Guide to the 5 Most Common Kitchen Layouts

Kitchen layouts are a crucial part of any home design and renovation. The layout greatly impacts the kitchen’s functionality, workflow, and aesthetic. When designing or renovating your kitchen, it’s important to consider the most common kitchen layouts to find the best fit for your space and lifestyle. In this guide, we’ll explore the five most popular kitchen layouts and discuss their distinct features, pros and cons.

L-Shaped Kitchens

The L-shaped kitchen design is one of the most common and versatile layouts. This layout positions the sink, refrigerator, stove, and cabinets along two adjacent walls, creating an L-shape. One leg of the L is typically larger, with the range and sink, while the other leg houses more of the storage and prep space.


  • Efficient work triangle between sink, stove, and fridge.
  • Open accessibility and traffic flow.
  • Allows inclusion of kitchen island.
  • Economical use of space.


  • Limited space for table or eat-in area.
  • Traffic through work zone if not designed well.

L-shaped kitchens work excellently for small to medium spaces. The layout promotes an efficient work triangle without sacrificing accessibility or natural traffic flow. This versatile design can accommodate multiple styles, from contemporary to traditional. An island can help delineate the kitchen from nearby spaces while providing additional prep room and storage. Overall, the L-shaped kitchen is a tried-and-true layout that offers excellent functionality.

Galley Kitchens

Galley kitchen layouts feature two parallel rows of cabinets, countertops, and appliances. This creates an efficient, corridor-like workspace. Galley kitchens are common in apartments, condos, and smaller homes where space is at a premium.


  • Highly efficient use of space.
  • Logical workflow.
  • Ample wall space for storage.


  • Limited table space.
  • Closed off, no open flow.
  • Can feel confined.

Galley kitchens allow you to maximize every inch, making them well-suited for smaller spaces. Their streamlined design naturally separates cooking, prep, and cleanup zones for seamless workflow. Appliances and storage line the walls, keeping counters clear. While galley kitchens don’t allow for open flow or tables, creative solutions like kitchen island carts or drop-down tables can help add space. For those working with a smaller footprint, the galley layout warrants strong consideration.

U-Shaped Kitchens

As the name implies, the U-shaped kitchen layout places cabinets, countertops, and appliances along three walls to create a U shape. The open end of the U design is left clear for walkway.


  • Abundant counter space and storage.
  • Efficient triangular workflow.
  • Space for a kitchen table.
  • Open accessibility.


  • Requires a larger space.
  • Cabinet access can be limiting in some spots.

With cabinets and counters lining three walls, U-shaped kitchens offer expansive workspace and storage capacity. The three-wall design also enables an efficient triangular workflow between the sink, stove, and fridge. Compared to galley and L-shaped kitchens, the U-layout provides ample room for a dining table or kitchen island. The open end of the U delivers unfettered accessibility through the space. However, the shape can create some awkward corners that limit cabinet access. Overall, U-shaped designs work well for larger kitchens that accommodate dining and entertaining.

G-Shaped Kitchens

G-shaped kitchens expand on the U-shaped layout by adding an additional partial wall. This creates a layout similar to a U with an extra pant leg attached to it. The extra wall provides space for additional appliances, storage, or counters.


  • Expansive work surfaces and storage.
  • Room for multiple cooks.
  • Accommodates kitchen island.
  • Promotes open flow.


  • Requires substantial space.
  • Some awkward corners.

For larger kitchens, the G-shape delivers an abundance of workspace and storage capacity. The layout allows multiple cooks to work simultaneously with each person getting their own defined work zone. An island fits comfortably in the center to augment counters and prep space. The shape still enables efficient workflow between appliances and promotes open traffic flow. As with U-shaped designs, some corners can impede access to cabinets and counters in G-shaped kitchens. But for spacious kitchens, the amount of usable space outweighs any limitations.

One-Wall Kitchens

One-wall kitchen layouts, also called straight-line or corridor kitchens, arrange all the major appliances and cabinets along one wall. This linear design is most commonly seen in studio apartments or small condos.


  • Maximizes small spaces.
  • Streamlined and efficient workflow.


  • Very limited workspace.
  • Lack of storage.
  • No room for table or island.

The one-wall kitchen provides an extremely efficient use of space for compact kitchens. With all the essential appliances, sink, and storage lined up along one wall, you create adequate cooking capacity even in a small footprint. However, the ultra-linear design severely limits counters and storage. And there is no room for any dining furniture. One-wall kitchens work best as a space-saving option for truly small kitchens where every inch counts.

Choosing the Right Kitchen Layout

When selecting a kitchen layout, first consider the size and dimensions of your kitchen space. Measure carefully to determine what shapes can be accommodated. Keep in mind traffic flow, windows, doors, and any immovable fixtures.

Beyond spatial constraints, evaluate your cooking style, storage needs, and how you want to use your kitchen. Bakers, for example, may want more countertop space, while casual cooks can make do with less. Analyze the pros and cons of each layout regarding functionality for your particular lifestyle.

If possible, expand beyond standard layouts. For instance, you could opt for an island instead of a fourth wall to create an L-shaped kitchen with open appeal. Review photos online or in home design magazines for inspiration on customized kitchen layouts.

While the L-shaped, galley, U-shaped, and G-shaped kitchens represent conventional options, explore unique solutions for your space. With smart planning and creativity, you can achieve both optimal function and style.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Layouts

What is the most popular kitchen layout?

The L-shaped layout is likely the most popular kitchen design. It works well for a range of kitchen sizes and offers an efficient work triangle with accessible flow. L-shaped kitchens easily accommodate islands while maximizing space for ample storage and counters.

What is the best kitchen layout for small kitchens?

For truly small kitchen spaces, a galley or one-wall layout will make the most of limited area. The streamlined galley design provides smart workflow in a narrow footprint. And the one-wall corridor style maximizes every inch along one run of cabinets and appliances.

What kitchen layout is trending?

Open concept kitchens are a top trend, especially open kitchen and living room combinations. Flowing kitchen layouts without closed walls, such as large L-shaped islands or U-shaped designs, allow for open-concept spaces.

How do you layout a 10×10 kitchen?

A 10×10 square kitchen has multiple effective layout options. A single galley setup or L-shape along two adjoining walls keeps things streamlined. For more versatility, opt for a U-shaped design using three walls. An island can help delineate the kitchen from living areas in open floor plans.

What kitchen layout is easiest to work in?

L-shaped and U-shaped kitchens offer excellent work flow thanks to efficient triangular patterns between appliances, sinks, and counters. The unlimited access also prevents traffic jams in high-use cooking zones. Islands provide additional room for multiple cooks or prep work.


Kitchen layout significantly influences both aesthetics and functionality. L-shaped, galley, U-shaped, G-shaped, and one-wall kitchens represent the most common solutions for a range of spaces. Consider your cooking habits, storage needs, footprint dimensions, and style preferences when selecting a layout. While conventional designs work for most, explore customized or hybrid layouts for your ideal kitchen workspace and flow. With smart planning focused on your lifestyle, the kitchen can become both highly functional and uniquely stylish.