35 Kitchen Layout Ideas, Including Pros and Cons

The kitchen is the heart of your home and can add substantial value to your home. Check out these kitchen design ideas for your next renovation.

A u-shaped kitchen with an island
Kitchen design ideas | Justin_Krug/Shutterstock

The kitchen is one of your home's most used rooms and can add a lot of value to your property. That is why many real estate agents and designers focus on making this not only a functional place for you to prepare and eat your meals but also appealing and timeless.

If you're considering renovating your kitchen or need ideas for improving your existing one, this post is for you. Read on as we share the best kitchen layout ideas to configure our space. We also include a list of pros and cons to help you decide which is right for you.

Common types of kitchen layouts

While you can design your kitchen any way you like, there are several configurations that have proven to work best in kitchens. Here are the six most common layouts you’ll find in a kitchen as well as their pros and cons.

Galley kitchen layout

A galley kitchen is a popular and efficient kitchen design that works extremely well in long, narrow spaces. Named after the food prep area on a ship, the galley kitchen is designed to maximize storage and prep areas in tight places. These types of kitchens are great in small apartments that don’t have a lot of space.

In galley kitchens, your cabinets, appliances and sink are placed along two walls that face each other. Place your sink, dishwasher and stove on one side of the wall and your fridge and additional space on the other to maximize the work triangle. Make sure that you have enough space between the cabinets and appliances on each side of the kitchen to move freely and can open your fridge, oven and dishwasher doors with ease.

Galley ktichen layout
Galley kitchen layout | Jodie Johnson/Shutterstock


  • Designed for space efficiency
  • Provide smooth traffic flow
  • Offers greater accessibility to kitchen essentials
  • Cost-effective


  • Can feel closed off
  • Not enough natural light
  • Limited storage space
  • Less space for multiple people to move around

L-shaped kitchen layout

The L-shaped kitchen is arranged like the letter L, hence the name. While you still have two walls, unlike a galley kitchen, they are adjacent, not parallel. These types of kitchens are also very efficient and are a popular choice for small spaces and apartments.

In an L-shaped kitchen, you can easily move around between the sink, stove and fridge. As the cabinets are only on two walls, there is plenty of room for multiple people to move around without bumping into each other. These kitchens are a great option for busy families, open-concept living and entertaining.

L-shaped kitchen layout
L-shape kitchen layout ideas | Ground Picture/Shutterstock


  • Efficient work triangle
  • Designed for small and medium-sized spaces
  • A great option for open-plan homes
  • Can be used by multiple people at once


  • Limited storage space
  • May lack extra prep space
  • Can limit traffic flow in and out of the kitchen
  • Costly to remodel

U-shaped kitchen layout

The U-shaped kitchen gets its name from the way it’s laid out. All the cabinets and appliances are arranged on three walls, much like the letter U. This is a popular kitchen design that favors efficiency, storage and functionality.

U-shaped kitchens work well in larger spaces and are great for separating your kitchen from other areas of the house. They can accommodate multiple cooks at once and offer plenty of prep space and storage.

U-shaped kitchen layout
U-shaped kitchen |Toyakisphoto\Shutterstock


  • Lots of storage and counter space
  • Optimal work triangle design
  • Creates natural traffic flow
  • Can be used by multiple people simultaneously


  • Not optimal for small spaces
  • Only one way in and out of the kitchen
  • Not great for open-concept homes
  • Can be costly

Peninsula kitchen layout

Peninsula kitchens are similar to L-shaped and U-shaped kitchens but with more versatility. Think of this design as an L-shaped kitchen with added island on the third side or a U-shaped kitchen with one of the sides shorter and more open.

This type of kitchen is a great mix of functionality and storage. Peninsula kitchens are great for smaller spaces, and the added kitchen island can be used for creating seating space, thus eliminating the need for a separate dining area. This solution works well in a home where you might not have enough room for both kitchen and dining areas.

Peninsula kitchen layout
Peninsula kitchen | Gabi Moisa/Shutterstock


  • Ideal for open-concept homes
  • Customizable to fit different kitchen sizes and shapes
  • Can serve as a breakfast bar or eating area
  • Increased counter and prep space


  • Doesn’t provide separation between the kitchen and the rest of the home
  • Can be inefficient for larger kitchens
  • One entryway to the kitchen
  • Might require custom design and cabinetry

Single-wall kitchen layout

Single-wall or one-wall kitchens are arranged against one wall, as the name suggests. This compact kitchen design is a great solution for small spaces or oddly shaped rooms, as you only need one wall. Placing all your appliances, cabinets and countertops along a single wall is also practical and can save a lot of space.

To make the most out of a single-wall layout, add counter space between appliances and the sink, and leave enough room for the fridge to open. To add storage, go vertical with tall cabinets.

single-wall or one-wall kitchen layout
Single-wall kitchen ideas | Prostock-studio/Shutterstock


  • Efficient use of space
  • Works in any home or apartment design
  • Great for efficient workflow
  • Cost-effective


  • Limited storage and prep space
  • Can feel crowded
  • No proper work triangle
  • Not great for entertaining

Kitchen island layout

A kitchen with an island offers the greatest flexibility, is ideally suited for entertaining and adds visual appeal to any home. The kitchen island is a free-standing section, typically cabinets with a countertop, arranged in the middle of the kitchen. It offers additional prep and storage space and can be used for seating.

