When updating kitchen layouts, it’s crucial to consider the work triangle that separates the sink, range, and refrigerator. Recently, the traditional work triangle has evolved into a more practical “work zone” concept. We have seen a shift from the traditional kitchen in which one person does all the cooking to a multi-purpose, multiple-cook kitchen. This evolution has us looking at multiple work zones rather than one work triangle. With that in mind, we have to increase clearances and look at adding comfortable spaces in the kitchen.

Now more than ever, learning about different kitchen layouts, like L-shaped, one-wall, and galley kitchens, can go a long way in helping you prepare for a successful kitchen renovation. Below, we’ve listed our favorite kitchen layouts to help you draw up plans for your next kitchen remodel!


Originally called the “Pullman kitchen,” the one-wall kitchen layout is generally found in studio or loft spaces because it’s the ultimate space saver. Cabinets and appliances are fixed on a single wall. Most modern designs also include an island, which evolves the space into a sort of galley style with a walk-through corridor.


This efficient layout makes great use of space and is ideal for smaller, one-cook kitchens. Also called a walk-through kitchen, the galley kitchen is characterized by two parallel walls and/or countertops with a walkway in between them. Galleys make the best use of every square inch of space, and there are no troublesome corner cabinets to configure, which can add to a cabinetry budget.


Ideal for both small- and medium-sized kitchens, an L-shaped kitchen solves the problem of maximizing corner space. The versatile L-shaped kitchen consists of countertops on two adjoining, perpendicular walls. On either wall, the countertops can be as long or short as you want, but keeping them less than 12 to 15 feet in length will result in the most efficient use of the space.

An L-shaped layout is particularly useful for eliminating traffic. The kitchen will not become a thoroughfare because it’s just not logistically possible. So if you have a busy family and a crowded kitchen, an L-shaped layout might be right for you! Moreover, you can add a dining space and multiple work zones to this layout.


The horseshoe, or U-shape, kitchen layout has three walls of cabinets, quartz countertops, and/or appliances. This design has evolved from three walls to an L-shaped kitchen with an island acting as the third wall. By using an island instead of a third wall, you improve the flow of traffic in and around the kitchen.


In addition to adding work surface, a working kitchen island will ideally include appliances and/or storage. Islands are a great way to provide a space for any function that your kitchen doesn’t currently accommodate. It can provide a place to eat, to prepare food, or to store beverages. An island can also turn a one-wall kitchen into a galley style and an L-shaped layout into a horseshoe. Kitchen islands are incredibly functional, but the most common misperception about islands is that everyone ought to have one. The reality is, many kitchens simply don’t have enough clearance to include this feature. But, if you can add one, it is sure to add a great deal of functionality to your kitchen!


Just like in geography, a kitchen peninsula is essentially a connected island that converts an L-shaped layout into a horseshoe or turning a horseshoe layout into a G-shaped design. Peninsulas function much like islands but offer more clearance in kitchens that do not allow appropriate square footage for a true island.