Kitchen Layout

Are you looking for kitchen layout ideas to increase the appearance and functionality of your home? You have taken a step in the right direction. The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home and it is one of the main things to consider when building a new house.

Did you know that renovating your kitchen can increase sale’s speed exponentially? A study done this year by Knock shows that the top home improvements that home buyers love are located in the kitchen.

Everyone loves a beautiful and well designed kitchen. So even if you are planning to stay in your home for many years to come you will get many benefits from it. In the past five years, open-concept and modern home designs have increased the importance of having an attractive kitchen even more.

Main Kitchen Layouts

A kitchen designer group kitchen in six basic kitchen layouts:

  • Island Kitchen Layout
  • Galley Kitchen Layout
  • U-Shaped Kitchen Layout
  • L-Shaped Kitchen Layout
  • Peninsula Kitchen Layout
  • One wall Kitchen Layout

1. Create a Focal Point with an Island

Kitchen islands are one of the hottest trends in kitchen design nowadays, ranking number one in the list of best kitchen layout ideas. They create extra storage space, improve the traffic by allowing movement around, add extra counter space for meal preparation as well as a casual seating area.

The island countertops can add light to the kitchen by going with light tones and shiny finishes that will reflect the light. They can also be the focal point of your kitchen. If you are not in a tight budget buy real stone or good quality quartz countertops. Pay special attention to the size of your island, you want to have enough space to easily move around it and open appliances doors without comfortably.

2. Do Not Underestimate the Backsplash

Believe it or not your kitchen backsplash is a very important part of your kitchen design. Not only will it protect your walls from messy foods and oils, it will also bring together the cabinetry and countertops.

The style, color, and material of your backsplash could change the feel of your entire kitchen. Bricks can give a kitchen an urban or farmhouse look depending on color and/or finishes; gloss or glass sub-tiles are more modern; and real stone in a herringbone design will create a more traditional look.

Do Not Underestimate the Backsplash

3. Take Advantage of Natural Light in Galley Layouts

Galley kitchen layouts are also known as Walk-through due to their shape. They are great for small spaces but they can be a little dark and feel tight when designed poorly. There are many tricks to make a galley kitchen feel bigger but nothing beats bringing as much as natural light in.

Take advantage of natural light in your galley kitchen by adding windows and/or sky-lights to your kitchen. Make sure at least one of the windows can be open. This will also bring fresh air from outside when your hood-fan can’t keep up with the food smells.

Take Advantage of Natural Light in Galley Layouts
47 Best Galley Kitchen Designs by Decoholic

4. Optimize the Corner Space in U Shaped Kitchen Layouts

U-shaped kitchen layouts offer three sides that allow you to add more cabinet and counter space than other designs. More traditional u-shaped kitchen will have three walls but modern designs are usually composed of two walls and a peninsula which open more space and create a seating area for informal eating.

This layout is ideal for medium to large kitchens and can be complemented by a mobile island or kitchen carts. A downside to the U-shaped kitchen is the lower cabinets on the inside corners. Consider optimizing them by built-in corner pull-outs, half lazy susan shelves, or blind corner drawers, as shown on the image below.

Optimize the Corner Space in U Shaped Kitchen Layouts
Corner Drawers by Driven by Decor

5. Extend Upper Cabinets to Ceiling in L Shaped Kitchen Layout

L-shaped kitchens are great and very popular but the downside is that you have limited storage space compared to other designs like the U-shaped kitchen. Extending the upper cabinets to the ceiling is an efficient way of fixing that problem.

This not only creates room for your seasonal and less often used items, it will also give your kitchen a luxury look. It’ll also eliminate the accumulation of dust and oil on top of the upper kitchen cabinets.

Extend Upper Cabinets to Ceiling in L Shaped Kitchen Layout

6. Add a Peninsula to Decrease Unnecessary Traffic

Peninsulas are very similar to islands but they are better suited for kitchens that do not have the appropriate square footage for a standard island. Peninsulas do not stand free in your kitchen, one end is attached to the wall which usually reduces unnecessary traffic in the kitchen.

Adding a peninsula to your kitchen will increase your counter space for meal preparation and other kitchen tasks as well. Don’t forget to overhang the countertop on one side, so you can add chairs or stools to sit comfortable on your peninsula.

Add a Peninsula to Decrease Unnecessary Traffic

7. Make a One-wall Layout Three Dimensional

One wall layouts are minimalistic and are very good for a small kitchen but sometimes they can feel a bit unidimensional. If you are designing a one wall kitchen layout or want to change its appearance consider adding a mobile island, stand-alone butcher block, or kitchen cart. These will make your kitchen feel three dimensional and add more counter space.

Make a One-wall Layout Three Dimensional

What to Consider When Designing Your Kitchen

Sink Position

When designing your kitchen the first thing that you decide is where do you want your sink to be. This isn’t a new trick, designers have been doing this for many years. The sink is where we spend the majority of time while in the kitchen.

Consider positioning your kitchen sink under a window, preferably with a nice view, or in the island facing the adjacent room (family room, living room or/and dining room). This could be a more challenging task in one-wall and L-shaped kitchen layouts.

