14 kitchen layout ideas – design ideas for planning your dream kitchen

Kitchen planning? These clever kitchen layout ideas, including u shaped kitchen ideas, L-shaped layouts, kitchen islands and more, will ensure your kitchen is beautiful and practical.

an l shape kitchen layout with green and white cabinets, wood accents, round dining table and wood chairs
(Image credit: Wren Kitchens)

Looking for kitchen ideas and designs that are relevant to your space? You'll find stellar kitchen layout ideas right here.

Gone are the days where planning a kitchen layout revolved around the 'work triangle', an invisible framework whose sides connected the sink, stove and fridge, considered to be the main centers of activity in the room.

Now, kitchens are more likely to be part of an open plan living room with a dining area and seating or a play space for kids, so the way they are planned has adapted accordingly. 

‘The classic working triangle is a useful starting point but should be a guide rather than a strict rule,’ says Martin Holliday of Chiselwood. ‘Now, the owner’s lifestyle and the specific needs of the family are the starting point.’ 

We'll take you through our favorite kitchen layout ideas so you can decide what'll work best for your kitchen design.

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1. L-shaped kitchen with a round dining table

Deep green kitchen with borastapeter wallpaper

(Image credit: Sophie Robinson)

An L-shaped kitchen design, where cabinets are placed at right angles to each other, is one of the most practical layouts for a kitchen.

Add a round dining table or island to make the space the social hub of the house.

2. An l-shaped kitchen with island 

Teal kitchen with bronze features and black granite worktops by Wren

(Image credit: Wren Kitchens)

Experts at Howdens explains, 'Fitting neatly into the corner of a room, an l-shaped arrangement can free up floor space for a more open feel or to accommodate other essentials, like dining.'

Adding an island not only adds even more storage and worktop space, it will also work as a beneficial partition for open plan kitchen designs

3. Single wall kitchen with an island

Yellow kitchen island and white units by Wren Kitchens

(Image credit: Wren Kitchens)

An island unit can be the key to integrating a kitchen into an open plan space, as they are placed centrally but within easy reach of the oven and sink.

If you're limited to one wall for kitchen cabinets, an island will give you that extra space to allow you to face into the room and join in the conversation while preparing dinner.

4. A U-shaped kitchen with a peninsula

Cafe Latte greige kitchen with peninsula and pendant lights by Moka

(Image credit: Moka)

If you are planning a small kitchen design and an island is totally out of the question, adding a peninsula to a u-shaped kitchen is a failsafe option. 

You'll add a few extra cabinets to your kitchen, you'll provide a mini breakfast bar area and will also help divide an eat-in kitchen without dominating the space.

5. Long and linear kitchen layout

Navy blue kitchen with marble worktops and mustard splashback

(Image credit: Original BTC)

If you've got the luxury of a lot of space and high ceilings (everyone's dream), why not keep cabinetry below decks or under countertops to keep your space open and airy?

You could add statement kitchen island lighting to accentuate height and if you feel you'd like a #shelfie or two, you could incorporate simple open shelving to show off your prized kitchenware and cook books. 

6. A curved kitchen island in an open-plan kitchen

red cabinets in a rounded edge island in a country style kitchen with grey cabinets in a country home with beams

(Image credit: Magnet)

Round island units have been adopted by many designers. ‘Placed in the middle of the room, they really are the hub of the home,’ says Janet Wallace of Smallbone.

 ‘Curved shapes are always good in an open plan space because they accommodate the flow of people moving around much more easily.’

7. U shaped kitchen layout

u shaped kitchen with wood backplash, charcoal grey cabinets and white cabinets in a modern home

(Image credit: London Kitchen Company)

U-shaped kitchens are perfect for those who have a passion for cooking, as the u  layout promotes ease of access to all of the crucial cooking areas of the kitchen. 

You'll also create the maximum amount of worktop and storage space by optimizing on the available kitchen space.

Experts at Wren say, 'Not just reserved for large kitchens, small and relatively narrow kitchens can often take the U-shaped design as well. There is a limit, however, and these smaller kitchens should only feature this amount of work surface if there's enough room for someone to prepare food with total ease.'

