Is your kitchen layout just not working for you? If you find your layout leaves your kitchen feeling dated and ineffective, it is time for a kitchen remodel! The right layout for your new kitchen may depend on a number of factors such as your available space, how many people use the kitchen, and how often you cook and entertain.

The kitchen layout is the foundation of every kitchen design.  Get this right, and everything else will fall into place.  Get it wrong, and the best kitchen cabinet, countertop, and tile selections will not achieve your design goals.  Do your own research on the different types of kitchen layouts, and work with an experienced kitchen design professional to determine which one is right for you. Two of the most common and popular kitchen layout styles are U-shaped and L-shaped, as they suit a wide range of kitchen styles. Read on to see which of these layouts would best fit your lifestyle and space.

L-Shaped Kitchen Designs

kitchen design with pendant lights


L-Shaped layouts work best in medium sized kitchens. Two rows of cabinets meet at the corner with ample space for storage and appliances. This design suits open floor plans as the sides of the L can sit against the walls, opening out onto the living and dining area. This is a more sociable setup than the mostly enclosed U-shape. Two cooks can work comfortably together in an L-shape layout. The open space means an island or table and chairs can fit in even the most modest of spaces.


Your work triangle still functions well but out of the stove, refrigerator and sink, two will be on one side instead of one on each wall.  This is not as critical in today’s kitchen design that is often based on work zones, but make sure you still have easy access between these key areas and plenty of room to work. Privacy is not really an option in this kitchen design though and two walls give less storage space, though this may be offset by including an island with plenty of storage and workspace.

U-Shaped Kitchens

U-shaped kitchen design


U-Shaped layouts are ideal for spacious kitchen designs. There are three walls of cabinets and countertops, meeting at right angles, forming a U shape.

This layout offers a slightly more enclosed kitchen space due to the three walls, but still pairs well with an open plan kitchen design and where sufficient space allows with an island.  You could also add a sliding pocket door or barn door to further enclose the area when desired. If you want your u-shape design to feel more open, then have a peninsula with seating on one side. Facing the opening of the U onto another room enlarges your design by creating an open plan design that incorporates an adjacent dining or living area.  U-shaped kitchens also provide a lot of storage, due to the cabinet potential on all the walls. This kitchen layout allows you to create an efficient work triangle with the stove, refrigerator and sink on different walls and an island in the center of the space. It is also very conducive to setting up efficient kitchen work zones with distinct areas for food preparation, clean up, entertaining, or even a separate baking area, particularly in a large U-shaped kitchen design.


Corner cabinets can be difficult to access without customized pull-out shelving or appliance lifts.  Our kitchen design experts are very experienced at finding the ideal kitchen cabinet style and storage accessories to get the most out of these spaces. A U-shaped kitchen may not cater as well for more than one person cooking at a time, but this can be addressed with careful planning of your work zones and by adding an island in a larger U-shaped design. Make sure the space inside your “U” is large enough to accommodate your preferred island, so it does not disrupt the workflow in your kitchen.

An L-shaped layout, particularly when paired with an island, suits an open plan design. It’s easier to cook alongside someone else and interact with children or guests as you work. A U-shaped layout is good for storage and efficiency and, can be paired with an island or table in a larger kitchen, or a peninsula for a smaller kitchen.

Check out our gallery to see whether a U-shaped or L-shaped layout would work in your kitchen design. Call us today to talk to our design experts and get started on your dream kitchen remodel.