3 timeless kitchen layouts and why they work

Effective kitchen layouts don’t just look good, they’re practical, functional places to cook. The best layout places the sink, stove or oven, and fridge in strategic locations. These three areas, when planned correctly, form the ‘work triangle’. The work triangle minimises movement in the kitchen and interruptions to the cook. The most effective distance between the three workstations is 1200mm, which can work with several kitchen layouts.

Don’t limit yourself to your kitchen’s original 1950’s layout. Start fresh with one of these practical kitchen layouts.


Practical kitchen layouts

Each of these classic layouts makes use of the work triangle. When it comes to cooking, cleaning, and putting away the dishes, you just want to get the job done. Each of these layouts meets that requirement and still ticks all of the design boxes.


L- shape Kitchen Layout

Great for open plan living, no kitchen is more open than the L –  shape kitchen. One side usually runs along a wall while the other runs under a window. The whole wall utilises most of the cabinetry, from floor to ceiling. The appliances, such as the oven, stove and fridge usually go on this wall as well. Have the sink under the window, so you have a lovely view while you wash the dishes.

This layout works in both a small or large kitchen. If small, you’ve used up every bit of space while still having room to move. If your kitchen is large, make it multipurpose by adding a table or sofa in the large empty space.

Otherwise, add an island bench.


Island Kitchen Floor Plan

Really, this is the L-shape layout with an island bench in the middle. You could move the sink to the island bench and have cabinetry run under the window. That’ll give you extra bench space. As the plumbing is now in the island bench, why not move the dishwasher there as well.

You could add a few pendant lights over the benchtop and some bar stools. Suddenly you’ve got an inviting area for your family to just hang out while you chop and wash some veggies. 

Otherwise, for a chef who likes to entertain with a bit of flair, place the stovetop in the middle of the island bench. Instead of having the overhead rangehood, the fume extractor is near the elements and sucks moisture and fumes down.  

The more popular option is of course, keeping the island bench free for bench space. Hang some pendant lights and install powerpoints for charging phones and other devices. You’ll find the kitchen is the new spot for homework and entertainment.


U shape Kitchen Layout

The U- shape layout is really an extension of the L- shape layout, giving you extra bench space to play with. Make sure you have at least two meters space to move within each side of your ‘U’. When designing with the work triangle in mind, this layout is the best. Keep your fridge, cooker and sink between 1200mm and 2700mm apart. This is the best distance for practicality, safety and time efficiency. Who wants their fridge miles away from the sink?

The extra limb on this layout could contain extra storage. Have bar stools along the outer side for that quick bite to eat. As it’s adding more bench space than the island bench, the U layout is a practical solution for a small kitchen. 


Don’t limit yourself to the layout of your original kitchen. Moving plumbing and the electrical may push up the cost. But, it could make your space more usable and practical. Think of the work triangle in your next design and you’ll be cooking up a storm. For more practical advice, visit our showroom to discuss which layout is best for you.

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