From L-Shaped to U-Shaped: A Guide to the Different Types of Kitchen Layouts

Last Updated on November 3, 2021 by Kravelv

With the kitchen now the hub of nearly every home, you will have to consider a lot more than just the materials and colors you want for this room when building or remodeling your own.

This means ensuring your kitchen is functional if you want to get the most out of this part of your home.

Leading interior fit-out companies in Dubai say that the layout is a key aspect that can determine how functional your kitchen can be.

different types of kitchen layout

The kitchen layout pertains to the shape created by the arrangement of the sink, countertop, major appliances, and storage areas. It establishes and forms the room’s official work triangle or path that you make when moving from the refrigerator, sink, range, or cooking area to prepare a meal.

Types of Kitchen Layouts

Selecting the ideal layout for your kitchen involves understanding the different types and the benefits they offer first.

Once you have a clear picture of these designs, you can choose the best one that will work for you and your kitchen.

Below are the main types of kitchen layouts and the specific advantages they offer:

1. L-Shaped

The L-shaped layout is a classic design that never goes out of style. This kitchen plan uses two walls of a room to facilitate a continuous flow among the cabinets, work areas, and entry and exit points following the shape of the letter L.

This layout works well for any kitchen size since it opens the floor space to create the illusion of a larger room.

Another noteworthy benefit of this type of design is that you can have multiple work zones in the kitchen. You can do so by spreading out more appliances across the two walls, thereby setting up these areas for efficiency.

The L-shaped layout is also the best design to choose if you have an open-plan living space. It allows you to free the central area for the dining table or kitchen island. As a result, you will have a better, more spacious area for cooking, dining, and entertaining.

2. One-Wall Kitchen

Also known as the straight line or Pullman, this design works well in homes with limited space, such as studio apartments and lofts.

However, it is also suitable for larger homes where the kitchen is part of an open floor plan.

The one-wall kitchen is a simple layout that has everything placed across one wall. It consists of all cabinets, shelves, and appliances installed or lined against a single wall.

This design is an excellent space-saving solution, which is why it is recommended for smaller kitchens. At the same time, it creates a clean aesthetic, making the room look tidy and more organized.

Since all major cooking functions are arranged along a single wall, it facilitates a more efficient workflow.

Additionally, the one-wall kitchen layout is the simplest and most inexpensive option you can consider if you are on a tight budget. It is also an excellent way to highlight an accent wall in this room.

3. Galley

A galley layout consists of a corridor between two walls or rows of cabinets and appliances facing each other.

This two-walled approach entails arranging all essential work zones, appliances, and countertops on two parallel walls.

The kitchen galley layout eliminates the need for corner cupboards and, as such, uses every inch of space available without wastage.

This straightforward design also calls for fewer specialized or unnecessary appliances and gadgets, thus making it a cost-efficient option.

The galley layout is highly versatile since it can work with both closed and open floor spaces. It is also suitable for small and medium-sized kitchens. 

4. Kitchen Island

This type of layout is considered by many as the most functional of all designs. It calls for arranging appliances and kitchen cabinets on one or both sides and placing an additional work surface in the middle.

This additional work surface is separate from the main counter, therefore making it look like an island on the floor.

Kitchens with islands are ideal for people who want to transform this room into a social and entertainment hub. The design offers plenty of space for you to cook and entertain guests. It also allows you to keep an eye on your little ones as they do their homework or projects as you prepare meals.

The most significant advantage of the kitchen island layout is that you have an extra work surface where you can prepare food and use it as a washing, storage, and an extra dining space.

This layout also seamlessly integrates with open plan living spaces.

5. Peninsula

Kitchens with a peninsula layout have an island that juts out or extends from the wall, giving it the appearance of a peninsula.

The island can be used as a freestanding workspace, doubling as a countertop, eating area, or storage space.

This layout comes with all the benefits of an island kitchen. However, it takes up less floor space, making it the ideal design for smaller homes.

A peninsula kitchen is focused mainly on providing seating and serving space without impeding the traffic flow in the room.

6. U-Shaped

A U-shaped or horseshoe layout is one of the most efficient and user-friendly kitchen designs. It is characterized by counters on three sides, which enable smooth food preparation. Additionally, the appliances are arranged near each other, facilitating faster and more efficient workflow inside the room.

This layout is highly flexible since it can be installed in narrow, long spaces and large, square spaces.

This type of layout also provides homeowners ample storage possibilities because of the additional floor space, counters, and cabinets.

U-shaped kitchens are also suitable for open floor plans. It is perfect for separating the living room from the kitchen, while still allowing for easy socializing across the two.

However, they offer a higher level of privacy than island layouts while still conforming to an open-plan design.

U-shaped layouts are ideal for medium and large kitchens. The plan and features can take up too much floor surface, making it unsuitable for small spaces.

Selecting the right layout for your kitchen can be tricky. If you are having a hard time with the entire process, get help from experts, such as interior design and fit out specialists. 



Rachel Hennessey manages the Pools and Landscaping Division of Hennessey LLC. She also works on Tender and Pre-Qualification and brings in new business to the company’s Construction, Interiors and Civils Division.

Kravelv is a full time digital marketer and part time furniture and cabinet maker. During his free time he would like to create something out of recycled woods, this varies from toys, furnitures plant boxes etc. Follow him on Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook