How to design the perfect U-shaped kitchen | homify (2024)

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To each his own, yet the results are in: most people prefer a u-shaped kitchen to other layouts. Also known as a c-shaped kitchen, a u-shaped kitchen layout comprises workspace on three adjoining walls of cabinetry, with an open end for access.

For a small u-shaped kitchen, the opposing runs effectively become a galley layout, but with one end closed off. Although this galley format also works for larger kitchens, the workspace’s efficiency can be reduced if the opposing runs are set too far apart.

But before you dial up a professional Kitchen Planner to come and completely renovate your culinary space, did you do your homework on u-shaped kitchen ideas?

​1. The u-shaped kitchen: Pros and cons

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Pros: As a u kitchen has three walls or cabinet sections, chances are good that you’ll have adequate storage space relative to your kitchen’s size. And seeing as your appliances will be closer together (especially in smaller layouts), moving from one spot to the other can be achieved quite quickly. Another advantage is that u-shaped kitchens are perfect for keeping the cooking zone separate from the living/dining areas.

Cons: It’s very easy for the u-shaped kitchen to feel cramped because of how close those appliances are to one another. As a result, you may not have enough room to operate during meal prep, and cooking may not be a functional process for you. Cabinetry isn’t always easy to access due to corners. And an island is usually out of the question.

​2. The u-shaped kitchen: Planning your layout

The cabinetry forming your kitchen’s u-shaped layout can be roughly the same or vary in length; in both cases, there’s an opportunity for flexibility within the design. Where all walls are the same length (for example, 3m), your planning start point usually depends on where the windows are located.

But what if one of the walls has a window? Then we’d recommend pairing this with your kitchen sink. Not only will a window offer natural light for washing-up, but (hopefully) a fresh view as well.

​3. The u-shaped kitchen: Placing your sink and hob

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If your sink is placed in the middle of the u-shaped layout, the hob can be located on either of the other runs. But if these two runs vary in length, it is recommended to place the hob on the longer one, which will allow more space on either side of it.

If your sink is on a run other than the middle one, it’s best to try and ensure a continuous flow of worktop around the ‘u’. Thus, if your kitchen possesses tall units, this would mean locating them together at the furthest end of the cabinetry run. This would place them opposite, but along from the sink. Placing them in this format ensures that your worktop is not interrupted, and the kitchen’s functionality (in the form of a galley layout) is unhampered.

​4. The u-shaped kitchen: Employ symmetry

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A u-shaped kitchen is the perfect opportunity for symmetry within a design (as long as it doesn’t compromise the kitchen’s usability).

Usually, it’s advised to pick an appliance (like an oven or oversized extractor) for the midpoint of the central run. Then you work outwards, implementing furniture and appliances accordingly.

​5. The u-shaped kitchen: Hiding certain features

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Another fantastic advantage of u-shaped kitchens is that they can be designed to ‘hide’ less-attractive components and/or appliances behind taller units. Think about how microwaves, sinks and other goodies are not always a kitchen’s best features. Wouldn’t the end result be more visually pleasing to keep these out of sight? This is particularly beneficial in an open-plan kitchen layout.

​6. The u-shaped kitchen: Maximising an efficient work zone


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Regardless of size, a well-planned u-shaped kitchen design will ensure that only a limited number of steps are required between different units and appliances. This makes the kitchen a much safer place during cooking, especially when others are present.

Furthermore, generous worktop- and storage capacity puts everything you need within easy reach, plus ensures all kitchenware has its own storage place. This results in a kitchen that can be tidied up in no time.

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7. The u-shaped kitchen: Bring in corner storage

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One of the best benefits of a u-shaped kitchen is that having three runs of cabinetry provides plenty opportunity for storage. However, the two corners in a typical u-shaped kitchen take up a significant amount of the available floor space.

In order to achieve an ergonomically sound design, it’s important to select a specialist kitchen corner solution, such as a carousel or a LeMans corner unit. These make perfect use of otherwise dead space within corner units.

8. The u-shaped kitchen: Consider curves


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A lot of homeowners that go for u-shaped kitchens request curves instead of square edges for the internal corners. Curved corners are perfect for creating a stylish, flowing design and softening a kitchen’s look. However, this design does come with a few drawbacks, mainly a reduction in storage space.

Most curved units don’t continue fully into a kitchen’s corners and consequently reduce access and use of this space. This may not be an issue for larger u-shaped kitchens, but should be kept in mind when planning a smaller layout.

More tips for your u-shaped kitchen: A long-term option


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Build on your u-shaped kitchen layout’s functionality by designing a space that is perfectly accessible for a family’s long-term living. For instance, customise your countertop heights so the kids can help out, aim for at least 90 cm of pace for comfortably moving between appliances and cabinets, etc.

