From choosing the perfect colour palette to picking the best wood for your countertops, there’s a lot of considerations to make when designing your dream kitchen — and deciding on the perfect layout is at the very top of that list.
The layout is what ensures your kitchen space is functional, practical and tailor-made to your personal preferences. It’s knowing what will go where to make your kitchen life easier. Where to place your kitchen larder and whether it will be a place for storage or a preparation space too, whether your family will dine in your kitchen and how you want them to best enjoy this place, and whether you’ll have a utility room to house your appliances or you need ways to cleverly conceal them with cabinetry. These are all considerations that will help decide the best layout for your kitchen and help you get the most out of your space.
In short, ergonomics play a huge role. Getting the worktop heights right, ensuring the space is comfortable to move around, your appliances are made easy to access and so much more. So before you start thinking about colour schemes, materials and what countertops will give you the right aesthetic, start by designing the perfect kitchen layout.
And to help you, we’ve listed the 5 most popular kitchen layout options to help you best plan your space based on your wants and needs.
One Wall Kitchen
Ideal for those with a smaller space that still want an impactful kitchen, the simplicity of a one wall layout is able to maximise efficiency without compromising on functionality. Essentially, this kind of kitchen layout consists of cabinets installed on a single wall, with upper and lower cabinets – or shelving on top and cabinets below – to create a modern and clean aesthetic.
Our expert advice: because you are more limited in terms of width, the trick here is to think vertically and create as much extra storage space as possible by utilising the height of your wall, even if that’s using the space above your cabinets as extra storage.
The advantages of a galley kitchen are easy to understand, and at the top of the pile is the economical storage solutions they offer. That’s because this layout is made up of two rows of cabinets facing each other to create a galley between them, thus removing the need for corner cupboards in favour of using every millimetre of space. Of course, this style of kitchen has been slightly phased out as more and more renovations opt for open plan living, but they still offer a practical solution for smaller spaces.
Our expert advice: having the extra row of cabinets and worktops, a galley kitchen instantly offers more flexibility than a one wall kitchen, especially in terms of storage space. But to maximise this space in terms of functionality and movement, we recommend installing the primary work areas along just one of the walls, especially if you have a big family or multiple cooks in the house.
Whether you have a small or large space to work with, an L-shaped kitchen layout is one of the most practical and versatile options you can go with. With shaker cabinets installed along two perpendicular walls and some space-saving storage solutions installed in the corner, an L-shaped kitchen is perfectly designed to put practicality at the front of your needs, as well as a lot more flexibility when it comes to where your appliances will live, where your workstations will be positioned and how the space is used by the rest of the family.
Our expert advice: the secret to maximising the efficiency and functionality of an L-shaped kitchen is making the most of the corner. So to avoid losing any valuable space, have your kitchen designer include a pantry cupboard, as well as a breakfast bar on the opposite corner. This way you’ll gain a huge asset in the form of a creative storage solution, as well as more ways to enjoy your kitchen.
This is one for larger kitchens, utilising three adjacent walls in order to maximise both the cabinet and worktop space to unlock your kitchen’s full potential. That’s because this type of kitchen layout allows you to better separate the cooking and preparation areas while giving you ample storage space to create a functional, practical and aesthetically dreamy place to call home. And the best part of it all: the space in the middle is yours to play with. From a kitchen island to a dining table, the U-shape design allows you to create a space on your preferences.
Our expert advice: while the layout offers an ample amount of storage, it can feel enclosed if you add upper cabinets to all three walls. To avoid this, we recommend installing upper cabinets on just two walls, instead opting for either open shelves, feature wall tiles or a postcard-perfect hob hood on the other.
Arguably the most popular kitchen layout option right now, especially in open plan living spaces, the island kitchen offers something for everyone. From large worktop surfaces for the whole family to get involved with cooking to creative storage solutions added to the middle of your kitchen, to creating an extra space for everyone to be together, opting for an island kitchen allows you to get a lot more practical, personal and creative with your space. Of course, this option relies heavily on having the space, but adding one to your kitchen layout is also a great way to dictate the natural traffic flow in your space.
Our expert advice: more than just a centrepiece in your kitchen, islands allow you to utilise your kitchen as both a work space and social area where friends and family gravitate throughout the day (whether food is being prepared or not). And because of its position in the heart of your kitchen, your island also allows you to have fun with your colour scheme, lighting and where you store your kitchen accessories.
For more information on the best kitchen layouts for your space, we have a virtual kitchen design service to help you plan your dream home. And for more kitchen designs and cooking inspiration, follow us on Instagram and Facebook — or come and visit us at one of our kitchen showrooms.