The kitchen is often described as the heart of a household. Not only is it where you make meals and grab a snack, but the kitchen also serves as a social hub, a place for casual dining and where family and friends gather. There is a lot that goes into a kitchen design, and finding the right one for you requires careful consideration and planning. So, let’s get cooking and talk about which kitchen floor plan is best for you, including the pros and cons most popular layouts.
What are the most popular kitchen floor plan layouts?
The most popular kitchen designs, which we’ll be looking at in this article, are:
- Galley kitchen layouts
- U-shape kitchen layouts
- L-shape kitchen layouts
- peninsula kitchen layouts
- Island kitchen layouts
- Straight-line kitchen layouts
Galley kitchen layout floor plan
A galley kitchen (sometimes called a corridor design) is a layout where there is a corridor of floor space created by two parallel lines of cabinets or walls.
Pros of a galley kitchen floor plan
- Great for getting the most out of smaller spaces
- Focuses on efficiency and functionality
- Plenty of counter space and workspace
Cons of a galley kitchen floor plan
- Can get crowded: Two people should be able to comfortably work in a galley kitchen, however, any more than that and things start getting cramped.
- Are often quite narrow: Galley kitchens tend to create a narrow space to work in.
- Limited storage space: This can be attributed to the smaller homes that galley kitchens tend to be built in, but this design doesn’t offer the same storage opportunities as other designs.
How to get the best of this design
A gallery kitchen is best suited for those with limited space to work with. Its full potential is met when you can enter from both sides of the kitchen. If you have extra kitchen space to work with, you may want to consider a design that takes advantage of this.
U- Shape Kitchen Layouts
As the name suggests, u-shape kitchens (sometimes called a horseshoe layout) are focused on three connected counter walls that curve around like the letter ‘u’. This layout was more popular a few decades ago, and is often seen in older homes, but is still occasionally requested in new homes.
Pros of a U-Shape Kitchen Floor plans
- Provides plenty of counter space: The big advantage of a U-Shape Kitchen layout is the ample counter space it provides.
- Creates more separation for your kitchen: Great if you have kids and pets running about.
- Plenty of storage opportunities: With loads of counter space, comes lots of room for storage, dishwashers and space for bins.
Cons of a U-Shape Kitchen
- Can feel cramped: The more closed-off design can feel cramped compared to more open kitchen layouts.
- Corner Cabinets can be a pain: They’re harder to open and more difficult to repair or replace.
- Traffic jams are more likely: Due to the enclosed space and usually only one entry point, there is a higher chance of crowding in the kitchen.
How to get the most from this design:
Though not as popular as it once was, there are some clear reasons why so many people went with this design. U-shape kitchens provide plenty of counter and corner space, and can even provide a handy eating area for breakfast and lunch. The design works best when your kitchen is located in a corner and there is enough space between counters to avoid crowding.
L-Shape Kitchen Layouts
A very popular kitchen design, the L shape kitchen fits well in a corner, and can work well with an open plan home.
Pros of a L-shape Kitchen Layout
Provides extra counter space: Making the most of the wall space, an L-shaped kitchen layout provides more counter space.
Open concept: Because all counters and cabinets are against the wall, this design suits an open plan design.
Have been known to increase home value: Open floor plans are very desirable at the moment, so anything that contributes to this will help with your home’s market value.
Cons of a L-Shape Kitchen Layout
More workspace to clean: More counter space and cabinets equal more upkeep.
Extra room can be a mixed blessing when cooking alone: Some find the design leads to more moving about while cooking compared to other layouts (island bench or galley).
Corner storage can be a pain: Corner cupboards tend to have more issues than regular cupboards do.
Best use for this design.
An L-Shape Kitchen is a natural fit for an open plan house layout, creating less clutter than other designs. In terms of counter and storage space, it’s a nice middle ground, though if you want a lot of either, another layout would better suit you.
If the U-shaped layout and the island bench design had a child, it would be the peninsula layout. The defining element of this layout is the island bench that is connected to the wall and other counters.
- Island provides more space
- A great option for narrow kitchens
- Provides separation and gives definition to your kitchen
- Prone to traffic jams
- Have tight corners
- Not ideal for larger kitchens
Kitchen Island Layout
This kitchen layout revolves around the titular kitchen island bench in the middle of the room.
Island bench creates a great communal space: Perfect for coffee, quick meals or just a chat.
More counter space: Ideal for preparing meals or putting groceries while packing them away.
Adds parameters to open space home: an island will help define your kitchen area.
Can interfere with the work triangle: Depending on the placement of your kitchen fixtures and
Will reduce space: You’ll need to weigh up whether you prefer more floor space or cabinet and counter area.
Best suited for:
You’ll need a kitchen large enough to accommodate a kitchen island without interfering too much with space.
Straight Line Kitchen Layout
A straight-line kitchen is the most simple kitchen design, as it is a counter space across one wall. Great for apartments and smaller areas, it’s best suited for a couple of people rather than lots.
Simple design that’s great for tighter spaces.
Suits both small and larger kitchen spaces
Easier to clean and maintain.
Lack of counter space:
Not much opportunity for storage:
Small work area
Best suited for:
Straight-line kitchens aren’t the most exciting design but are great for smaller homes where every bit of space counts. Would suit someone living alone or a couple over a family.
Our tips to help you choose a kitchen floor plan
Think about the work triangle
When you start researching kitchen designs, it won’t be long before you find the term ‘work triangle’. A theory that was invented in the early 20th century and is still used to this day, states there are three key work areas in a kitchen. These are the refrigerator, sink and stove. The idea is your layout should allow you to reach each of these areas in an efficient and accessible way.
Consider kitchen traffic
The kitchen is a high-traffic area in your home and one of the key factors you’ll need to consider with your design is managing the flow of people. Ideally, you want room to prepare and cook meals comfortably and safely, while still having room for numerous people.
Keep kitchen storage space in mind
Have you ever heard of someone saying they had less stuff when they left a house than they did when they first arrived? Yeah, us neither. Underestimating how much storage space you’ll need is one of the most common design mistakes we hear about, and your kitchen is no different. If you have a family, everyone with their favourite foods and dietary requirements, you’ll find cupboards filling up quickly. This isn’t even taking into account plates, cups, utensils, pots and pans, coffee machines, food processors, and that juicer you bought two years ago and have used twice.
Create a 3D kitchen floor plan before moving ahead with the building
While you may think your kitchen design is crystal clear in your head, thoughts have a way of being abstract and misleading. Creating a physical or virtual plan for your proposed kitchen will help to see your design, see any potential flaws, and make adjustments.
Build to suit your lifestyle and needs.
A good kitchen design layout needs to work for the homeowners, and everyone has their own needs. For example, a retired couple won’t need the ample space that a growing family will. Some people love to make extravagant, homemade meals while others prefer takeout and quick meals. Building to your needs ensures you don’t underestimate what you need or, conversely, overspend on a kitchen you don’t really take advantage of.
Get FREE advice on your kitchen floor plan
Designing and building a new home can be an overwhelming experience, whether you’re a first home buyer or you’ve done it before. With a constantly changing building landscape and so many decisions to make, it doesn’t hurt to have an expert on your side. Buildi is a building broker and a client advocate who will save you time, energy and money throughout your home-building journey, from choosing a builder to handover.