More tips for your u-shaped kitchen: Open shelving

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Since a u kitchen presents the most space for cabinets (as they can flank on a minimum of three sides), all those closed cabinet doors can make your cooking space seem and feel a tad restricted. So, break that monotonous look with some open shelving, which can also help keep your everyday items, like coffee mugs and dinner plates, close at hand.

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How to design the perfect U-shaped kitchen  | homify (2024)


How to design the perfect U-shaped kitchen | homify? ›

A long, slim island will work best in most U-shaped kitchen designs, as this will leave plenty of space for walkways on either side. Extra cupboards can be installed in the base, while the top provides extra food prep space or an area to decorate with accessories.

How do you design an U-shaped kitchen layout? ›

A long, slim island will work best in most U-shaped kitchen designs, as this will leave plenty of space for walkways on either side. Extra cupboards can be installed in the base, while the top provides extra food prep space or an area to decorate with accessories.

Is the U-shaped kitchen layout the most efficient layout? ›

The U-shaped kitchen is regarded as the most efficient kitchen design since it accurately depicts the working triangle. The concept, also known as the kitchen triangle and the golden triangle, holds that the three primary work areas in a kitchen, namely the sink, refrigerator, and stove, should form a triangle.

What is the best lighting for a U-shaped kitchen? ›

Pendant lighting is a fantastic option, as this gives you a central lighting source that can illuminate all sides of your cabinetry. Glass pendant lights work particularly well, as they deliver design impact without sacrificing the open feel of the kitchen.

What are the characteristics of U-shaped kitchen? ›

A u-shaped kitchen is a kitchen design that features three walls that are lined with cabinets and appliances. It is an efficient design that frees up floor space. A u-shaped kitchen is a kitchen that maximizes the wall space by using the walls for cabinets and appliances.

What is the U kitchen layout? ›

A U-shaped kitchen layout design is a kitchen design that features three walls of cabinets or appliances. This design is ideal for a maximize kitchen space as it provides ample storage and counter space.

What is the spacing for U shaped kitchen? ›

Larger U-Shaped kitchens usually have between 6 feet or more space between the facing walls and can possibly fit an auxiliary island in the middle of the space to create extra countertop surface and storage (dependent upon the size and width of the U shaped kitchen).

Why is U shaped kitchen most desirable? ›

The three-sided design of a U-shaped kitchen provides maximum efficiency for storage, cooking, and entertaining, which can all be kept in different “zones” of the room. One side wall of the kitchen often features food storage, like the refrigerator and freezer.

Why is U shaped kitchen layout best? ›

One major benefit of a U-shaped kitchen is that two or more cooks can operate at the same time - great for when you're entertaining or simply have a big family to feed! The U-shape kitchen design also lends its hand to less traffic flow which helps keep people out of your hair when you're cooking.

What color kitchen light is best? ›

Cool white (3000K – 4100K) is a more standard white color, and it's most suitable for a kitchen, bathroom, or study room. Daylight (5000K – 6000K) gives off a bright, blueish light that works best for things like reading lamps.

How big should my kitchen light be? ›

For instance, a room that's 10 feet wide by 12 feet long could accommodate a light fixture with a diameter of around 22 inches. For a light fixture above a dining table or kitchen island: The diameter of the fixture should be between half and three-quarters the width of the table or island.

Does kitchen lighting need to match? ›

You want it to relate, but it doesn't have to match,” adding that coordinating finishes is important. If the rest of your home's fixtures are bronze, go bronze in the kitchen. “That makes the fixtures relate to each other, so you are seeing the open space as a whole.”

What are the advantages and disadvantages of U shaped kitchen? ›

While U-shaped kitchens promote social interaction to some extent, they can also have the ability to create barriers between the cook and family members or friends. The enclosed layout, especially in smaller kitchens, can sometimes isolate the cook from family or guests in adjacent living areas.

Where do you put things in an U-shaped kitchen? ›

Set Up a Kitchen Triangle

Make your U-shaped kitchen functional with a kitchen triangle layout. In this transitional space, the sink occupies the far wall, the oven is on the right wall, and the fridge is on the left wall to optimize flow.

Where should a refrigerator be placed in a U-shaped kitchen? ›


If one wall extends past its parallel wall, you may want to place the fridge at the end of that wall, keeping proximity close between the sink and stove and positioning the fridge on the outskirts.

Is there an app to design a kitchen layout? ›

A:Yes, there are several apps like Roomsketcher, Easyhome Homestyler, and ARKitchen that allow you to design your kitchen. Q:How to design my own kitchen? A:Start by measuring your space, then use an app to visualize different layouts, cabinets, and colors.

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