that juts out from the wall, like a peninsula. The island offers a free-standing workspace that can be utilized as the countertop, eating area, or storage space.
Peninsula provides all the benefits of an island kitchen while making use of less floor space. These types of kitchen styles are ideal for small homes that cant access large spaces for bigger kitchens.
How to Make A Peninsula-Shaped Kitchen Layout Work:
The best way to make the peninsula kitchen layout work is to make the most use of your space. With limited space, you must have an idea for how each area of the kitchen is going to be best used. The kitchen island can be used for socializing, a drink station, or a place to serve food from.
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3. Island Kitchen
A kitchen island layout has a large countertop unattached to the main kitchen area that can be accessed from all sides. It has one part centralized part to create space and move around the kitchen easily. The kitchen island usually sits in the middle of the kitchen and provides a versatile space to use for food prep, serving, etc.
This is a popular kitchen type with many designs to follow and make your dream kitchen. If you have kids or need extra seating then this is the ideal kitchen for you.
How to Make An Island-Shaped Kitchen Layout Work:
An island shaped kitchen is going to work best for larger kitchens because you have to have room to walk around and access it from all sides without creating “traffic jams.” If you use an island kitchen layout, be sure to use one that has cabinets built in to create additional storage space.
4. Parallel Kitchen (Galley Kitchen)
The layout has 2 long parallel working areas that can be divided into dry and wet areas. The two areas can be utilized for one as a storage area while the other for cooking and cleaning appliances. A galley kitchen is essentially two walls of cabinets and appliances on walls opposite of one another.
Sometimes you’re able to walk through to the next room and others dead-end. One advantage is the cost. Corner cabinets tend to be more complicated in terms of design and fit so they are more expensive. Galley kitchens tend to be the most optimized in terms of making use of space. If you need some ideas to jazz up your kitchen, check out these turquoise kitchen decor ideas.
How to Make A Parallel Kitchen Layout Work:
A galley kitchen is the most economical option, but it can also be a bit plain. These are great for garage apartments, smaller homes, apartments, or condos. They are great for covering your bases and having a space to cook and eat.
Designating one side of the kitchen to be used cooking and food prep can be one way to make your kitchen layout more user friendly.
5. U-Shaped Kitchen
A U-shaped consists of 3 adjoining walls two parallel walls to form a U-shape. It is a versatile style that can be fitted in any kitchen whether small, medium and large kitchen. A u-shaped kitchen layout is great for larger kitchens that have room to curve around.
How to Make A U-Shaped Kitchen Layout Work:
This kitchen layout has the most potential for cabinet space, but if you aren’t careful it can feel cluttered or crammed. Some people recommend not having upper cabinets on each of the three walls to add some “blank space” to the kitchen. If you’re able to have a window in the kitchen, it can provide great natural light as well!
6. One Wall Kitchen (Straight Kitchen layout)
A one wall kitchen is usually found in smaller kitchens. It includes one wall with counter space, a cooktop, and cabinets. These are common in studios, garage apartments, or single bedroom apartments. Typically this kind of kitchen layout will be lacking some common kitchen appliances like a dishwasher or full-size fridge.
How to Make A One Wall Kitchen Layout Work:
With a one wall kitchen you have to make use of every inch of space available. Typically you need to think vertically by maximizing cabinet space going all the way up to the ceiling. It’s also helpful to find another place to store dishware like an alcohol hutch or a pantry to store food.
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Common Questions about the Different Types of Kitchen Layouts
What is the most efficient kitchen shape?
All of these kitchen layouts can be an efficient kitchen shape as long as you make the most of the space available. One wall kitchens, L kitchens, and galley kitchens tend to be smaller and require more efficiency in how you use them.
How many types of kitchens are there?
There are at least 6 different types of kitchens: one wall, L shape, U shape, galley, peninsula, and island. There are some other, lesser-known kitchen layouts, but these 6 are the most common.
What type of kitchen is best?
The best type of kitchen is hard to say because the best one for your house and needs will be different from someone else’s. Our favorite kind of kitchen is a U kitchen.
What is a one wall kitchen?
A one wall kitchen is a kitchen where all of the cabinets, kitchen appliances, and kitchen needs are located on one wall. Typically these are found in small apartments that have an open concept layout.
How do I choose a kitchen?
Figuring out how to choose a kitchen for you can be hard. You should consider how much kitchen space you have available, how many people you plan to cook for regularly, and what your kitchen needs are.
What is the best layout for a small kitchen?
The best layout for a small kitchen is likely an L shape or a one-wall kitchen, unless you have a home layout that is more geared towards a galley kitchen.
Why are kitchens L shaped?
Many kitchens are L shaped to be the most efficient kitchen layout possibly. Kitchens typically sit in the corner of a home and so an L shape makes the most use of the designated space.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.