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Ultimate Guide to a Kitchen Layout

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Kitchen > Ultimate Guide to a Kitchen Layout
Ultimate Guide to a Kitchen Layout

People who love to cook and use the kitchen daily deserve a dream kitchen with an efficient layout that helps you get the job done. From the floor plan to the features incorporated into the kitchen, there are many ways to design luxury and comfort into this room of your home.


As you explore your design options and consider the many ways you can create a beautiful and functional room, don’t forget about the nuts and bolts of the kitchen. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides information about some important issues you shouldn’t forget. Indoor air quality can be particularly problematic in the kitchen due to the odors and moisture associated with cooking.


With the ultimate kitchen layout guide, you can design the kitchen of your dreams and then make your dreams come true.

  1. 1.U-Shaped Floor Plan

    U-Shaped Floor Plan

    With a U-shaped kitchen floor plan, you’ve got useful and functional storage and countertops on three sides of the kitchen. This is a closed, dead-end kitchen without traffic moving through it. The closed aspect of the kitchen means that nothing should interrupt or distract from whatever you’re whipping up in the kitchen.


    To make a U-shaped floor plan work in a kitchen, the room needs to be a minimum of 8 feet by 8 feet to achieve the minimum 4-foot workspace in the center of the room recommended by design experts.

  2. 2.L-Shaped Floor Plan

    L-Shaped Floor Plan

    Similar to the U-shaped floor plan, an L-shaped floor plan creates a longer counter and work area on one wall with a shorter work area on an adjacent wall. This floor plan can use space more efficiently, especially if you place the main workstations – the sink and the stove – at the corner of the “L.” Don’t skimp on counter space along the long wall to ensure that your work stations have ample area for prep work.

  3. 3.Island Floor Plan

    Island Floor Plan

    If your kitchen space is large enough, adding an island can be an ideal way to boost your layout exponentially. As you create a work triangle with an island, pay attention to the space you have in your kitchen. The perimeter of this area needs to be a minimum of 12 feet and a maximum of 26 feet to create the best work space for working efficiently. Another consideration – make sure you have between 42 and 48 inches of aisle space surrounding the island on all sides. Imagine the possibilities with a kitchen island in place – your sink or cooktop could have this central position for access from a variety of angles. You could also add an eating area at an island, but make sure to place it away from any cooking surfaces.

  5. 4.Peninsula Floor Plan

    Peninsula Floor Plan

    Similar to a kitchen island, a peninsula counter area extends out into the center of the kitchen, but it’s anchored at one wall instead of being freestanding like an island. If your kitchen isn’t quite large enough to accommodate an island, a peninsula might be the option for you. Just like the island, you might add the sink or the cooktop to the peninsula to create a useful work station where you’re not standing and facing the wall away from whatever’s going on with friends and family as you use the sink or cooktop.

  6. Galley Floor Plan

    5.Galley Floor Plan

    If you’re working with a small space in the kitchen, a galley floor plan can make efficient use of premium space. With two parallel walls, you can easily move back and forth between work stations as you use the kitchen. Make sure you design at least 4 feet of aisle space between the two walls for optimal working space.

  7. 6.One-Wall Plan

    One-Wall Plan

    Considered the most economical use of space, when you’re working with almost no room in the kitchen, placing your work stations on one wall may be your only option. Generally, the best configuration is to place the sink in the center with the refrigerator on one side and the cooktop on the other side.

  8. 7.Adding Luxuries

    Once you’ve chosen the floor plan that works for your space and your needs, it’s time to add the luxuries that will transform a basic kitchen into an ultimate work area. Some features to consider include an eat-in area, a fireplace, home office areas, an entertainment center, a walk-in pantry and specialized prep areas.

    Adding Luxuries  

    Eat-in Area – The size of your family and the way you entertain will dictate the type of eat-in area you incorporate into a kitchen. If your family is small and you don’t entertain, a bar may suffice. If you need or want extra seating, you might design a breakfast nook or even a larger area where people can eat in the kitchen.


    Fireplace – The coziness of a fireplace can add charm and comfort to a kitchen. Position the fireplace near the eat-in area to provide comfort and ambiance for friends and family as they hang out in the kitchen.


    Home Office – Adding a small work area for a computer might be a useful feature for the kitchen. The ability to pull up a chair and work in the kitchen can make life more convenient.


    Entertainment Center – When family congregates, a screen in the kitchen might make everyone happy. The ability to watch television while you work in the kitchen may make life more pleasant for you, as well.

    Walk-in Pantry  

    Walk-in Pantry – Kitchen storage is always a premium commodity. When you’ve got the space, a walk-in pantry can make any cook happy. Organize canned goods, store dry foods and even use shelf space for appliances and other kitchen items that won’t fit anywhere else.


    Specialized Prep – Serious cooks might appreciate some specialized prep areas incorporated into a kitchen design. A prep sink with a special size and features for washing produce or a trash/recycle center might streamline your kitchen work.


    Whatever features and designs you decide to incorporate into your ultimate kitchen layout, the finished result should be an enjoyable and efficient work space that you’ll use daily to prepare meals for the family.

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