Best Kitchen Layout Designs for Your Home

White "Showy" Kitchen
Jean Yves-Bruel / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

Everyone has different needs for their kitchen space. So how can you decide on the best layout without taking into account factors like the cook's needs, whether or not you want your kitchen to be a social hub and the need for nearby dining space? All of these factors acutely play into your decision to remodel your kitchen along the lines of one layout over another layout.

Yet, in the end, it is often the available kitchen space that dictates the layout. Unless yours is a custom-built home, it will have a certain amount and arrangement of space that points you toward a layout. Learn about the basic types of kitchen layouts available within a majority of homes, and how you can make changes within those layouts to make them more visually appealing and functional.

  • 01 of 04

    Corridor-Style or Galley Kitchen

    Eat-in galley kitchen.

    Johner Images / Getty Images

    A corridor-style kitchen consists of two parallel walls that are roughly 48 inches apart from each other once the cabinets have been installed. A corridor kitchen is a tight, narrow space often found in condominiums, apartments, and small single-family residences.


    From the standpoint of kitchen functions, the corridor style layout is beneficial because all of the crucial services are within close reach.

    Corridor-style kitchens are tucked away, leaving more floor space in the home available for other activities.


    One chief disadvantage of corridor kitchens is that they are only kitchens. Due to the tight spacing, it is impossible to fit a dining area or kitchen island in the kitchen. However, due to the close spacing of the two parallel counters, there is no need for an island.

    Corridor-style kitchens have poor resale value if the home is large enough to accommodate a larger kitchen.

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    L-Shaped Kitchen Layout

    L Shaped Kitchen Layout
    YinYang/Getty Images

    The L-shaped kitchen layout is a classic design that satisfies the needs of most medium-sized homes and has been used successfully for decades. Forming the letter "L," cabinets extend in two directions, often with one section of cabinets longer than the other section.


    This layout utilizes the concept of the kitchen triangle, where workflow is organized in a roughly triangular shape between the stove, refrigerator, and sink. While this is not the only layout to take advantage of the kitchen triangle, the L-shaped layout is the most compact and cost-effective design that uses the kitchen triangle.

    This layout opens up floor space for the addition of a dining area or an island.

    Many kitchen cabinet manufacturers have sets of matched base and wall cabinets that form the basis of L-shaped kitchen design.


    Cabinet space in the corner is deep and difficult to access. Therefore, corner cabinet space ends up as a repository for old containers, jars, and other little-used items. One way to combat this problem is to install a lazy susan to cycle items throughout this cavernous space. 

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    One-Wall Kitchen Layout

    One-Wall Kitchen Layout
    Westend61/Getty Images

    A one-wall kitchen layout design is as basic as it gets. This design is perfect for long and narrow spaces. Everything in the kitchen, including cabinets, sink, refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher, is concentrated on one long wall.


    One-wall kitchen layouts are simple to design and install.

    Relative to the high cost of kitchen remodels, a one-wall design is fairly inexpensive because it uses fewer cabinets.

    While it does not utilize the classic kitchen triangle, its linear design still allows for unimpeded traffic flow. 


    Counter space is extremely limited. This problem can be mitigated by installing a kitchen island running parallel to the cabinets.

    Kitchen services are spaced farther apart than with other types of layouts. 

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    U-Shaped Kitchen Layout Design

    U-shaped kitchen
    Roy Mehta / Getty Images

    A U-shaped kitchen layout consists of three sections of base cabinets forming the perimeter of a space, with one end open. The U-shaped layout needs to have three available walls so that it can be implemented. Alternatively, instead of a third wall, you can run a peninsula outward. This peninsula can be composed of base cabinets and a countertop.


    The U-shaped kitchen layout is superior to many other layouts because it packs more services into its space. 

    This kitchen layout allows for more upper wall cabinets than with other layouts.


    U-shaped kitchen layouts form a dead-end which stops traffic flow within the home.

    Unless you have adequate space, it can be difficult to squeeze a large enough and truly functional kitchen island into a U-shaped kitchen design.