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35+ Kitchen layouts – small kitchen layouts, open plan kitchen designs

By Elise Hodge

Updated: May 4th, 2020

L-shaped, galley and open-plan kitchens to suit every style and taste!

When you’re planning your kitchen, the first thing you need to consider is the layout and ask yourself the important questions like; where will all your appliances be and how much bench space do you need? And whatever your answers are, there’s plenty of options to look at. Just to start with, there are L-shaped and U-shaped kitchens, and then there’s also the handy kitchen island, galley kitchen and single-walled kitchen layouts which all have their own pros and cons.

But what do they actually look like? Let’s go through these 35 different kitchen layouts to find one that will suit your home.

1. Small L-shaped kitchen layout

If you have a small space, then an L-shaped design will help you make the most of it. Remember, your bench space is just as important as your cupboards. So use it well by filling it with your most-used appliances, your knife block, and other pieces of decor like vases of flowers.

Small kitchen
Source: acorn_cottage_

2. U-shaped kitchen layout

If you’ve got a medium-sized kitchen then a U-shaped design is a practical choice. You can install a range hood in the centre of the room, and design your cupboards around it.

Small kitchen
Source: The Souter Life

3. Stove and rangehood

When designing your kitchen, it’s important to think about how your stove and rangehood will fit into the layout. Because it’s such a big installation, it’s important to think about this first. Consider the size of your range hood and stove and then determine the types of cabinets you’ll need to fit around them.

Small kitchen
Source: The Inspired Room

4. Single-wall kitchen layout

If you have a small kitchen or a granny flat, think about installing your cupboards along one wall instead of in an L or U-shaped design. This means your kitchen will take up minimal space and won’t overwhelm the rest of your room. Make sure you allow for plenty of cupboard space, so you can store away all of your kitchenware. And regularly declutter your kitchen, so you can keep it nice and clean.

Small kitchen
Source: Completely Delicious

5. Tidy L-shaped space

This kitchen makes the most of its small space with a clever L-shaped design. What I love about it the most is that the floating shelving mimics the layout of the cupboards. This two-tier shelving is practical for displaying bowls, plates and glasses, as well as keeping nonperishables and spices within arm’s reach.

Small kitchen
Source: Style by Emily Henderson

6. Dark grey

Here’s another L-shaped kitchen design, but this time in a slightly larger kitchen. I like how the colours are really consistent across this kitchen for a beautiful, clean finish. The dark speckled grey of the countertop matches perfectly with the timber-look vinyl grey flooring.

Small kitchen
Source: Lemon Thistle

7. Neat and tidy

This one-wall kitchen layout is simply stunning. The finishes look high-end and luxurious. I particularly love the pattern in the dark flooring – it provides the perfect base for the rest of this white-and-black kitchen. And the touches of brass hardware on the pendant light and cupboards finish the design off beautifully. Not to mention the Moroccan-inspired rug, which adds a splash of warmth and colour.

Small kitchen
Source: Room for Tuesday

8. Two-toned grey

Grey, grey – oh glorious grey. It’s a classic colour that will never age. And it’s perfect in this L-shaped kitchen. I really love the window in this kitchen. If you’re designing your kitchen from scratch, think about where you can install a beautiful window. This will allow natural light to filter into the space and light up the dark elements.

Small kitchen
Source: Studio McGee

9. Clever lighting

When designing your kitchen layout, consider where you’ll need to install lights. The most obvious spot is to hang a pendant light from the ceiling. The other most important place is to install a light in your wall. This provides much-needed brightness to your sink area as you wash the dishes or your benchtop as you prepare food.

Small kitchen
Source: At Home with Ashley

10. Island with an in-built stove

It’s quite rare to see a layout like this, which incorporates a stove and rangehood into the kitchen island- but I like it! The huge range hood provides a focal point for this medium-sized kitchen. And I love how the hanging lights have been placed directly in front of it. This adds a nice balance and symmetry.

Small kitchen
Source: prdwagga

11. Mirrored splashback

In designing the layout of your kitchen, it’s important to consider how the space will ultimately look and feel. If you have a small kitchen, you should think about ways that you can make it appear bigger than it is. One way you can do this is by installing a mirrored splashback. And this is especially helpful if you have a window on the other side of the room.

Small kitchen
Source: Caesar Stone

12. Small kitchen layout

If you have a tiny kitchen, keep it all to one side of the room, like this design. And another way to maximise your space is to use plenty of white or neutral colours. This will open up your space and make it appear much larger than it really is.

Small kitchen
Source: francoisetmoi

13. Huge rangehood

In a big kitchen, you can get away with large pieces like this range hood. In fact, they can even serve as the feature piece for your room. Make your range hood stand out by using a different material for the walls than the range hood. In this kitchen, the range hood is a simple white painted timber and the surrounding walls are designed with white subway tiles with grey grout.

Small kitchen
Source: Inspired by Charm

14. Patterned splashback

If you’re designing an L-shaped kitchen like this one, think about how you can make your edging stand out. One way to do this is by using tiles with a geometric pattern, like these triangular-style ones. The tiles follow the L-shape of your kitchen and make your timber countertop pop!

Small kitchen
Source: Designer Trapped

If you like this but want to see some more examples, take a look at these kitchen splashback ideas.

15. Frame your windows

Windows are key to a beautiful kitchen layout. And one way to highlight them is to frame them in a contrasting colour. Take this window frame, for example. The black steel frame stands out against the white edging and cream-coloured paint. The black of the frame also matches the black tapware.

Small kitchen
Source: Yellow Brick Home

16. Island kitchen layout

Your kitchen should not just be a beautiful space to prepare food and entertain guests, but it also needs to be a functional space. One way to make this happen is to create an island layout that allows you to place bench seats at the island. This is an easy way to accommodate extra guests around the kitchen. It can be used as a spot to savour a cup of coffee or breakfast with the kids in the morning, or a place to enjoy a glass of wine paired with a cheese platter on a Friday night.

Small kitchen
Source: Mint Arrow

17. Open plan kitchen layout

Today’s modern homes have embraced open plan living as an alternative to close-off kitchens. And it’s become one of the most popular kitchen layouts because the integrated kitchen-dining space reflects how people live. Today’s families want functional spaces that foster community and allow people to move about from room to room with ease. This is exactly the kind of experience an open plan kitchen should create.

Small kitchen
Source: Three Birds Renovations

18. Plenty of shelving

The number one thing you need to consider when designing your kitchen layout is storage. You really don’t want to get to the end of your kitchen renovation and realise that you’ve left out room for the pots or pans or your favourite pretty dishes. So when you’re in the initial stages of planning your kitchen, consider how your layout can incorporate everything from low cabinets, glass cabinets, open shelves, floating shelves and drawers.

Small kitchen
Source: Cotter Crunch

Here are some more kitchen storage ideas to make sure you’re utilizing the most out of your space.

19. Colourful splashback

A splash of colour helps to bring a kitchen to life. So when you’re drafting your kitchen layout, think about where you can integrate an eye-catching feature piece or design. Installing a bold splashback is one way to do this. You can either tile it behind your rangehood and stove, or you can wrap it around the entire back wall of your kitchen.

Whatever you do, make sure you select a colour that either pop against your existing colour scheme or that fits in with the colours you’ve already got. This blue-tiled splashback is a beauty, and I love the interesting pattern!

Small kitchen
Source: Fare Isle

20. Long island

If you have the space for it, why not make your kitchen island as large as you can. This is such a helpful place to store extra kitchenware. You can even take it to the next level by integrating your stove and sink into the bench. A kitchen island, like this, provides an additional area to prepare food and entertain. Plus, you can easily decorate it with a gorgeous bunch of fresh flowers and a glass dome filled with freshly-baked goods.

Small kitchen
Source: Homes to Love

21. Overhanging island

Need extra seats? Well, if you have an island, you can simply place stools underneath it. This provides an additional surface for enjoying casual dinner meals, drinking a cup of tea or coffee, or sipping wine with friends on the weekend.

Small kitchen
Source: Homes to Love

22. Smart use of space

Optimise every nook and cranny in your kitchen by installing clever floating shelves. These timber ones are all the rage right now. Not only do they look great, but they also provide a handy spot to store your favourite mugs, cups or jugs, or to simply display a pretty print or potted plant.

Small kitchen
Source: Jojo Tastic

23. Use your window sill

If your kitchen has a window sill, I can bet it’s probably just collecting dust. But you should put this space to work by using it to display your favourite plants, including succulents cacti, or your favourite herbs. Your plants will get the natural light they need, and your kitchen will be infused with fresh green goodness!

Small kitchen
Source: See and Savour

24. Integrated seating area

This is a great example of an effective open plan kitchen. What’s so great about this design is that it incorporates plenty of different seating spots, which increases the functionality of the space. First, there are the stools at the white kitchen island. And then there’s the small bench seat on the left (with storage drawers underneath). And to finish it off, there’s a little table and chair set that’s perfect for another two people.

