Style Guide: Kitchen Layouts

Learn about the four common kitchen layouts and how to decide which will work best for your home.


Hi, I'm Jennifer Cuff, home editor at Southern Living. Building or remodeling a kitchen is a big undertaking, and with it comes lots of decisions. One of the most important questions to resolve is determining your floor plan. There are four common kitchen layouts, galley, l-shaped, u-shaped, and g-shaped. When deciding which layout will work best for you, take into account the amount of space you have, how you and your family use your kitchen and how the space relates to other rooms in your home. The layout you choose will help determine your work triangle. That is, the work space linking the refrigerator, stove, and sink. Galley kitchens, which are generally small and more compact, are made up of two parallel work areas. For the most efficiency, place the sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator all on one side of the room and locate the range on the opposite wall. [MUSIC] An l-shaped kitchen has a user friendly design that works well in a small space. The right angle of the layout creates a natural work triangle. With a u-shaped design, each element of your work triangle occupies its own, wall creating separate work zones. This is a perfect choice for when there's more than one cook in the kitchen. Both the l-shaped and u-shaped kitchen floor plans are good options for the open layout of a great room. [MUSIC] The g-shaped layout gives four sides to your work area, with the fourth leg being a peninsula. It makes for a more closed feeling, but provides a lot of cabinet and counter space. If you have room, consider increasing your kitchen work space by adding an island. When it comes to planning your kitchen, a certified kitchen designer can be a huge help, but remember, this is your kitchen, so choose the layout and design that you think will work best for you. For more ways to create a beautiful kitchen read Southern Living magazine and visit
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