Reviewed By

Abbie Downey

Verified Expert in Interior Design

Abbie is the Owner of Feather&Fossil and specialises in Maximalist Interior Design schemes for residential clients. Abbie has experience and qualifications in Interior Design and Project Management.

Learn » Design Ideas & Inspirations » 6 Best Kitchen Layout Ideas For Small and Large Kitchen Design

Kitchen Layout Ideas

When you start remodeling your house, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

How beautiful it will look? Or maybe what theme would make you feel like it is home? Perhaps the color scheme and home decor that screams you…

These are all pivotal decisions to make, nevertheless, they are all reliant on the layout you have for each room. If you’re building your house from scratch, you can plan the layouts beforehand. However, if you purchase or rent a house, then that decision is sort of made for you in advance.

You don’t need to fret though. You can do a lot with the available layout to make your house look as beautiful as ever.

We took it upon ourselves to help you out in this massive endeavor. Planning the layout of your entire house in one go can be taxing, so let’s take it room by room, shall we?

Today, we will discuss kitchen layouts and the various ways you can outshine a dull kitchen design with incredible kitchen remodel ideas, even for a pre-built one.

Here is a list of standard kitchen layouts that you will either find or can easily build:

Before we get started, we would like to make a recommendation. While these kitchen layout ideas are standardized, interior designers and homeowners can easily mix and match them. There is no hard and fast rule that a Galley kitchen cannot be converted into a U-shape or an island kitchen cannot be open planned.

It is up to you as homeowners to choose the kitchen layout that best suits your sensibilities and optimizes your workflow.

Now let’s get started.

Types of Kitchen Layout:

1. One-wall kitchen design Layout

As the name probably gave it away, these kitchen layout ideas are designed such that the counters, cabinets, and furnishings are all lined up against a single wall. You will find these kitchen layouts in bachelorhood, studio apartments, and small converted living spaces.

The floor plan is usually open but they are not open-planned kitchens. They smoosh the kitchen utilities to one single wall to limit the amount of kitchen activity and save space.

You can opt for minimalist kitchen design ideas wherein you can install two-in-one or three-in-one appliances. There is a huge market for these kinds of machinery that allow your stove and dishwasher or stove and kitchen to be designed into one piece of equipment. You’ll have the sink on the same countertop and limited but enough space for lower and upper cabinets to store away your cooking necessities.

In most small homes, there are built-in kitchen cabinets. They also have small hooks and rods for you to hang up portable shelving or other kitchen accessories.

Read also – 8 Best Kitchen Cabinet Design Ideas

one wall kitchen layout

Image Credit:

2. Straight kitchen layout

This is the most standard and ideal kitchen layout for small homes with small spaces. It is commonly referred to as a Parallel Kitchen or Galley Kitchen.

The idea behind this kitchen design, and thereby the name, lies in the simplistic floor plan that allows a lot of kitchen storage without hindering the walkway or the flow of natural light. The kitchen space opens up on one end where you walk in to find counter space and cabinetry on both sides. The middle is left absolutely empty ad the pathway can either end at a wall or a utility area on the other side.

A galley kitchen allows homeowners to install upper and lower cabinets in abundance. We also have a few ideas on how you can customize the place to your liking.

Carve out a corner of the kitchen to install your refrigerator. Arrange for the cooktop to be placed close by on either side of the counters but keep some distance from the sink. It is ideal to have the stovetop on the same stretch of countertop as the sink so you can access them easily without having to turn around a lot.

Next, create a work triangle on the opposite counter space. This is where you can cut your veggies and meat, grate stuff, and whatnot. Install pull-out drawers under the work surfaces to provide unlimited storage solutions for all your small accessories, ladles, beaters, graters, measuring spoons, rollers, etc.

Now, for the space below the first line of drawers, you can either install larger pull-out storage for utensils and drying racks or opt for close-door cabinetry. Remember, the lower cabinets are where you place the cooking utensils so you can also utilize concepts of open shelving here at your convenience.

Read also – Best Small Kitchen Design Ideas to Maximize Your Kitchen Layout

straight kitchen layout

Image Credit:

3. L-shape kitchen Layout

In this type of kitchen design, you will have the counters and cabinets lining two walls of the room while the rest of the space is left empty to accommodate large appliances. One side of the kitchen counter is long while the other one is lined perpendicular to it but much shorter.

In these kitchen layouts, you will often find the upper cabinets along the long side of the counter while the shorter end usually holds a designated space for your cooktop with a range hood or an open window to let out the steam. The sink is also placed either at the end of the shorter arm of the counter or in the corner to save space.

You can easily convert this kitchen plan to accommodate extra storage space. Install open shelves or a floor cabinet in the open space of the kitchen on the other side. Find a place to fit your fridge and a dishwasher in this area as well.

Pull-out drawers with drying racks can work wonders here. Since only one side of the kitchen allows upper cabinets, the storage space is pretty limited. Thus, you may need to store your plates and utensils in lower cabinets for easier access.

If your L-shaped kitchen has a lot of floor space, consider a China cabinet. It could help organize your essentials thus leaving the cabinetry free for workflow necessities.

Read also – 57 Best Kitchen Design Ideas

L shape kitchen layout

Image Credit:

4. U-shaped kitchen layout

An ideal kitchen layout for medium to large houses is a U-shaped kitchen. The abundant open spaces around these layouts allow tons of natural light to flow through, making the kitchen feel more welcoming and cozy.

While these are some of the larger kitchens, they do not have allocated spaces for a dining area. Those come into play in the next two categories.

U-shaped kitchens are best suited for large families that require more workspaces for their cooking needs. More than one person can usually help around the kitchen floor without crowding.

If your dream kitchen ideas involved modern themes, then a U-shaped kitchen provides the perfect canvas. You can install modular stainless steel appliances and organize the workspace for functionality. Install kitchen cabinets above one or two countertops and leave the remaining space for larger appliances.

Read also – 80 Modern Kitchen Design Ideas

u shaped kitchen layout

Image Credit:

5. Kitchen island layout

Although a popular kitchen layout idea in these modern times, kitchen islands have been part of interior design for generations. These functional floor plans not only allow a lot of kitchen storage and work surfaces but also double as a dining area.

Granted, most houses that have larger kitchens usually install a kitchen island. However, small kitchen plans such as one-wall kitchens and L-shape kitchens can easily utilize removable kitchen islands for added functionality.

Usually, a kitchen island is added to the floor plan in U-shaped or open-planned kitchens because the work triangle is vast in these kitchen designs. A kitchen island ties the whole space together, thus making it easier to access the workspace, cooktop, and sink.

You can have a standalone kitchen island to only utilize the surface or you can add cubbies and drawers to them. Most homeowners and interior designers arrange a number of bar stools around the island so people can sit and chat while the meals are being cooked. It is also an ideal breakfast nook or dining area for small families and bachelors.

Read also – 50 Best Kitchen Island Design Ideas

kitchen island layout

Image Credit:

6. Open-plan kitchen layout

Probably the largest kitchen layout is the open-planned one. This is mostly because the line between kitchen and dining room or living room is marginal, close to negligent.

These floor plans are designed such that there are no walls bifurcating the living space. Therefore, people can engage in communication and entertainment while they prepare delectable meals.

At a glance, these open-planned kitchens are fairly close relatives of the one-walled kitchen because of their lack of walls. However, open-planned kitchens have the space to accommodate a kitchen island if need be, abundant storage spaces for all your needs, and they are vertically and horizontally quite large.

Open-planned kitchens either merge with the dining room or have a breakfast nook within its floor space. They have the room to accommodate two-door and four-door refrigerators, large appliances, and cleaning facilities.

Due to the open space available, these kitchen layouts are lit up with natural light during the day and allow for decorating options to complement the remainder of the house. We will discuss a few design ideas in just a minute to make these large kitchen spaces feel more like home.

The most important and prominent aspect of an open-plan kitchen is how easily you can transform the surrounding area into extra storage space without hampering the design flow. If you have a large open area available in your house or can knock down walls during your home remodel then definitely consider the open-plan kitchen layout for your new kitchen.

Now that we know the different kitchen layouts to opt for, let’s take a look at a few design ideas that will make your cooking space more glamorous.

Read also – Top 22 Kitchen Design Trends

open planned kitchen layout

Image Credit:

6 Best Kitchen Layout Design Ideas for Large and Small Spaces:

1. Color scheme

Much like the rest of the house, a small kitchen can definitely benefit from a splash of lighter colors.

For One-wall kitchens, your options may seem a little limited however, you can always add kitchen tiles to the wall or a tile backsplash.

For Straight and L-shaped kitchens where the kitchen space is limited, light shades of vibrant colors or a monochromatic theme could work wonders. A white kitchen with white cabinets would create an illusion of a larger space. You can add a dash of vibrancy with alternative color patterns or kitchen tiles with bright designs.

Use light paint colors on the walls and create a contrast with wooden cabinets or glass panels, or even textured patterns in lighter colors. You can also opt for a black or gray kitchen with stainless steel appliances to reflect a sense of functionality.

For large kitchen layouts such as U-shaped kitchens, open plans, and a kitchen island layout, you can play with the color palette to reflect warmth and personal style. Use shades of yellow, red, maroon, or even a combination of rainbow shades. Since the space is expansive, you need to put together a color scheme that ties up the loose ends.

Read also – Color Theory in Interior Design

2. Counter space

Be it a small or large kitchen layout, you need work surfaces to prepare a meal.

In one-wall kitchens where the counter space is zero to none, you can use portable equipment or wall-mounted ones that you can pull out when you need to. These small houses tend to have them built-in to save space.

