There is no such thing as the “best kitchen layout.”

A kitchen should be functional and beautiful with features and finishes that fit the unique needs of those who use it every day.

Understanding different kitchen layouts can help you better understand which one will work best for how you and your family use your kitchen.

First Things First: The Kitchen Work Triangle

The kitchen work triangle is a design concept that dates back almost 100 years.

It creates a clear path between the most commonly used areas to increase efficiency in your space.

You can find the work triangle by drawing an imaginary line between the stove, refrigerator, and sink. This is your “work triangle”.

The triangle provides a visual representation of your prime working area where most major activities probably take place within the kitchen.

The kitchen work triangle is a concept that determines the clear path between the most commonly used areas.

As a good rule of thumb;

  • The length of each triangle leg is between 4.5 and 9 feet.
  • The combined length of the three legs should be no more than 24 feet.

If it’s larger than this, your kitchen starts to feel more like a track field, and the space needs to be broken up.

Each of the following kitchen layouts complements a functional work triangle. Every layout can be used to create beautiful kitchens, the trick is to find the one that works best for you.

One-Wall Kitchen

This is the ultimate space saver.

It puts all of the major appliances on one wall.

Cabinets above and below with countertops in between provide adequate storage and working space. An island can be added to a wall kitchen, especially one that can be used as extra storage or rolled away to save space.

Because you cannot draw a triangle on a straight line, the work triangle here is about spacing the fridge and sink on opposite sides and the cooking area in the middle. A wall kitchen can be the best option for kitchens in smaller spaces like studios, loft spaces, or RVs.

A one-wall kitchen is efficient and conserves space with everything you need in one area. It also provides a clean, modern, and minimal look.

On the flipside, it can be difficult for multiple people to work in a one-wall kitchen without tripping over one another without an added island or table nearby.

A one-wall kitchen is efficient because it provides you with everything you need in one area.

Galley Layout

A galley is a walk-through kitchen, almost like two parallel one-wall kitchens. This hallway-like kitchen creates a lean layout that utilizes the space without wasteful corner cabinetry. The work triangle is formed with a sink on one side and the oven and refrigerator on the other.

Galley kitchen layouts maximize your existing kitchen space even if your remodel doesn’t include an expansion. They are also one of the most efficient layouts because the work triangle is small, so it’s an easy kitchen to work in without moving around too much.

On the other hand, there’s typically not a lot of extra space in a galley kitchen. It’s not ideal for entertaining because there isn’t a lot of counter space or areas for guests to gather without being in the way.

The galley kitchens are the most efficient because the work triangle is small.

L-Shaped Layout

An L-shaped kitchen is a smart design for small and medium-sized kitchens with an open floor plan.

The L-shape is created with countertops on two adjoining walls. The “legs” of the L can be as long as you want, which helps to eliminate traffic.

Typically, the oven and fridge are on opposite legs while the sink is in between, creating a stretched triangle with more space to work.

There is also space to add an island in the middle if you’d like.

However, L-shaped kitchen layouts limit counter space to two walls which aren’t always efficient and can require more walking as you’re preparing meals.

L-shaped kitchen layouts are perfect for small spaces.

U-Shaped Kitchen

The horseshoe or U-shaped kitchen is one of the most common shapes. It uses three walls of cabinets/appliances and works well for traffic flow when you need multiple cooks in the kitchen.

The triangle in a U-shape kitchen is nearly picture perfect and appliances can be placed on either side. This creates a very open space that’s great for entertaining.

However, the two corners end up using a lot of space and corner cabinetry can be tricky storage areas.

U-shaped kitchen layouts provide space that is suitable for entertaining.

Island Layout

An island layout is a popular choice for open-plan homes.

It provides a very large island in the center of the room and smaller surrounding countertops. The island typically incorporates the cooking surface, keeping the fridge and sink behind.

An island kitchen provides a great space for preparing large family meals and entertaining.

However, the space itself has to be big enough to accommodate the island and adequate space to move around.

An island layout is great in providing space for preparing large family meals as well as entertaining.

Peninsula Layout

The peninsula uses a kitchen counter that juts out from a wall or cabinets rather than an island. This is a great solution for those who want the benefits of a kitchen island but are limited on space.

If you currently have a small enclosed kitchen, the peninsula can be a great solution because one wall can be removed to open the area up to an adjacent room without sacrificing storage space.

Many kitchen cooks love the peninsula because it provides an opportunity for more interaction during meal preparation. The peninsula can be used for food preparation, eating, or nearly anything.

However, the peninsula kitchen only has one way out and into the space, so it can create a bottleneck in the corner when there are too many cooks in the kitchen.

Peninsula kitchen layouts provide space for interaction while working in the kitchen.

G-Shaped Kitchen

The g-shape essentially occupies three full walls with a peninsula that usually features barstool seating. If you have adequate square footage, this shape provides the best storage, workspace, and seating. If your space is too small, this shape will quickly feel cramped.

For an ideal G-shaped kitchen, you will need at least 10 feet by 10 feet of space to start. The work triangle works best with the refrigerator, stove, and sink located on opposite sides.

A G-shaped kitchen provides three side walls for more kitchen cabinets than other shapes and better accommodates larger appliances. It also has more than enough space to accommodate multiple cooks.

However, if you try to put too much in this kitchen, it can quickly feel smaller. Put careful thought into this layout to ensure you use it efficiently.

G-shaped kitchen layouts are suitable for big areas.

Building Your Dream Kitchen

Few home remodeling projects come with more benefits than major kitchen remodels.

New kitchen layouts can change the function of your entire home while simultaneously increasing its equity value.

A kitchen remodel is always worth the time, money, and effort to provide a beautiful new space for your home, family, and guests.