The 5 Most Popular Kitchen Layouts

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When the time comes to design your new kitchen, you have a lot of decisions to make and one of these is how to layout your cabinets. 

This is one of the fundamental elements of kitchen design and will inform many of your later decisions such as lighting, tiling, utilities, and so on. 

This article lays out the 5 most common layouts today. 

1. The Island

The most popular addition to large kitchens over the last few decades has been the kitchen island. These range from glorified tables to full-on mini kitchens. At their basic level these can be part worktop counter, part cabinet, and part breakfast table/bar. However, many more advanced kitchen tables now also include things such as hobs (which can come with a counter cover for dual use), hot plates, ovens, sinks and taps, or a hot tap for instant, boiling water. They do require a lot of space if you don’t want to feel cramped but are a really useful addition should you be able to fit one in.

2. The Gallery

Simply put, the gallery consists of a single wall of cabinets, both lower and upper, with a counter top. Typically this will include the sink and tap, but may not include other appliances such as the oven or fridge/freezer which may stand independently along another wall. Galleries are good for smaller kitchens and are often found in kitchen-living room combos in small flats. Alternatively, you may run a breakfast bar down another wall to separate the two or to make use of space.

3. The Double Gallery

As the name suggests, the double gallery involves two sets of cabinets, both upper and lower with a countertop running along the longer two walls of the kitchen. This allows for more work space and will often integrate the oven.

4. L-Shape

Similar to the double gallery, the L-shape kitchen layout has its cabinets, oven, and sink arranged along one long wall and one short wall. This is a common layout for small kitchens which are separated from other rooms.

5. U-Shape

The u-shape kitchen layout involves cabinets and counters running along three out of the four available walls. These tend to be the two longest walls but may be the two shortest. Such kitchens tend to be larger than L-shaped kitchens as more space is required in the middle as there are no bare walls.


Of course, you don’t have to follow these common shapes. You have the freedom to design your kitchen however you want. Each space is unique in terms of its size and its shape. You could have a hexagonal kitchen, an open plan one, a four-sided gallery kitchen, or a round one, or none of the above. The world, well really the kitchen, is your oyster. 

Just remember that it’s not just the design shape or layout which counts, it’s the quality of the items you populate it with which truly marks it out as being a good kitchen. Handcrafted bespoke cabinets really do add a touch of class to a kitchen. Painted in any colour or none you wish, mixed with good appliances, good tiles, a nice floor, and you have a good kitchen.

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