What is the best layout for an L-shaped kitchen? Arrangements to maximize space


An L-shaped kitchen is a popular kitchen layout that utilizes two adjoining walls to create an efficient work triangle between the sink, refrigerator, and stove. This layout is great for maximizing space in smaller kitchens or to allow multiple cooks to work together. When designing an L-shaped kitchen, careful planning of the layout and positioning of appliances and cabinets is key to creating a functional and ergonomic space. In this article, we will explore best practices for maximizing space and efficiency in an L-shaped kitchen.

What are the benefits of an L-shaped kitchen layout?

There are several advantages that make the L-shaped kitchen a smart choice:

  • Efficient work triangle – The adjoining walls allow you to easily create a compact work triangle between key appliances and the sink. This minimizes steps and makes cooking more convenient.
  • Allows multiple cooks – The two legs of the “L” provide ample counter space for multiple people to work without getting in each other’s way.
  • Maximizes space – By using two walls, you can take full advantage of any available space and storage in a room. The layout is great for smaller kitchens.
  • Flexible traffic flow – The L-shape allows people to move easily from one area to another without bottlenecks.
  • Allows for an eat-in kitchen – One leg of the L can accommodate a breakfast bar or small table for casual meals.

What are some layout considerations for an L-shaped kitchen?

When planning your L-shaped kitchen, here are some important factors to consider:

Positioning the Sink

  • Locate the sink in the corner or on one leg of the L. This allows you to utilize the sink from two work areas.
  • Make sure there is adequate landing space on both sides of the sink. At least 18 inches on the landing side and 12 inches on the non-landing side.

Positioning the Fridge

  • Place the refrigerator on one leg of the L, away from the cooktop for safety.
  • Ensure there is enough clearance so the doors can open fully. At least 15 inches of clearance on the hinge side.

Positioning the Cooktop and Oven

  • Install the cooktop and oven on different legs of the L to allow multiple cooks.
  • The oven should be next to the sink leg for an efficient workflow.
  • Allow at least 15 inches of countertop space on one side of the cooktop for prep.

Implementing Cabinets and Counters

  • Use base cabinets and lower counters on the perimeter of the L. This maximizes usable space.
  • Include a pantry cabinet or shelving near the fridge for convenient storage.
  • Allow at least 42 inches between base cabinets for main aisleways.

What is the best L-shaped kitchen layout?

While your exact L-shaped kitchen design will depend on the dimensions of your space, here are two highly-recommended layouts:

The Efficient L Layout

This layout positions the fridge, sink, and stove on different walls:

  • Fridge on one leg of the L.
  • Cooktop and oven on the other leg.
  • Sink located in the corner.

This provides an efficient triangular workflow and allows multiple cooks with two separate prep areas. The corner sink maximizes usage from both sides.

The Accessible L Layout

This layout places the fridge, sink, and stove along the same leg:

  • Sink located on one end.
  • Fridge next to the sink.
  • Cooktop and oven on the other end.

This creates a more accessible and ergonomic workflow. The sink has open counter access on one side. Appliances are spread out evenly along the leg.

How can you maximize corner storage in an L-shaped kitchen?

The corner of the L layout presents excellent storage opportunities that shouldn’t be wasted. Here are smart tips for using corner cabinets and racks:

  • Install a floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinet. This utilizes all available vertical space.
  • Include pull-out shelves or drawers. These make contents in the back accessible.
  • Use a lazy susan in base corner cabinets. This provides full 360-degree access.
  • Install multi-tiered corner shelving. This takes advantage of vertical room.
  • Incorporate specialty corner cabinets with swinging doors or pocket doors to fully optimize the space.

What are some best practices for arranging an L-shaped kitchen?

To make the most of your L-shaped kitchen, keep these general guidelines in mind:

  • Strive for a compact and efficient work triangle.
  • Allow for at least 42 inches of clearance for main walkways.
  • Follow the kitchen work triangle rule – total walking distance between sink, fridge, and cooktop should be no more than 26 feet.
  • Position appliances at ergonomic heights. Sink at 36 inches, cooktop at 36 inches, wall ovens at 30 inches.
  • Ensure good lighting over key areas like the sink, stove, and countertops.
  • Incorporate functional and convenient storage solutions like pull-out shelves and vertical storage.
  • Allow open counter space for meal prep near the cooktop. At least 15 inches on one side.
  • Use space-saving features like retractable backsplashes and mixing faucet/sink combos.

What mistakes should you avoid when designing an L-shaped kitchen?

While planning your L-shaped kitchen layout, keep in mind these common mistakes:

  • Placing the sink or appliances too far from each other – This leads to an inefficient work triangle.
  • Not allowing enough clearance – Allow for at least 42 inches for main aisles and 15 inches for appliance clearance.
  • Forgetting lighting – Make sure key areas are well-lit with task lighting or pendants. Under-cabinet lights work great.
  • Neglecting storage – Take advantage of every corner and vertical space. Include pull-outs, racks, and shelving.
  • Poor ventilation – The cooktop should have a hood vent over it sucking at least 100 cfm for an electric stove or 300-400 cfm for a gas stove.
  • Cluttering walkways – Don’t place a table or island in main traffic aisles. Keep walkways open.
  • Choosing the wrong sink size – Scale the sink to the space. In an L-shape, a 33″ wide sink is common.
  • Not planning for triangles – Take advantage of corner cabinets and include pull-outs or lazy susans.

What are some space-saving tips for an L-shaped kitchen?

Even in a smaller L-shaped kitchen, you can still maximize every inch with clever space-saving techniques:

  • Opt for shallower 30-inch deep base cabinets instead of deeper 36-inch ones. This gives you more floor space.
  • Use retractable backsplashes that can be pulled out when needed and tucked away when not in use.
  • Install sliding shelves in base cabinets instead of regular shelves. This makes items in the back accessible.
  • Choose a sink with an overlapping faucet design. This allows you to slide the faucet back to make room when needed.
  • Opt for counter-depth or European-style refrigerators that don’t extend as far from the wall.
  • Include multi-functional appliances like a cooktop with an induction burner and griddle in one.
  • Use glass cabinets doors or open shelving for a lightweight, space-saving look.

What are some smart storage solutions for L-shaped kitchens?

Storage is critical in an L-shaped kitchen. Look for every opportunity to incorporate handy storage features:

  • Corner lazy susans and pull-out cabinets – These provide full access to tricky corner spaces.
  • Deep drawers instead of base cabinets – Drawers are more ergonomic and items are easier to see.
  • Vertical drawer organizers for dishes or pans. Great for fitting large items.
  • Pull-out trash/recycling bin cabinets. These keep mess hidden.
  • Tiered corner shelving – Utilize vertical corner space.
  • Spice racks andRail-mounted utensil racks – Handy for small accessories in tight spaces.
  • Hidden wastebasket compartments in lower cabinets or base pull-outs.


The L-shaped kitchen layout allows you to take advantage of two adjoining walls and corners to create an efficient and spacious work area. Pay special attention to the work triangle between appliances and make smart choices when it comes to storage and cabinetry. Avoid common mistakes like cluttered aisles and poor ventilation. With good design practices, even a small L-shaped kitchen can function beautifully and offer plenty of room for cooking and entertaining. Take time planning the layout and you’ll end up with a kitchen that truly maximizes every inch.