In galley kitchens and L-shape layouts, you can have a lot of counter space to work if you organize the kitchen design optimally. Store away all your small appliances, utensils, butcher blocks, and whatnot. They unnecessarily crowd your countertop. Of course, the cooktop isn’t going anywhere but if you have a range hood oven then your counter is still free for use.

Larger kitchens such as those in U-shaped kitchens, open-planned kitchens, and those with islands have unlimited counter space. You can repurpose the design plan to befit a nook where children can do their homework or color while you cook and watch them at the same time.

Read also – 21 Best Kitchen Counter Decor Ideas

3. Backsplash

Every kitchen needs a backsplash.

Regardless of whether you have a small or large kitchen floor plan, you need backsplashes to contain the amount of grime and filth around the cooktop.

In small kitchens, any amount of dirt or stain is easily visible Therefore, if you have a small kitchen layout then invest in a backsplash. For one-wall kitchens, in particular, a tile backsplash can add protection to the wall and a splash of color to your tiny kitchen design.

For parallel, L-shape, and U-shaped layouts, a tile backsplash is an innovative way of introducing a rustic touch. You can line the wall behind the cooktop and under the range hood if you have one. This way, your beautiful kitchen remains neat and free of muck.

Larger kitchen layouts such as open-plans usually utilize more than a concentrated cooktop. Therefore, you could benefit from stainless steel backsplashes or tiles that are easier to wipe.

Read also – 6 Best Kitchen Decor Ideas

4. Kitchen floor

Every kitchen runs the hazard of slipping on fallen objects, especially things like oil, flour, water, etc. No matter if your kitchen layout is small or big, invest in a good-quality kitchen floor, preferably matte tiles that prevent slipping.

The kitchen is ideally not a place for hardwood flooring because of spills that could damage the material. However, you can opt for sturdier wooden floors or even straw mats that can absorb any slick materials and provide a good grip.

Read also – 15 Best Kitchen Design Software

5. Kitchen storage

A necessity in large and small kitchens alike, you need to have ample storage at all times.

For small kitchen layouts, especially Galley kitchens, and L-shaped kitchens, install pull-out drawers to save space. You can easily fit drying racks or shelves in them as per your convenience and requirement. Also, consider adding both lower and upper cabinets wherever possible. They will help keep your small kitchen uncluttered.

If you have pipeline gas, then you don’t have a problem. However, if you need to use cylinders, arrange the cooktop such that you can hide the cylinder under the sink. This way you utilize the discarded space and leave enough room for necessities.

Small kitchens can also use additional storage in the form of china cabinets. Of course, if there is no room in your kitchen, you can always place them in your living room or dining room to create a backdrop with focal lighting.

Larger kitchen layouts have ample storage spaces. You can install drawers, open shelves, or cubbies everywhere, including the kitchen island. Some interior designers can also help you install mechanized cubbies on your island that pop out when you need them while enjoying a meal. You can simply put them back when you’re done by pressing a button. It adds style to modern kitchens in particular.

Read also – 8 Best Kitchen Island Renovation Ideas

6. Light and Air circulation

In small kitchen layouts, it is important to allow as much natural light and air circulation as possible. The limited space tends to feel dingy and starts to smell, therefore, install large windows with glass panels and a sliding glass door if you have the option.

For larger kitchens too, the element of natural light is a necessity. This is because distant corners can be shrouded in darkness thus allowing bacterial growth.

If you have an open-planned kitchen or a U-shaped one, with or without an island, opt for a skylight, if possible. Long ceiling-to-floor glass windows and doorways are also excellent choices. Feel free to install some pendant lights above the kitchen island for ambiance and add some artwork to the walls to reflect your personal style. This is an excellent opportunity to unleash your creative side and design some DIY lighting fixtures for your dream kitchen.

Read also – Best Kitchen Lighting Ideas


We have talked a lot about the size of different kitchen layouts today. However, we want to circle back to what we said earlier for a moment.

You can choose any kitchen layout regardless of the size of your property or your cooking room. While these standard design plans are better facilitated in various predetermined floor plans, no one but you get to decide what the layout of your dream kitchen should be.

As long as you plan it out beforehand, your kitchen makeover could actually make a small kitchen seem big or a big kitchen seem cozy. It is all up to you.

We have furnished the design ideas best-suited for different kitchen layouts. You can always use them as a reference, mix them up per your preference and design the best, aesthetically upraised kitchen anyone has ever seen.

Signup Foyr Neo for 14 Days free trial and design your own kitchen layout today.

Foyr Neo Free Trial

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 3 Average: 3]

Join 50,000+ designers and teams

Using Foyr Neo is as easy as 1, 2, 3. First, upload a floor plan or create one from scratch. Then drag and drop from over 60K 3D models to fill your rooms. Lastly, just set the shot and let the AI create stunning 4K renders for you in less than 10 minutes.

Start your 14-day free trial

No Credit Card Or Download Required

Specially built for Interior Designers

Get started for free

Start your 14-day free trial No Credit Card Or Download Required