A kitchen layout is a shape made by the arrangement of kitchen appliances like countertops, cabinetry, refrigerator and other kitchen appliances.  The layout and floor plan create the primary work triangle you make along with the refrigerator, sink and cooking place.

The basic types of kitchen layouts are; L-shaped kitchen Layout, One wall/straight kitchen layout, U-shaped kitchen layout, G-shaped/peninsula kitchen layout, gallery/parallel kitchen layout and island kitchen layout


An   L Shaped Kitchen as its name suggests is a Kitchen whose design and layout takes on a letter L shape.   It consists of two adjoining perpendicular walls/ sides of cabinets that connect to form a letter L shape. The two sides connect at a right angle creating an open space in the middle. This turns out to be the workspace in your kitchen.

The L layout kitchen is one of the most liked kitchen classics layout designs for a number of reasons.  It is suitable for all kitchen sizes, small, medium and large spaces. It is a flexible design that makes it easy to create an ergonomically efficient kitchen triangle with the refrigerator, stove, and sink arranged in the classic three-point shape.

Types/ Examples Of  L- Shaped Kitchen Design Layout

Classic L- Shaped Kitchen Layout

The classic kitchen design has two legs/lines of base cabinets that are covered with a countertop. One leg /line of cabinets is longer than the other and they meet in the centre at a right angle creating an L shape.  The longer line/leg therefore will provide most of the counter space than the shorter leg. This layout is common in a small room enclosed by four walls where two of the walls are enclosed with an entry door, window, passage door or seating area.

The Apartment Sized L- Shaped Kitchen Layout

In small apartments/ condos, the one wall/ straight kitchen layout often takes precedence.  But it is possible to fit an L –shaped kitchen layout in these small spaces as well. The kitchen sink is placed on the shorter side of the L which has a limited countertop space and the rest are attached to the side of the longer L.

 Open Kitchen With A Large Dining Area.

This works where one has a large open space.  In this plan, the L Shaped kitchen layout works well with an open kitchen plan that includes an island and a large casual dining area.  There is no physical barrier between the kitchen workspaces and the dining table as both areas share the same floor space.

Open Kitchen With A Small Dining Area.

This works for a medium-sized open space.  This layout, therefore, features a medium-sized island in the middle of the kitchen L shape. it incorporates a 4 seater small dining table for a small nuclear family setting.

L Shape For Open –Concept Floor Plans

A small L shaped kitchen is integrated into an open concept living room /living area.  Partition walls are created to add separation between the dining and living spaces. Depending on the size of the space the kitchen could include an island or not.


A straight layout is a kitchen design in which all the facilities, counter, Sink; cabinets are arranged on one wall.  The other walls and sides of the Kitchen are openly congregating into the living areas.  Straight kitchen layouts are also known as one–wall or single line kitchen designs based on the fact that everything is attached to the wall in a straight line.

Straight/ single line kitchen layout is simple and requires less space and financial resources in contrast to other kitchen layouts.  It will fit in small apartments and studios and work for low budget decisions. 

 The single-line design movement in the Kitchen is minimised and limited to a minimal workspace making it a neat layout. To further minimise the space built-in appliances are advisable for use.



U shaped Kitchens are made up of 3 adjoining walls that form u shape designs. The U shape layout is sometimes referred to as a C shaped Kitchen. The cabinetry and countertops span around the three sides of the walls leaving one open entrance as its access point.

The U shaped design offers a continuous layout of countertop creating ample storage throughout the 3 walls of the U shape. 

The U shape has got 3 Sides which creates a functional and efficient design for an ideal work triangle. An ideal work triangle shape will provide uninterrupted efficiency and safety between the cooking place, cleaning area, and refrigerator when the user is preparing meals.

A U shaped kitchen design is very flexible and works in a number of shapes and spaces; it can work in smaller kitchens as well as larger ones.  Larger shaped kitchens can fit in an auxiliary island in the middle to provide extra countertops for food preparation, cabinetry for storage, of a sink for cleaning. An added island to your U shape can also offer an additional dining area with the addition of stools.

U shaped kitchen layout is ideal for families that love to congregate around the counter and spend a lot of time in the Kitchen. This social set-up is perfect with the addition of a kitchen island to match and the rest of the design In Your kitchen.

Tips To Consider When Designing A U Shaped Kitchen

Tailor the U Shape Of Your Kitchen To Your Space

The adjacent two walls will be longer than one shorter wall. This means the lengths of you’re kitchen cabinets will either be the same size for the 2 walls and shorter for the short wall. Your designer will help you get perfect sizes and fittings that are right for your kitchen space.

Consider the Work Flow For Your Kitchen

Consider how your kitchen work will flow from cooking, cleaning and refrigeration by creating an efficient work triangle.  Place your cooktop, sink and refrigerator in ranges on adjacent walls and counter surfaces to create a perfect work triangle. It is more effective to place sink and refrigerator or any other tall kitchen appliances opposite each other in the kitchen.

Consider the Location Of Your Main Kitchen Sink

If you have got a window in your kitchen it is better to place your kitchen sink by the window to take advantage of the scenes outside and allow natural light into your kitchen

Why Should I Place My Kitchen Sink By The Window

Kitchen plumbing will be easier to install and access the piping and drainage works and outlets

It makes more sense to place a sink under the window than place a kitchen cabinet over the window

It is more relaxing to wash dishes as you take a look outside and have a look at the scenery the birds, flowers or even the wild

It lets fresh air in and diffuses the smell of the dirty dishes in the air maintaining a fresh and relaxing supply of fresh air

A sink near the window will not require you to turn the light all the time as you clean your dishes

It decongests the space above the sink; imagine doing dishes with your nose pointing towards your kitchen cabinets

Placing your kitchen sink by the window has been a tradition for many years and generations and is not about to disappear for both health reasons and kitchen design reasons

Consider the Location of Your Cook top in the U Shape Layout

It is efficient to place your cooktop on the shot wall in the middle of your U shape Layout. The cooktop at this position will allow you to create a triangle to the other focal areas in the kitchen like the sink and refrigerator.

Consider The Addition Of A Kitchen Island To Your U-Shaped Layout

An island will be a great addition to your U shaped design if you have the space for it.  It multiple usages will help you achieve a number of function like added storage space, additional dining area for your family members, cooking, cleaning and food preparation area you can do anything with a kitchen island.  It is important to leave a space of 1 m to 1.2m around your kitchen island.

Maximize Your Space

Maximize the space in your kitchen by transforming your tricky comers with pull-out storage that will maximize every inch of your storage. A pull-out mechanism will leave no space forgotten about and will enable you to explore the depths of your cupboard.


A G-shaped kitchen is also known as a kitchen peninsular.  It is technically made up of a U-shaped with a peninsula added to it forming a G- shape looking kitchen layout.  The G- shaped layout continuously locates cabinetry and fixtures along the 3 adjacent walls along the U-shape and ends in a bar counter extension.

G –shaped kitchen peninsulas are the best alternative for small kitchen owners who don’t have enough space for a kitchen island.  A kitchen peninsula is the same as a kitchen island but it is connected to the wall on one side/end. Kitchen peninsulas provide all the benefits that are provided by a kitchen island like extra storage, dining, socialising, food preparation. The difference is that they are set up in a way that they fit in smaller spaces.

What Is A Kitchen Peninsular?

A kitchen peninsular is a unit with a worktop that is similar to a kitchen island. A kitchen island is not free-standing like the kitchen island but is instead attached to the wall on one side. A kitten peninsular can therefore be accessed from 3 sides unlike a kitchen island can be accessed. A peninsular serves as an extension to your kitchen and forms a G-shape when added to a


A gallery kitchen layout is also known as parallel/ corridor layout is a 2 single-wall layout that runs parallel to each other.  It is long and narrow and it consists of two parallel walls of countertops, cabinetry, refrigerator, sinks and other kitchen appliances.

A gallery kitchen is sometimes called a corridor kitchen because its main traffic lane is a long narrow aisle.

Origin of  the Gallery Kitchen

The gallery/ parallel kitchen was first used in ships and sailboats as a perfect layout for sail ships. It has since then been adopted into homes all over the world. The parallel kitchen layout has also been adopted by professional settings like restaurants because this design offers the most productive and reliable perfect work triangle. The work triangle between the sink, refrigerator and the cooking place create and define the functionality of a kitchen.


An Island is a free-standing piece of cabinetry that is placed in the kitchen as an addition to match the original design and compliment it. Islands are a supplement to the countertop space. Kitchen owners often purchase a freestanding mobile island to increase a kitchens preparation area.  Islands are not limited to specific dimensions so they can be modified to a specific dimension according to the size of the kitchen available.

Kitchen islands can be perfect additions to your kitchens if you are planning to remove your kitchen for additional space, a workspace for your nightly work as you enjoy a hot cup of tea. A practical and beautiful island will be the most used area in your kitchen.

It is common practice to design an island by purchasing additional base cabinets that match the design of the available kitchen features so that you have a complete pattern.  It is also common to feature elevated stools along the non-cooking side of the island to supplement the dining area.  Though an island is perfect for increasing your kitchen storage space some islands are destined without internal storage. A true island should be the same height as your countertops in similar or uniform colours to the entire kitchen.

Kitchen islands have become an icon of the modern kitchen. It is perfect for creating social bonds in the kitchen. They are perfect for the family to gather around, relax, cook and entertain and enjoy each other’s company.

A kitchen Island can be generally added to an L shaped Kitchen or a one wall kitchen layout. But with the trend, an island can be added to almost any kitchen layout as long as it can be made to fit in.

Origin of kitchen islands

Kitchen islands derive their origin from wooden farm tables. Wooden farm tables were added to the kitchen to provide extra space required for preparing food. It soon became a place that families gathered to relax and socialise as they waited for food.  They soon turned out to become informal dining areas for families.  This became a tradition that has migrated to the formal kitchens today with modifications and advancements.

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