5 Common Kitchen Layouts

by Jane VanOsdol on August 9, 2011

Cabinets, flooring, lighting. Countertops, appliances, backsplashes.  If you’ve ever remodeled your kitchen, you know the multitude of decisions you’re faced with almost on a daily basis. However your first decision will be one of your most important because it will effect all the other decisions:  your kitchen layout.

Designers work off of five basic kitchen layouts.

  • The L-shaped Kitchen

    U-shaped Kitchen

  • The U-shaped Kitchen
  • The G-shaped Kitchen
  • The Single-wall or Straight Kitchen
  • The Corridor Kitchen

If your current kitchen layout isn’t working for you, consult with your kitchen remodeling professional about the type of layout you would prefer and the feasibility of changing it. If you plan on being in your home for a long time, then it will be worth any added expense to reconfigure the space to have it just the way you want it. Besides the convenience, you’ll save yourself  the mental stress of having to work in a less-than-ideal space for the rest of your life. Let’s look at each type of design and see which one might be the right choice for your home improvement project.

L-shaped Kitchen

A L-shaped kitchen is layed out in an L pattern with your cupboards and appliances on two adjacent walls. This layout creates an efficient work triangle, while opening the space to make it accessible for entertaining and visiting with family while you cook.

The U-shaped Kitchen

This is probably the most versatile layout for any size kitchen because it offers the cook a plethora of work surfaces and storage on three walls of the kitchen. If you have a large space to work with, the U-shaped design will afford you several different work spaces to accommodate more than one cook. The ample storage will allow you to stash many of your smaller appliances out of sight, keeping your countertops free of clutter for a streamlined workspace.

The G-shaped Kitchen

The G-shaped kitchen has the same configuration as the U-shaped kitchen, meaning lots of storage. The difference, however, is that the G-shaped kitchen adds a peninsula or more storage on part of the fourth wall. This layout does have a tendency to feel cramped. You may want to open the space by opening the wall to an adjacent room to create a breakfast bar or pass through.

The Single-wall or Straight Kitchen

You’ll often find this layout in smaller homes. All of your appliances and cabinets lie in a straight line along a single wall. To maximize your storage, see if your kitchen remodeling professional can fit in a roomy pantry cupboard and order full floor-to-ceiling cabinets.

The Corridor or Galley Kitchen

This is also generally a smaller space, although you have more work area than in the Single-wall layout. In this layout your cupboards and appliances face each other on parallel walls, which may make your kitchen seem dark. Be sure to use cabinet lighting and task lighting if necessary to help you with the daily chores of cooking and cleaning.

Ultimately, when you’re planning your kitchen remodeling project, consider your needs—how many cooks will be in the kitchen, the space you have, and if your budget allows for reconfiguring to choose your perfect kitchen layout. Take the time you need now to get it right, and you’ll be rewarded with years of enjoyment.

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