Design Discussion: A Guide to Kitchen Layouts

Layout is perhaps the most important component to consider when building or renovating your kitchen space, as it will determine the functionality and efficiency of your kitchen.  Read on to learn about some popular kitchen layouts!

Galley Kitchen

Galley kitchen layouts are ideal for smaller spaces.  Also known as walk-through kitchens, galley kitchen layouts are lean and efficient, made of two walls opposite each other, with walking space between them.  They optimize space by incorporating as much storage and work space as possible. An important tip for an efficient galley layout is to make sure the opposing sides are not too far apart from each other so that work zones are within efficient proximity. A drawback of galley layouts can be that they do not have an open-plan design, which is currently a popular choice in kitchen design.  One way you can combat the closed-off feeling in galley kitchens is to design all of your tall cabinetry on one side of the kitchen, allowing for some open space on your opposing kitchen wall.

L-Shaped Kitchen

In L-shaped kitchen layouts, a wall of countertop/cabinetry is removed, creating an L-shaped layout with two adjoining walls that are perpendicular. This layout is a good option for small to medium kitchen spaces, and can help keep a kitchen from feeling too cramped by opening it up.  L-shaped kitchen layouts offer spaces for designated work zones that are easily accessible, maximizing functionality.  It can also accommodate an island if the space is large enough, allowing for seating space for guests and even more prep space.

U-Shaped Kitchen

U-shaped kitchen layouts are another common kitchen layout that feature countertops, cabinetry, and workspaces on three walls, forming a U-shape.  A U-shaped kitchen can be beneficial in that it provides plenty of preparation and storage space, while offering the option of keeping various work zones clearly separated, but within close proximity for ease of access. A potential drawback of the U-shaped kitchen layout may be that it is not always ideal for entertaining guests if the space is narrow. However, if your u-shaped kitchen is wide enough, you can consider the option of including a kitchen island to accommodate guests with some seating space.

Open Layout/Island Kitchen

Island kitchen layouts feature an island as one of the main focal points of their space – and are commonly equipped with appliances (such as undercounter refrigeration, dishwashers, or range tops), seating, sinks, and additional cabinetry for extra storage.  Island kitchens are a wonderful choice for large, spacious kitchens, as they offer accessible storage space, extra preparation space, entertainment space, and extra seating space. They are often seen in spaces that utilize an open-layout concept, where the kitchen space flows into another space, such as the dining area or living area, or both.

Two-Island Kitchen

For more extravagant, spacious kitchens, two island kitchen layouts are a perfect choice.  Designing your kitchen space with two islands allows for additional preparation space, storage, seating, and entertainment.  It’s an easy way to fill empty space in your kitchen if the space will be particularly spacious and/or long.  It is also an opportunity to get more creative with your island designs – for example, the islands may be conjoined or separated, one island may be designed for cooking, with a range and preparation area, while the other may be designated for entertaining guests and offering additional seating.  While there are many possibilities when it comes to designing a kitchen with two islands, one thing is certain – you will have no shortage of storage and entertaining space!