'Larger square and rectangle kitchens have more flexibility when it comes to the U-shaped design. The U-shape can be installed in one part of the kitchen, leaving space for a dining area. Or even giving the opportunity for a central island – a favorite with many who have the choice.'

8. Effective open plan kitchen zoning

stone flooring in country style kitchen with open plan living and grey kitchen - CREDIT Katie Lee

(Image credit: Katie Lee/Future PLC)

Zoning is one of the best ways to deal with multifunctional open plan living so spaces for different activities are arranged in a logical way to ensure that the room feels comfortable and works well.

Visually, a kitchen that is part of an integrated living space should blend with the rest of the room and one popular way to do this is by mixing colors and materials. 

‘Often the cabinets around the walls are painted one shade with a different color or natural wood chosen for the island to make it more of a feature,’ says John Stephens of Rencraft

Light toned woods such as oak in natural finishes are currently the most popular but walnut and other dark woods are a sophisticated alternative.

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9. Make use of space for large pantry cabinets

sage green kitchen with large double door pantry, in-built appliances and tall cabinetry

(Image credit: The London Kitchen Company)

Although islands incorporate some storage space, the main cupboards in any kitchen are usually arranged around the perimeter of the room and tall larders are a more practical solution. 

‘We install big larder units in about 80 percent of the kitchens we design’, says John Stephens of Rencraft. 

Janet Wallace of Smallbone agrees adding, ‘Larders can provide storage equivalent to 12 wall cupboards.'

'People tend to be much more adventurous with their cooking now so they need to keep a greater selection of cookware and an array of herb, spices and ingredients to hand. A larder is the ideal solution as it has space for them all.’

10. Integrate the kitchen with the look of your home

Portland red kitchen with dresser and console table

(Image credit: The Painted Furniture Company)

Successful kitchens are designed to integrate with the house, as well as the room, in which they are installed. 

Glyn Rodmay of Cotteswood says, ‘If you live in an older house, try to choose a kitchen design that is sympathetic to the material your home is made from and its style of architecture.’

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11. Galley kitchen layout with dining table

galley kitchen with dining table with white cabinets, black and white floor and in built appliances

(Image credit: Magnet)

Named after the cooking areas aboard a ship, the hallmark of galley kitchen designs is two parallel runs of cabinetry with a narrow corridor in between and are common layouts for small kitchens.

Experts at Howdens explain, 'Making the best use of space has become crucial to homeowners, which is why many households are looking for galley kitchen ideas to create a small and efficient layout.'

Although they can feel dark and narrow, these galley kitchen ideas will prove otherwise.

12. G-shaped kitchen for extra countertop and storage

g shaped kitchen with grey cabinets, black and white backsplash tiling and wood countertops

(Image credit: Magnet)

As the name suggests, a G shaped kitchen design has four sides that resemble the letter ‘G.’ They are very similar to U-shaped kitchens, except there is usually a jut or peninsula that adds a little extra countertop or dining space.

Magnet's experts explain, 'Like with every kitchen design, there are G shaped kitchen advantages and disadvantages. Think about the size of your space and your lifestyle requirements before committing to this particular layout.'

13. Kitchen with island and integrated dining table

a modern kitchen with island and dining table, grey and white cabinets and statement lighting Pluck JamesLane

(Image credit: Pluck )

If you have a long, narrow area to work with, why not use the length to your advantage by streamlining a slim island and a slim table with benches for dining?

The benches can be tucked under the table when not in use to keep the space clutter-free and accessible.

14. Multifunctional split-level kitchen island

a modern industrial style kitchen with gloss white cabinets, concrete style island cabinets, inbuilt appliances, split level island with table

(Image credit: Howdens)

Some island units have a raised countertop and tall stools for breakfast, or so guests can sit and chat with the cook, and others have a drop level surface that can be used as a home office or a desk for homework. 
A kitchen island doesn't just have to house units or bar stools. 

Add a split level island with a multifunctional table that could act as both a dining area or a desk where you can comfortably work from home, within arms length of the coffee machine.