front and center kitchen island

14 Kitchen Design Layout Ideas

Originally contributed by • last updated 5/11/2021

House Method
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Unsplash

Island, peninsula, galley, open — why do so many kitchen designs sound like you should set sail and sing a sea shanty? From countertop height to cabinet placement, room layout makes a huge difference in how well a kitchen functions.

As one of the most-used rooms in the house, you want to get it right. No pressure. A few kitchen design layout ideas can help you make the right decisions, so the kitchen works for your space and lifestyle. 

01/14

Kitchen Island Design Ideas

Watermark Designs
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Unsplash

Sometimes a long room creates a kitchen conundrum. Use that length to your cooking advantage and create a long island to house the sink and dishwasher.

Long islands add extra storage space and seating. For those who like to entertain, set up a buffet, so everyone can gather around the dining table without food taking up all the space. 

02/14

Galley Kitchen Layout Ideas

HomeLane.com
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Unsplash

Where you place your appliances in a galley kitchen can either help or hinder functionality. For example, check out how the refrigerator in this kitchen isn’t across from the cooktop or sink, nor do the sink and cooktop line up with each other.

That way, someone can get in the fridge while someone else stirs dinner on the cooktop or rinses dishes in the sink. It’s all about a layout that lets you get the most out of your kitchen. 

03/14

Kitchen Layout Ideas With Island

Sidekix Media
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Unsplash

Rectangle or square—that’s often the question when it comes to the kitchen island. This large kitchen’s square island offers impressive prep space and seating for three.

If you want to leave more room for an eat-in kitchen or dining table, opt for a rectangular island. Use the island’s shape to keep people moving naturally to, from, and throughout the kitchen. 

04/14

The Centered Kitchen Design Layout

House Method
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Unsplash

Symmetry is a beautiful, beautiful thing. The alignment of the stove with the hood, island, and even the pendant lights feels balanced yet functional.

You can use the kitchen layout to create visual symmetry that will subtly balance the look of the kitchen. It could even boost your cooking skills...okay, not really, but it looks cool. 

05/14

U-Shaped Kitchen Design Layout Ideas

Collov Home Design
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Unsplash

Islands aren’t for everyone, and in some cases, they can get in the way of the traffic flow. This u-shaped kitchen fits in its own happy corner. These types of kitchens leave plenty of room for two or even three cooks to work together.

You can brighten up a u-shaped kitchen with open shelving or add some storage space in a smaller home with full upper cabinets. 

06/14

Small Kitchen Layout Ideas

R ARCHITECTURE
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Unsplash

The small kitchen poses a creative challenge. And sometimes it’s just about deciding on what to place where. This kitchen’s double countertop feels like an island but offers extra prep space.

The lack of upper cabinets on the side of the kitchen is a conscious choice that leaves the kitchen more open, preventing it from feeling as small as it really is. If you can give up the storage space, do it. That wide-open kitchen will feel far larger than the actual footprint. 

07/14

L-Shaped Kitchen Design Layout Ideas

Becca Tapert
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Unsplash

Islands make all the difference in an L-shaped kitchen. Monstrous islands continue to grow in popularity, but this design features a small mobile island that provides a versatile cooking area.

A great big island can interrupt the traffic flow in some homes. With a mobile island planned into the layout, you can adjust the kitchen as needed. Having a party? Move the island to the end of the counter to hold appetizers. Cleaning up afterward? Stack dirty dishes on it, and move it near the sink.

08/14

Open Floor Plan Kitchen Design Layout

Sidekix Media
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Unsplash

Open floor plans are everywhere, but they can challenge kitchen layouts for a number of reasons. This open floor plan kitchen fits in the corner and doesn’t call attention to itself. The island isn't dominating the room.

Instead, the open shelving island and the rest of the kitchen blend into the background. The white cabinets and neutral color palette help, but the overall layout doesn’t aim to be the focal point.

09/14

Stove Island Kitchen Design Layout Ideas

Jason Briscoe
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Unsplash

Appliance placement determines kitchen functionality. In some cases, it can make a big difference in prices, too. For example, if you want the oven and stove top in the island, wiring and connections may need to be moved.

However, for serious chefs, the island stove lets you talk with family and guests while making your culinary creations. Plus, you can literally serve your family straight from the stove.

10/14

Sink Island Kitchen Layout

Aaron Huber
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Unsplash

Maybe you don’t spend your time at the stove. Families with younger children may prefer a layout with the sink in the kitchen island.

Children eating at the island can put their dishes directly in the sink. Parents can keep an eye on little ones while cleaning dishes and washing fruits and vegetables. Think about how you prefer to use the kitchen, and how the layout can be tweaked to best support your family. 

11/14

Sleek And Open Kitchen Design Layout Ideas

Fabian Kühne
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Unsplash

The modern style includes sleek, plain cabinet fronts that make it hard to determine where one cabinet ends and another begins. They don’t draw attention to themselves except in their clean lines.

This kitchen layout keeps the feel of the open floor plan with smooth cabinet fronts. The large island defines the kitchen space yet feels like an extension of the modern design. Add a sink to the island and it’s perfect for getting clean-up out of the way while talking with friends and family. 

12/14

Eat-In Kitchen Design Layout Ideas

David Fanatan
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Unsplash

The eat-in kitchen is functional and practical. This layout happens to look good, too. The kitchen table transforms this u-shaped kitchen into a kitchen with an eat-in peninsula.

Wood cabinetry in the uppers ties the table together with the modern black cabinets. It’s a layout choice that maximizes the use of space and offers extra food prep space if needed.

13/14

Peninsula Kitchen Design Layout

Curtis Adams
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Pexels

Kitchen peninsulas provide more countertop and cabinet space than an island, though they don’t offer as much room for traffic. However, this cute white kitchen leaves plenty of room for cooking and doesn’t crowd those making their way to the dining area. Peninsula’s offer some in-kitchen eating options, too.

14/14

Nook Kitchen Design Layout Ideas

Maria Orlova
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Pexels

When the architect gives you a nook, turn it into a kitchen! A kitchen window often becomes a centerpiece, especially when the sink is underneath.

It makes sense. Who doesn’t like to look out the window while they work? The symmetrical layout of this tiny kitchen keeps it visually organized and balanced. A fun square window also adds a little personality.