The L-shaped kitchen plan is one of the most popular and most classic layouts, for good reason. It is a highly flexible design that can be adapted to many sizes and styles of kitchens. Plus, it is one of the most ergonomically correct kitchen designs in terms of practical and efficient workflow.
While the average kitchen size has increased over the last few decades, most kitchens do not have the capacity to handle the multiple islands, peninsulas, and acres of countertop space so often featured in lifestyle magazines and remodeling reality shows. By contrast, an L layout can fit perfectly into 10 x 10-foot kitchen, which is still considered the benchmark for estimating the costs of cabinets and countertops.
An L-shaped kitchen also provides a lot design flexibility. Cooks love this basic layout, as it reduces the walking time between kitchen stations. It makes it very easy to create an ergonomically efficient kitchen triangle, with the refrigerator, stove, and sink arranged in the classic three-point shape.
Here are five examples of L-shaped kitchen layouts at work.
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Classic L-Shaped Kitchen
True to its name, the basic L-shaped kitchen has two "legs" of base cabinets covered with a countertop. Typically, one leg is longer than the other leg, and the longer leg provides most of the counter space. The shorter leg, as shown here, might have a short, 24-inch run of counter and an appliance or two, such as a wall oven and a refrigerator.
This layout is common when the kitchen is a small room enclosed by four walls, where two of the walls may be occupied by an entry door, passage door, windows, or seating area.Continue to 2 of 5 below.
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In small spaces, such as in apartments and condos, one-wall kitchen designs (also called galley or corridor kitchens) tend to be the most common. These small narrow kitchens usually have doors at both ends, with the kitchen elements confined along one wall. But often it is possible to work an L-shaped kitchen into these small spaces. As shown here, the drainboard sink (a sink with an attached apron of similar material) is tightly fitted into the corner of the L. This frees up precious extra space on the short leg of the L for a small section of countertop.
Instead of the open shelving featured on the short right leg of this example, this small space could also provide space for a refrigerator.Continue to 3 of 5 below.
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Open Kitchen With Large Dining Area
This L-shaped kitchen plan comes from Nadia Geller, a Los Angeles-based designer who has partnered up with Autodesk to produce free small kitchen plans for Autodesk's Homestyler, a free online room planner. Geller calls this design "Kitchen Contemporary," a very simple L-shaped kitchen plan with an island.
This plan nicely demonstrates how well an L-shaped layout can work with an open kitchen plan that includes a large casual dining area. This scheme is particularly space-efficient and convenient because there is no physical barrier between the kitchen workspace and the dining table, and both areas can share some of the floor space.Continue to 4 of 5 below.
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Open Kitchen With Small Dining Area
Another plan from Nadia Geller, this layout features a medium-size island in the middle of the kitchen's L and incorporates a small dining table that seats four. Including some transitional floor space, the entire layout occupies just over 16 feet of width.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Kitchen for Open-Concept Floor Plans
This 3-D representation, also from Nadia Geller Design, demonstrates how a small L-shaped kitchen can be integrated with an open-concept living area. Partition walls can be added to provide separation between the dining and living spaces. Depending on the size of the space, the kitchen may be able to include an island to provide extra counter space and storage.