Types of kitchen layouts – which is best?

At Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms in Hawthorn East, Melbourne, our designers take the hassle and angst out of planning your new kitchen, drawing on their many years of experience in design to advise on the best possible layout to suit the space and your individual needs.

To enhance in the planning process, it can help you to have some understanding of basic kitchen plans, especially if you have the luxury of enough space to be able to choose between different possible layouts.

In order to choose the best layout for you, you might want to consider:

  • the amount of space you have to play with; and any restrictions such as external doors/windows
  • what functions, other than cooking, your kitchen will serve – eg. as a dining area? a study space?
  • to what degree you want the kitchen to flow/be open to the rest of your home
  • how much benchtop you need
  • which appliances you are planning to incorporate
  • your kitchen storage needs

You might have heard of the principle of a ‘Work Triangle’ layout in kitchen design, whereby the cooktop/oven, sink and fridge are all within easy reach of each other in a roughly triangular shape.

However, it is useful to also consider work zones other than just cooking and cleaning, such as where food preparation will occur, and where non-perishable food is kept (ie. a pantry or similar). As a general rule, the food preparation zone should sit between the cleaning and cooking zones. In addition, the fridge should be at the outer edge of the kitchen space for quick and easy access by the whole household.

Below are examples of the five (5) basic layouts for a kitchen.


If you have a very limited kitchen space, incorporating just a single row of cabinetry could be your best option, with benchtop space on both sides of the cooking zone.


Also good in compact areas, a galley layout has two facing rows of cabinetry with a walkway between and is open at one or both ends.

Galley style kitchen designed by Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms, Melbourne
A light, bright kitchen in the galley style best suited this client’s home, designed by Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms, Hawthorn East


L-shaped kitchen layouts make good use of the corner of a room and can include an island bench for maximum flexibility in cooking and entertainment.


U-shaped kitchen with stunning Italian blue tiled splashback, Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms, Melbourne
U-shaped kitchen with stunning Italian blue tiled splash back and timber contrasts, Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms, Melbourne

As the name suggests, cabinetry lies on three sides of the space with access from just one end.


An elegant open plan kitchen designed by Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms, Hawthorn East
An elegant ,white-based kitchen, designed by Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms, seamlessly blending into other zones of this home in an open plan design

As with U-shaped, the cabinetry lies on two or three sides but these orientate towards a larger, open living and/or dining space and allow for an island bench to define the kitchen area.

Obviously there are an unlimited number of varieties and interpretations within each type, and a good kitchen designer such as those at Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms will help you to create your perfect space – both aesthetically and functionally!

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1035 Burke Road
Hawthorn East (cnr Canterbury Rd)

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 4pm
Or by appointment

Phone: 03 9882 4103
Fax: 03 9882 4763
Email: hawthorn@ultimatekitchens.com.au


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