Small kitchen
Source: The Happy Housie Porch

25. Timber-top island

I adore this small kitchen layout. The timber-top island incorporates a stove, which makes it very practical. And the leather green chairs provide seating for family and friends to gather around the kitchen.

Small kitchen
Source: Trendy Peas

26. Huge white island with timber insert

Speaking of functional kitchen islands, this one is fantastic. Not only does it have three stools for seating, but it also incorporates a timber insert with two shelves for placing books, plants, or anything else your heart desires!

Small kitchen
Source: Bella Vie Interiors

27. Small kitchen with marble island

If you have a small kitchen, then you’re probably already struggling to find storage space for all of your dishes, kitchenware and appliances. The greatest benefit of a kitchen island is that it provides more storage space. So, if this is something you need – design a kitchen island that includes cabinets or shelving underneath or above it. There are so many nifty storage hacks you can implement too – think wine racks, coffee mug holders, hooks or hanging utensil racks. When it comes to your kitchen island, the options really are endless!

Small kitchen
Source: Pretty Little Row House

28. Fill your space with a rug

Have you ever thought about how your kitchen feels? The feeling your kitchen provides will be greatly determined by two things. First, you need to consider the shades in your kitchen. Warm tones like beige, orange or red, will instantly make your space feel cosy, whereas cool shades like white, blue or green will make your kitchen feel cold.

The second thing you need to consider is your climate. If you live in a warm climate, your kitchen will also feel warm. But if you live in a climate that’s cool most of the year-round, then it’s important to think about how you can make your kitchen feel warmer. A simple way to do this is by adding a Moroccan rug to your floor, like this gorgeous pink, yellow and grey one.

Small kitchen
Source: Kelley Nan

29. Pink sink

It’s easy to dismiss a sink as being just a sink. But the truth is, it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, you can have a lot of fun styling your sink so that it compliments the overall layout of your kitchen. Take your sink form boring stainless steel to pretty pink with a colourful interior.

Small kitchen
Source: The Leslie Style

30. Cast-iron sink

If pink isn’t your style, then you might prefer this colour pairing better. Cast iron is a great option if you want a sink that’s a little bit different but more gender-neutral. And the great thing about this colour is that it looks great paired with brass or gold tapware and cabinet hardware.

Small kitchen
Source: Gimme Some Oven

31. Farmhouse door

If you’re wanting to design a country kitchen, then you should consider a kitchen layout that reflects this. An easy way to transform your kitchen into this style is to install a farmhouse door, which is a two-part door that can be opened at the top or opened as a whole. You can then frame your farmhouse kitchen layout strategically to make this feature shine.

Small kitchen
Source: Emily A Clark

32. Lots of hooks

The little details in your kitchen are just as important as your overall design. However, these are the elements that are often the most overlooked. You can easily optimise your space by installing a handy brass bar with hooks for mugs, tea towels and cooking utensils. This keeps everything within arm’s reach and frees up space in your cupboards and drawers.

Small kitchen
Source: Swoon Worthy

33. L-shaped kitchen around an island

Yes, you can have an L-shaped kitchen and an island in one. This kitchen design proves it. It has the timber-top island on the left, and the main benches wrap around it nicely. I particularly love the rug on the timber flooring – the black-and-grey tones add the contrast this space needs.

Small kitchen
Source: A Crafted Passion

34. Keep it consistent

When styling your new kitchen, make sure you keep the design consistent throughout the layout. This space keeps things simple with all-white cupboards with silver handles. And the green-tiled splashback infuses colour and life into this kitchen.

Small kitchen
Source: I Wash You Dry

35. Choose a focal point

In large kitchens, it’s important to have a feature item to draw the eye. In this kitchen, the focal point is the huge stainless steel sink. It stands out beautifully under the large white window. And the black wall light provides much-needed light above the sink – handy when the natural light fades.

Small kitchen
Source: The Northern Current

There you have it – 35+ kitchen layouts, including small layouts, open-plan layouts, U-shaped layouts and more. I’d love to hear which kitchen layout was your favourite. Comment and tell me which style you would implement in your home. And, if you have any more suggestions – I’d love to hear. Simply share them below!


Elise H

I've recently moved into a new home and I've been having so much fun decorating it with pretty wall prints and Scandinavian-inspired furniture. So as well as being a freelance writer, I'm always on the lookout for new design pieces for my home!

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