Find your perfect kitchen layout

Blue kitchen with island

Ever walked into someone else’s kitchen and had to open at least three cabinet doors before you’ve found the glasses? You’re not alone. I’ve certainly done it. And it’s because people all use their kitchens differently.

Whether you’re a budding chef who wants an island with a multitude of hobs on display, or more of a Carrie Bradshaw who notoriously used her kitchen so little that she stored her jumpers in the oven, planning a kitchen layout is a very personal process and is probably the most important step on the road to your perfect new kitchen.

So how do you work out which kitchen layout is right for you then? What with galley, L-shaped, U-shaped and other options banded about it can be totally confusing at times. Well, whether you are planning the best use of an existing room, extending or altering your home, or even building an entirely new space from scratch, here’s my guide to help you work out the blueprints.

Single galley

This layout is usually the best – if not only – choice in a narrow room, yet it can also work well as a one-wall solution in a larger space. Winner. A sleek run of units along a long wall can be streamlined and efficient, and won’t invade dining and entertaining areas.

Bronze and blue single galley kitchen

This Sebastian Cox kitchen by Devol features handy hooks and open shelving to create clever additional storage in a more compact space. Prices start from £15,000

Double galley

Here you have the chance to differentiate functions on two sides of the room. For example, a sink area can be opposite the cooking zone, with plenty of prep space on both sides. You could even add a small peninsula onto this layout to creates a useful serving area for hot dishes from the ovens and hob, close to the dining table. Order up!

Cream double galley kitchen

This double galley layout is packed with functionality, including a breakfast bar, cooking zone, built-in chopping board, and plenty of storage. Second Nature’s Milton kitchens, shown here in Alabaster, starts from £10,000

L-shaped

A good kitchen layout solution in a compact space – it’s what I have at home. I would keep base units for storage and built-in appliances so there’s plenty of work surface on top for prepping, and have the shorter side of the L as a tall larder unit.

L shaped kitchen

With tall wall units in Bronze and base cabinets in Cashmere, as well as an island in Light Oak which also features an integrated seating area, Stoneham Kitchens’ Latitude collection starts from £25,000

U-shaped

Essentially wraps furniture around you, making for a practical, central working zone. However, the furniture doesn’t have to be built around three walls. You could have a long peninsula operating as the third run so that the cook can interact with friends and family beyond.

U shaped kitchen

A U-shaped layout provides plenty of worktop space. Shown is the Calacatta Gris from the Ceralsio collection by CRL Stone – a highly stain and scratch resistant surface. Priced from £350 per sq m

So while galley and L-shaped layouts are usually the best solution for smaller rooms, U-shaped designs can work successfully in more generous spaces. Keep in mind that, even in super-sized rooms, you want to create an efficient and reasonably compact working area so that you don’t have to walk miles each time you prepare a meal (or a cocktail, for you Carries out there) – you may want to introduce an island or peninsula to help strike this balance.

Featured image: This kitchen island with a Caesarstone Statuario Maximus 5031 worktop, from £800 per sq m, offers plenty of storage and also features a spacious sink area.

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