Sink Position

Stove Position

Consider positioning your stove backing into an exterior wall rather than in an island or interior wall, if possible. This will allow you to install the range hood exhaust vent straight out through the wall which makes the ventilation system more efficient in eliminating odors, steam and smoke from your kitchen area.

If you do not have the option of placing the stove on an exterior wall, I recommend you go for an interior wall and lastly the island. Hood fans over the island tend to look kind of on the way, if installed at the recommended manufacture height from the stove top. Glass range hoods are more discreet than other types of range hoods over the island.

Stove Position

Distance Between Kitchen Island and Appliances

There are many kitchen layout ideas to choose from but they will be restricted by the space you have available for your kitchen. It is very important to leave enough space between the island and the rest of the kitchen. You need to leave room for opening the appliances doors but not too much, the outline of your island should still be within your kitchen limits.

Remember that you can always go smaller with your island but do not compromise the room you need to swing comfortable doors in your kitchen. It helps to check the clearance of your appliances but most designers recommend to leave 42 inches of space between islands and cabinets/appliances, or 48 inches if you share the cooking space with someone else in the house.

Distance Between Kitchen Island and Appliances

Make the Kitchen Comfortable and Efficient

It is very helpful to place yourself inside your kitchen design when figuring out where do you want your dishwasher and pull out garbage with respect to your sink, or how far is your fridge and your oven from your stove.

It is very standard to position your pull-out garbage can below or to the right of your sink while the dishwasher stays close to the left. This shortens the distance you have to move your garbage, left overs and dirty dishes around. Consider placing the fridge not too far from your stove, and the oven as close as possible, so the range hood can remove odors coming out of your oven easier and faster.

Make the Kitchen Comfortable and Efficient

Vertical Storage

Adding storage is one of the most common kitchen layout ideas. The best and more efficient way to create storage in your kitchen is by adding a storage wall to your design. They are very convenient and can be designed to maximize the use of space.

Think about extending your kitchen cabinets to the ceilings together with your storage wall. This is a good way of creating storage space for small appliances, seasonal items, baking accessories, etc. Some storage walls are designed to cover the need of a conventional pantry.

Make the Kitchen Comfortable and Efficient

Kitchen Traffic

Kitchen are considered high-traffic areas in a home. Be smart when choosing a material to cover the floor space. I prefer floor tiles for the kitchen to eliminate the wear and tear of the floor which will keep your floor space looking new for longer. Tiles also give you a large range of colors and design to choose from. Tiles are also the most environmentally-friendly flooring made out of natural materials.

Make the Kitchen Comfortable and Efficient

Hardwood flooring is also a beautiful option but is prone to scratches and dents. Adding an anti-fatigue floor mat to stand in front of your kitchen sink is a good way to mitigate some of the wear and tear of the floor.

These mats come in many styles and colors so you can find one that blends in with your floor. They feel great in your feet and help to reduce discomfort on your legs when standing in front of your sink washing dishes after a big meal or party at home. Also a great option if you find tile flooring too hard on your feet.

Map out the Design in the Kitchen Space

The best thing to do, if you don’t feel comfortable visualizing your design in real life, is to map it out the design in the space where the new kitchen will be, or in a similar size room. You can use painter’s tape to mark the floor where your island/cabinets will go, use a different color of tape to map appliances and their door clearance.

This will allow you to walk around and have a more realistic feel of your kitchen layout. Pay special attention when designing a galley kitchen since the traffic will be in two directions and sometimes are turned into a thoroughfare.


What are the 6 types of kitchen layouts?

The six types of kitchen layout ideas are: Island layout, Galley or Walk-through kitchen layout, Horseshoe or U-shaped kitchen, L-shaped kitchen, Peninsula layout, and One wall kitchen layout.

What is the best way to layout a kitchen?

The best way to lay out your kitchen is by taking into consideration your daily routine, lifestyle and the space you have available for your kitchen. My favorite is the L-Shaped layouts because they decrease traffic, work great in small and medium size kitchens, and maximize corner space by reducing the amount of low corner cabinets, which are so hard to optimize. If you have a large space for your kitchen consider adding an island to the design. It will add extra surface for meal preparation, storage and casual seating space.

What is the most functional kitchen layout?

The most functional kitchen layout is the L-shaped. The popularity of this layout is mainly due to its versatility. It can be adjusted for any kitchen size. This layout consists of cabinetry and appliances along two adjacent walls, leaving the rest of the kitchen area open, eliminating obstruction by the oven, dishwasher and/ or refrigerator doors when open.

What are the 4 basic kitchen plan layouts?

The four basic kitchen plan layouts are: L-shaped kitchen, U-shaped kitchen, Galley kitchen, and One wall kitchen layout. This is usually where designers begin before moving into other kitchen layout ideas.


How you layout your kitchen has a big impact on both how well it functions and how good it looks. And while there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to kitchen layouts, there are a few things to keep in mind that will help you create a kitchen that works for you.

First, think about how you use your kitchen. Are you a gourmet cook who loves to entertain? Or do you prefer simple, weeknight meals? This will help you determine the best layout for your kitchen.

Second, take a look at your floor plan and the existing architectural features of your home. This will help you determine which kitchen layout will work best with the space you have.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative!