6 Basic Kitchen Layouts

Build an efficient kitchen by making sure that it's in sync with the space that you have


There are three major work centers in the kitchen, the storage center (refrigerator), the clean-up/preparation center (sink) and the cooking center (oven). Arranging these work centers in a layout forming the WORK TRIANGLE helps in minimizing the length of trips you make from one work center to another, saving time and energy. Learn how to choose the right kitchen layout for yourself by familiarizing yourself with the basics. 

Main photo by Ocs Alvarez.

Read the original article ("How to Make an Efficient Kitchen”) in the December-January 2007 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

Galley Kitchen

Places the three work centers on two counters opposite each other. Suited for long, narrow and rectangular-shaped areas, commonly found in condominium units, apartments, and townhouses.

One-Wall Kitchen

Locates all three work centers on one counter, with the sink placed at the center. The work centers should never be placed directly beside one another in order to have free counter top space between them. This works well in very small spaces -- like a studio or one-bedroom unit.

Peninsula Kitchen

Addresses a lack of wall space. If you have enough floor space, you may add an extended counter perpendicular to the existing counter to house the sink or the range. You can also use it as a space-saving dining nook.

U-Shaped Kitchen

This layout distributes three work centers among separate counters forming a "U". It is the most efficient, and works if you have at least eight feet in room width and length. The work triangle created allows a logical sequence of work centers with minimum distances between them.

L-Shaped Kitchen

This layout occupies two walls in the room forming an "L". It works in areas with doors or windows on two walls of the room as well as provides extra floor space for other activities such as eating or ironing.

Island Kitchen

Has an additional counter located at the center of the room that may house a sink or range. The "island" can also function as a breakfast or snack bar. Should be large enough for counter space on both sides of the sink or range. Apt for large, square kitchens in big houses and spacious condominiums.

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