Find Your Ideal Kitchen Layout

Like everything else in life you need a plan – when planning a kitchen remodel, you need to pick a layout that will best suit your space and needs.

The Open Model is all the rage, but it may not work for everyone. For your benefit, we’re going to list a few standard layouts that we see on a daily basis and recommend to our clients at InDesign K+B Brisbane, depending on the space they have.

The U-Shaped Kitchen

A U-shaped kitchen consists of work space on three adjoining walls, two parallel walls which form perfect right angles with a third wall (how’s that for a quick math lesson?). There are no traffic lanes flowing through the work area.

The base of the U-shaped kitchen is best when it is 10-18 feet wide.

This (above) is an example of a standard U-Shaped Kitchen which could work in a smaller space.


  • Efficient for a small, medium or large kitchen space – but work best with large kitchens
  • Can easily divide the kitchen into multiple work sites
  • No through traffic to disrupt work zones
  • Lots of counter space
  • Ample storage
  • Wide “U” can support a kitchen island
  • Allows for more than one window in the design and plenty of natural lighting


Above is an example of how an island could work beautifully with this U-Shaped Layout given the extra square footage.


  • Not efficient for large kitchens without an island
  • Not efficient for kitchens under 10-feet wide
  • Bottom corner cabinets are difficult to access
  • Doesn’t always work well if there is more than one cook in the kitchen
  • If used in a smaller space, this layout can eat up a lot of extra square footage – best consult a designer!
  • Not efficient for kitchens under 10 feet wide

The Galley Kitchen

At some point in life we’ve all encountered the great galley layout as it is designed  for modest spaces and one cook!

A galley kitchen consists of work space on two opposing walls. There is a single traffic lane between them with an opening on one or both ends. What we love about galley kitchens is that it can go from cosy to glam by adjusting the length of the kitchen.

A galley kitchen can be as long as you want it to be. The best width for a galley kitchen is 7 to 12 feet – any larger and you can move into a U-Shape layout.


  • Great storage – as galley kitchens tend to have plenty of cabinet space
  • Offers an easy workflow when it comes to cooking
  • Provides all the kitchen essentials in one small space
  • It can be as long as you want
  • Multiple work areas can be created

Glossy white cabinetry leading into a pristine view of the mountains? I think so. Ample counter space enough for 2 cooks and even a dog.


  • Get creative and open up both sides to make walkways instead of a traditional cooking space
  • Tends to be cramped
  • Doesn’t work with open plan homes
  • Not the best gathering spot for families – Adding a breakfast nook however, can change this.

The Island Kitchen

This is the layout best suited for kitchen socializing and is perfect for families. Check out our blog post on making kitchen islands work in your home!

This layout works best in an L-shaped kitchen that measures 10 by 10 ft. and opens into another area – dining or family room. To fit in an island, you must have a minimum of 3-4ft of aisle space on all sides. If your kitchen is too small for this, try a portable island that you can move in an out as needed.



  • Cook can socialize with guests or family members while working
  • This layout offers more counter space compared to others
  • Match several design variations with the island kitchen layout


It does not work with too many kitchen sizes and spaces – the key is space for this design.

Want an island anyway? Check out the Peninsula Kitchen Layout.


The Peninsula Kitchen

A peninsula kitchen is basically an island anchored to a wall or line of cabinets. It could be a breakfast bar or just extra countertop and storage space. The peninsula gives you more cabinetry without adding a wall, and it’s a good solution for kitchens that lack extra wall space but have the square footage to spare.


This layout allows you to make your kitchen as long as you want. The best width for Peninsula-shaped kitchen with two parallel work surfaces is 7 to 12 feet.


  • Ideal for open floor plans
  • Great for rectangular space
  • Efficient for a small kitchen space
  • Can adjust to any length
  • Can easily divide the kitchen into multiple work sites
  • Acts as a divider between rooms – diverts traffic while still giving the chef a view into the adjacent room
  • Good design for larger kitchens, as it provides extra countertop space and room enough for two cooks.





  • The peninsula doesn’t work for just any kitchen – it is best suited for spaces with a large, open layout.
  • The peninsula can mean fewer overhead cabinets.

We’re adding this photo (below) of a really fun, cosy kitchen that screams vintage and would be a great place to hang out!


The Single-Wall Kitchen

If you live in a small home or apartment, then the single-wall plan may be the most viable kitchen layout option for you. Though it can easily become cramped and often dysfunctional, you can turn it into a space you actually like cooking in with the right planning and design scheme.


As far as decorating this space, it would be best to use light colors, either no patterns or small patterns, and minimize rough textures and contrast.



  • The linear design allows for uninterrupted traffic flow
  • Adapts well to an open plan arrangement
  • Ideal design for smaller homes, vacation homes and apartments


  • Storage space is generally hard to come by with the single-wall kitchen
  • Appliances should be combined (e.g. stovetop with a dishwasher below) to allow enough room for cooking

The L-Shape Kitchen

This layout is very popular in America because it makes excellent use of space and simplifies the entire process of preparing, cooking and cleaning up meals. This plan works best when the kitchen adjoins a casual space, so if your kitchen connects to a living room or family room, an L-shaped kitchen layout might be the perfect solution for you.

It is best to only elongate one side of the wall over 12-15 feet. You will need to divide that elongated leg into different work sites for efficient use.



  • Great for corner space
  • Efficient for a small and medium kitchen space
  • Can adjust to any length
  • No through traffic to disrupt work zones
  • Eating space (i.e. table & chairs) can easily be added to this layout – Perfect for families!


  • Not efficient for large kitchens
  • Not good for multiple cooks
  • Appliances tend to be more spaced out, making cooking a bit of a hassle.
  • The largest counter space is in the middle of the “L,” meaning you may have to scrunch all smaller appliances together.
  • L-shaped kitchens tend to require the addition of an island to increase storage.


Remember, these are just a few of the most functional/popular kitchen floor plans out there. We can customize any of these plans to suit your needs and ideas because no design is ever exactly the same. If you would like to speak to one of our designers here at InDesign K+B Brisbane about your ideas, contact us for a consulation.

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3 Responses to Find Your Ideal Kitchen Layout

  1. Ken says:

    I am looking for plans for the island you have pictured in your island kitchen section. It is tagged as Island 1. Can I get plans for building the island from this web site? If not do you know where I could find this.
    Thank-you for your time

    • InDesign Kitchens says:

      Hi Ken,

      You can contact us via email (
      or call in on 1300 724 423 and we will be able to assist you with this query


      InDesign Team

  2. Nice post with layout. Makes easier to understand the types and planning can be made specifically for the available work space.

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