Popular Kitchens Layouts

A kitchen is more than just a cooking space. It's a hub of home activity, a point of pride and a place to socialise. When it comes to planning your dream kitchen you want to ensure maximum space efficiency and functionality.

Every space is unique, but there are some standard configurations and common constraints that come into play in a kitchen renovation. Check out some pros, cons and design tips for the six most popular kitchen layouts.



Island kitchens only work when you have a large area to work with. They are great for entertaining, allowing the person in the kitchen to remain part of the action.

The island layout is ideal for people who want their kitchen to be a social hub. It enables the cook to entertain while preparing food.

A successful kitchen island configuration requires plenty of room. "We recommend a minimum of 16m for a successful island kitchen," says Sydney architect Kathy Roberts from design firm Hassell. "A long island bench is preferable and allows ample space for food preparation, socialising and a washing-up area."


Island kitchens provide the ultimate connection between your kitchen and open-plan living spaces.


There's nowhere to hide. Your kitchen is on display and the pressure to keep it clean is greater. The open connection between kitchen and living area means there is little separation when it comes to noise and activity.


Make your island a major feature by shaping it into a unique form or using dramatic materials such as marble or timber. Also rectangular island benches should be at least 2.4m long to provide harmonious proportions.

kitchen island, kitchen shape, emerald pearl



U-shaped kitchens are a cook's dream - but you have to watch the space between work zones. If they are too wide it can be frustrating.

U-shaped kitchens are great for large families or where multiple cooks will be working simultaneously in the space. This layout is also flexible. It can work in both long, narrow galley-style spaces, as well as large square spaces with a central island workstation.


Watch the gap! The area within the U can be any size, but if too wide it becomes inconvenient putting too much distance between work zones.

u shaped kitchen, winston salem


L-shaped kitchens can easily incorporate a dining table.

An L-shaped kitchen lends itself to a medium to large area and is ideal if you want to incorporate a dining table into the scheme.

Position tall units (pantry, fridge, wall oven) along one arm of the L, and the main bench (with cooktop and sinks) on the other. This will provide maximum bench and storage space, and plenty of circulation room for at least two people to work within the kitchen area.


In an L-shaped kitchen, finish taller cabinets in a similar colour or material to the walls so they visually blend with the rest of the room.

white l shaped kitchen