Stripped down to the bare necessities, most home kitchens have a lot in common. You’ll find a sink, refrigerator, and some type of cooktop. You might also find additional appliances like a convection oven or dishwasher.
What really differentiates one kitchen space from another is the layout. Your kitchen layout plays a major role in how functional the room is. And some layouts lend themselves to popular decor trends better than others.
Getting the most out of your kitchen floor plan is important. Check out these top kitchen layout ideas to learn what you can improve about your own cooking space.
Cabinetry is the backbone of nearly every kitchen layout. So maximizing your home’s available cabinet space should be the first step of any kitchen remodel.
Along with fitting as many cabinets as possible into your kitchen, you should also focus on including plenty of variety in your final design. Consider switching out some of your regular cabinet doors for glass ones to display china or stemware.
Supplement standard-size cabinets with smaller cupboards tucked around built-in appliances. Fill awkward gaps in your cabinetry with open shelves for additional storage. Take advantage of structural elements — like a kitchen island — to boost the number of cabinets and drawers in your kitchen layout.
Corners can gum up an otherwise efficient kitchen layout. While cabinet doors are hard to fit in tight corners, you also don’t want to let the space sit unused.
Specially designed corner cupboards provide ample storage without the awkwardness of regular cabinet doors.
Choose cabinetry with a built-in lazy susan or pull-out shelves to make accessing your kitchen goods easier. You can even install special corner drawers to match.
Use your countertop corners to stash cooking utensils, a spice rack, cookbooks, or miscellaneous decor. It’s also the perfect spot to store small countertop appliances within reach yet out of the way.
Your kitchen floor plan ultimately determines its functionality. This includes the layout of your kitchen counters and how they serve (or hinder) your household as a whole.
There are very few scenarios where a smaller kitchen counter can be considered beneficial.
It’s a good idea to ensure every appliance in your kitchen — sink, stovetop, dishwasher, oven — is surrounded by open countertops to be used as a work surface.
Aside from your main countertop, play around with your kitchen layout by including some extra surfaces like a breakfast bar or dedicated workstation. When not in use for their dedicated purpose, these surfaces can also double as regular counter space.
Nearly every homeowner wants an island in their larger kitchen. While this design element doesn’t work in every home, it’s a great asset for any open-concept kitchen layout.
If possible, ensure your kitchen island meets several needs. One popular solution is to include bar top seating along one side for a simple, casual dining surface. Go with barstools. That nest underneath the countertop so you don’t lose valuable floor space.
Before installing a kitchen island, think carefully about its location. You want the island close enough to your regular kitchen counter so everything is within arm’s reach. But you don’t want spacing so tight that your appliance doors get in the way.
Modern interior design values sleek, geometric spaces. If you dream of a modern-inspired kitchen, it’s important to consider these design tenets in your floor plan as well as your decor choices.
Avoid crowding appliances and other focal points too close together. You want every design element in your kitchen to have plenty of room to breathe. Opting for mostly white kitchen decor can help open up tight spaces.
Keep your cabinetry, countertops, and appliances clean and simple. The same goes for the kitchen island if your home has one. Instead, draw the eye up above your kitchen layout with some statement light fixtures hung from the ceiling.
6. One Wall
A one-wall kitchen can feel incredibly limiting, especially since open-concept kitchens are so popular right now. Designing the floor plan for a single-wall kitchen means balancing workspace and storage.
Kitchen islands can boost counter space and house an extra appliance or the kitchen sink. But an island isn’t an option for all kitchens. A galley kitchen is a perfect example of not being able to supplement a small kitchen design by just adding an island.
Install both lower and upper cabinets to ensure your kitchen has plenty of storage space. Use the top of your cabinetry for extra storage or to display decor. Since open wall space is in short supply, turn to design details like your backsplash and fixtures.
Open-concept modern farmhouse design might have been one of the biggest kitchen trends of the past decade, but you don’t need a large kitchen to pull this style off. Using rustic decor in a small kitchen can actually emphasize the warm and cozy aspects of this aesthetic.
You don’t want your rustic kitchen to feel too expansive, so include an island (even a small one) in your layout. Of course, this suggestion doesn’t apply if you’re working with an ultra-compact space, like a galley kitchen layout.
You want your rustic-inspired kitchen to be somewhere family and guests choose to gather. Leave room in your new kitchen design for a dining table or set aside counter space for a casual breakfast bar.
Most homeowners know exactly what their ideal kitchen would like if they had all of the room in the world. But great small kitchen ideas can be harder to come by. For a small kitchen layout to work, it’s important to embrace the available space — not fight it.
Don’t be afraid to buck traditional kitchen layout concepts for what works best in your space. Many of these “rules” (like the kitchen work triangle) just won’t work in a small kitchen design.
Free up counter space with wall cabinets or open shelving. A rolling table or bar cart can be used as a temporary island. Avoid space-consuming decor and, instead, turn to details like your kitchen’s backsplash tiles.
9. U Shape
In many ways, a U-shaped kitchen combines the best of both a galley and L-shaped layout. You get plenty of counter space that’s easily within reach. Plus, U-shaped kitchens tend to be a bit wider than galley-style ones.
One downside to U-shaped kitchens is that they can feel quite closed-off. Invest in high-quality light fixtures for the space, and take full advantage of any nearby windows.
If you love the look and functionality of a U-shaped kitchen layout but have an open-concept space, it’s not too hard to fake it. Just add a breakfast bar to the open side of your kitchen to complete the U-shape.