Kitchen Layouts Explained

Kitchen Layouts Explained

Kitchen Layouts Explained

The layout of your new kitchen will depend on your space, whether you are having an open plan set up and of course your own preferences. Most kitchen designs will take the shape of one of these classic layouts, so we’ll go through each one and show you some fabulous kitchens along the way.

U-shape kitchen layout

This is probably the most popular layout and works really well in almost every home. It works especially well with an island or peninsula incorporated into an open plan setting. This layout will give you plenty of storage, worktop space and in combination with an island/peninsula breakfast bar, will also provide a spot for casual dining.

These are two great examples of classic U-shaped kitchen layouts with a peninsula feature.


If you don’t incorporate an island or peninsula but you do have an open plan kitchen and diner, you can feel like you’ve got your back to people whenever you’re working in the kitchen.

L-shape kitchen layout

This flexible layout works in both small and large kitchen designs, giving you a good amount of worktop space. The L-shape looks great in classic or contemporary styles. Pictured below are two in-frame shaker kitchens, one for a modest sized kitchen and one for a much larger open plan space.


The L-shape in a small kitchen or without an island, is the most limited on worktop space so you need to be vigilant with clutter! Build in enough storage so you can keep the worktops clean and clear.

Galley kitchen layout

Galley layouts are really used for narrow kitchens and maximising space. They work best with more modern or simple classic styles. You want to optimise space here so pared back styles work best. Light worktops will also help make your kitchen feel more spacious.

We love the contrast of style in these two galley kitchens, with both enjoying plenty of light and a sense of space created through the colour schemes and materials used.


In a small and narrow room where there just isn’t the option to create an open plan kitchen, there isn’t a downside to a galley kitchen layout, it is the most practical design. Do work with your designer to plan carefully where you want your oven, sink and fridge to make working in a narrow space as practical as possble.

Island kitchen layout

If you have the space, a layout incorporating a kitchen island offers the most flexible design. Using the island in combination with one run of cabinets as shown in the kitchens below, looks absolutely fabulous in an open plan setting.

Of course, islands work in other layouts too and we love these two examples below. The island in the contemporary blue kitchen provides dining and workspace, whilst the island in the shaker kitchen is over 4m in length! It is both an impressive design feature and entirely practical element in this lovely stable conversion kitchen.

We really like putting one of the main ‘services’ on the island, for example the sink or the hob. This helps create a really sociable kitchen where whoever is working at the island, can still engage with family and friends, rather than have their back to the action and conversations.

My kitchen won’t suit any of these layouts!

If you don’t have a straightforward space or are looking to create something completely different, that’s no problem. These layouts are popular design choices but we love coming up with a design solution to every brief. Tell us all about your kitchen and your dream layout in our free design consultation.

If you would like to learn more about our bespoke kitchen design service, pop into the book an appointment at info@kitchensbespoke.co.uk or on 01342 313 133. We can host you in the showroom or come to your home. Alternatively, pop into our East Grinstead showroom next time you’re passing.

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