Depending on the size of your kitchen, you can even add two islands to create additional prep space. For smaller areas, consider a movable island that can be moved around as needed. You can also install your sink or stovetop on your island to give yourself more space to work.

black kitchen with ktichen island
kitchen island layout | alexandre zveiger/Shutterstock


  • Add extra storage
  • Can be used as a dining space
  • Works well in open or closed kitchens
  • Great for entertaining and socializing


  • Won’t work in small spaces
  • Might require special plumbing and ventilation
  • Expensive to install

Common kitchen designs

Square kitchen ideas

Square kitchens are the most common design in homes. You’ll typically find them in apartments and older homes. The most common square kitchen size is 10x10’ but you might also come across 12x12’ design. The best square kitchen layout ideas include U-shape, L-shape and G-shape. G-shape combines U-design with additional peninsula or cabinetry on the fourth floor.

square kitchen layout
Square kitchen ideas | Dariusz Jarzabek/Shutterstock

Narrow kitchen layout ideas

Like their square cousins, narrow kitchens are common in small spaces like apartments and old homes. They were designed with functionality more so than style in mind. To take advantage of your arrow kitchen, go for a galley or single-wall kitchen layout.

narrow kitchen layout
Narrow kitchen layouts | STEFI PANCHESCO/Shutterstock

Long kitchen layout ideas

One thing to remember is that long kitchens aren’t always narrow. You can have a long kitchen with plenty of room to play with. L-shape, galley and one-wall kitchen layouts will work best in a long kitchen. You can always add a breakfast nook to balance the cabinetry and create a functional space.

long kitchen layout
Long kitchen layout solution | Dariusz Jarzabek/Shutterstock

Corner kitchen layout ideas

Depending on how much space you have available, you can easily fit an L-shaped or peninsula kitchen. If you have an open-plan layout, you can even complement your corner kitchen with a kitchen island that can also function as a dining area.

corner kitchen layout
Corner kitchen ideas | Basileus/Shutterstock

Kitchen layout combinations

There are many different ways to design your kitchen. In many instances, you can combine it with other areas in your home for added functionality. Here are some of the most common kitchen layout combinations to consider.

Kitchen-family room combo

Open-concept designs are great for combing kitchens with other areas of your house. A kitchen-family room combination lets everyone get involved in prepping food and cleaning up. It also lets you keep an eye on your kids when you're busy in the kitchen.

kitchen and family room design
Kitchen and family room combination | Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Combined kitchen dining room

If you host a lot of dinner parties, having the kitchen close to the dining area is practical and functional. It still lets you be close to the stove and the fridge but also offers a separate area for entertaining, so you don't feel like you're sitting in the kitchen.

kitchen with a dining area
Kitchen and dining room solution| Sheila Say/Shutterstock

Kitchen-living room layouts

Homes with an open-concept design offer greater flexibility in how you use your kitchen and interact with others. Gone are the days when your kitchen was isolated from the dining and living areas, separating the person cooking from social interactions.

upscale kitchen living room desing
Combine your kitchen and living room | Justin_Krug/Shutterstock

Small living room kitchen combo

You don't need to have a large space to enjoy an open-concept design. Turn your island into a multi-functional asset by adding stools for added seating and dining. By placing your sink and stovetop on the island, you're also taking advantage of a front-facing design that lets you interact with your guests.

small apartment kitchen island
Small living room kitchen | Artur_Nyk/Shutterstock

Get inspired by a restaurant kitchen

Restaurant kitchens are designed primarily for functionality. Place your spices and dry goods on open shelves and hand your most used kitchen utensils on a bar under the top cabinets. This will give you quick access to supplies and give your kitchen that restaurant vibe.

restaurant style kitchen at home
Get inspired by a restaurant kitchen | Zastolskiy Victor/Shutterstock

Add commercial kitchen elements

If you've ever watched a show like MasterChef, you've probably been a bit jealous of the high-end appliances and the walk-in pantry. To give your kitchen that professional commercial vibe, go for stainless steel and choose luxurious, high-end appliances. Finish it up with minimal decor and lots of light fixtures.

commercial inspired kitchen with lots of steel
Make your kitchen look like a commercial one | pics721/Shutterstock

Make it a farmhouse kitchen

Add some rustic beams, wooden window frames and metal or wood light fixtures to create that farmhouse feel even if you don't live in the country. Go for light walls to add brightness and bring out the wooden elements.

farmhouse inspired kitchen
Add some farmhouse vibes | Artazum/Shutterstock

Set up an outdoor kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is a great dining option in the summer. Set up a simple island-style or one-wall kitchen for your cooking necessities. Add a large kitchen table and an overhead awning to take advantage of al fresco dining and keep out of the direct sun.

