Kitchen Layouts Explained


Kitchen Layouts Explained

October 18, 2021
Modern kitchen with wooden pannels and a white table and chair set

Choosing a kitchen layout depends mainly on the size and shape of your space, unless you’re renovating or extending the room whereby you can choose a new design if you wish.

In this guide, we will take you through the pros and cons of each layout, so you know how to make the most of your kitchen design.

The Working Triangle

The working triangle is a guideline for kitchen designs to help plan the space efficiently. Each corner of the triangle represents the sink, fridge, and cooker, and means that as you’re preparing and cooking food, you can move between these appliances with ease (if designed correctly).

Each kitchen designer worth their salt considers the working triangle, and each one of these kitchen shapes takes into regard the triangle guidelines, maximising the ergonomics and usability of a kitchen.

Find out more about the working triangle in our complete guide to renovating your kitchen.

Modern style grey kitchen in an open flat

What are the Best Kitchen Layout Types?

There are four most common kitchen layouts used in the UK and they’re chosen based on a few different factors, including the size of the kitchen, budgets, how many people use the kitchen and how sociable you want to space to be. They are:

A Galley Kitchen

If your kitchen is long and narrow, a galley kitchen is likely going to be the best kitchen type to make the most of your space.
A galley kitchen is great for creating linear shapes and drawing the eye through the kitchen to the doors or window at the end, helping to create the appearance of light and space.

How much worktop space you’ve got in these designs depends on how long the room is, but these are great for creating a streamlined look and are functional if you’re stuck for space.

The working triangle in a galley kitchen usually has two elements on one side and the third on the other, but spaced in a way that doesn’t make cooking food feel cramped.

The U-Shaped Kitchen

A U-shape kitchen has a lot to offer, from plenty of storage withthe cabinets sprawling across three walls, to the floor space for moving around comfortably. These types of designs allow for double cabinetry to maximise storage, but try to avoid double cupboards on all three walls as this can make the room feel crowded.

Be mindful to spread the three core appliances wisely so the working triangle isn’t crammed into one corner. In a U-shape kitchen, you typically find the oven on one wall, the sink in the middle on the horizontal wall and the fridge on the third wall.

Modern trendy kitchen with white units and black countertop

The L-Shaped Kitchen

One of the most popular choices, the L-shape kitchen works great in smaller spaces, especially in flats with open-plan living.

The L-shape consists of cabinets on two of the four walls, creating an open space that allows light to flow through the area.

Depending on the length of the worktops, the L design can offer a lot of flexibility with locations for the working triangle.

An Island Kitchen

An aspirational layout for many, adding an island to your kitchen can not only increase the value of the home, but it also creates a social space that’s easy to entertain in. A kitchen with an island typically uses the L-shape kitchen as its base, with the island adding affluence to it.

Some homeowners choose to have appliances built into the island to use as an extension of their cooking space, where others prefer to have an island double up as storage and worktop space — with bar stools for socialising.

The working triangle works across either design you choose, making the island kitchen a top choice for effective and efficient use.

Remember, the size and shape of your kitchen is going to impact which shape you can have. If you’re looking to buy a new kitchen, we’ve got a helpful article on how much a new kitchen costs.

Expensive kitchen with modern appliances

Hiring a Kitchen Fitter

Whether you’re having a new kitchen fitted to your existing layout, or renovating the kitchen and wanting a new shape / style all together, a quality kitchen fitter is paramount.

Post a project today and let the tradespeople come to you.


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