Outdoor kitchen oasis
Dine al fresco | brizmaker/Shutterstock

Opt for a tiny house kitchen

Tiny home kitchens are designed for functionality. They usually incorporate multi-functional furniture, hidden storage and compact appliances. You can create your own tiny home kitchen in a small apartment or if you are short on space. Creativity is your greatest asset for creating a tiny house kitchen.

tiny house kitchen
Get inspired by a tiny house kitchen | ppa/Shutterstock

Kitchen with island and pantry

Create the ultimate luxury by incorporating a built-in pantry and a large island in your kitchen. You can use the island for storing pots and pans and trash containers. Display glassware, plates and decorative bowls in the panty and use them when needed. A free-standing or built-in panty can also act as a focal feature in your kitchen.

kitchen with an island, dining table and a pantry
Add a kitchen and a pantry | Justin_Krug/Shutterstock

Design a modern kitchen

If you like minimalistic and functional spaces, go for a modern kitchen design. Sleek, white cabinetry with handleless doors and built-in appliances will give you plenty of functionality. Add black finishes and track lighting to create a contrast that adds visual appeal to your space.

modern white kitchen
Go for a modern kitchen design | bezikus/Shutterstock

Tips for choosing the best kitchen layout

Each kitchen is unique and should be designed to offer function and match the style of the homeowner. No matter what size or layout you choose for your kitchen, there are a few common things to keep in mind.

Enhance your space

Your kitchen should be practical and suitable to your lifestyle, but it should also make the best of your space. A great kitchen layout can enhance your home’s design. Use light colors on your wall, especially in small areas and try to avoid adding too many details, as they can make your space feel cluttered.

modern kitchen with blue cabinest and stainless steel finishes
A great kitchen layout makes your life easier | Anatoli Igolkin/Shutterstock

Work out storage zones

Storage is always a key element of any kitchen design. Group your items by function and place them near the areas in which you’ll be using them. Large and heavy pots should be stored in bottom cabinets and near the stove, whereas coffee cups should be placed near the coffee station. You might also want to place your cutlery in a drawer near the dishwasher so it’s easier to put away.

pull out spice drawere
Storage solutions | P A/Shutterstock

Make it ergonomic

Ergonomics is about designing spaces that are optimized for your well-being. Your kitchen layout and design should be optimized for function and to prevent injury. Install your cabinets and countertops at the right height for easier access, and store more frequently used items on lower shelves. Think of how you use the space and design the layout accordingly.

ergonomic kitchen design
Ergonomic design | HENADZI KlLENT/Shutterstock

Add a pantry

A pantry is a separate area for storing dry goods, snacks, other foods, and less frequently used items or appliances. It can be attached to your kitchen (butler style), built-in or free-standing. Pantries offer additional storage and can add visual appeal to your kitchen.

Walk-in pantry
Add a pantry | C Woods Photography/Shutterstock

Maximize storage and workspace

Having ample storage and workspace will make your food prep a lot easier and enjoyable. If you’re short on space, consider incorporating creative solutions like pull-out cutting board drawers or a Lazy Susan to make the most of your space.

pull out shelf for pots and pans
Kitchen storage solutions | RYosha/Shutterstock

Use your alcoves

Take advantage of unusual features in your kitchen and make them work for you. Alcoves are great for built-in shelving and cabinetry. This approach is a creative solution to adding storage space to your kitchen.

Incorporate a dining nook

Create a cozy breakfast area in your kitchen with built-in benches and a small table. It’s a great way to use any empty space or hide unsightly wires. A dining nook can add storage and create extra space for eating or working.

dining nook
Add a dining nook | Justin_Krug/Shutterstock


Updating and renovating your kitchen is a significant investment that can add extra value to your property. Even if you’re not looking to sell your home anytime soon, investing in your kitchen can be a great way to improve how you use your space. If you’re unsure where to begin, consider using Planner 5D’s kitchen planner to help you get started with your project.


What are the 6 types of kitchen layouts?

There are six key kitchen layouts commonly used in design: galley layout, L-shaped, U-shaped, island, peninsula and single (one-wall).

What is a kitchen work triangle?

The kitchen work triangle is a design concept that involves placing the sink, stove, and refrigerator in a triangular arrangement to optimize workflow and efficiency in the kitchen.

What is the best way to lay out a kitchen?

The best way to lay out a kitchen is to start with the work triangle as a guide, ensuring that the three primary work areas are close to each other while leaving adequate space for movement and storage.

What is the most efficient layout for a kitchen?

The most efficient layout for a kitchen depends on the size and shape of the room. Opt for an open-plan design that maximizes counter space and storage while allowing for easy movement and access to appliances.

Where should the refrigerator be placed?

The refrigerator should be placed in a convenient location that is easily accessible from the primary work areas but also out of the way of foot traffic and other appliances that generate heat, such as the stove or oven.

Where should pots and pans go in the kitchen?

Pots and pans should be stored in a location that is easily accessible and close to the stove or cooktop. This could be in a cabinet or drawer below the cooktop or a nearby pantry or storage area. Hanging racks or hooks can also save cabinet space and make pots and pans more visible and accessible.

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