Kitchen layouts - the good, bad and ugly!

Kitchen layouts have probably caused more cooks to stick their heads in the oven and turn on the gas than for any other single reason!

This can be one of the most challenging issues when you're moving around in the kitchen.

So how can your layout be improved?

No matter which layout you have - or want - this section shows ways to improve on each one, with ideas for small or large remodeling budgets.

Kitchen layouts have a history

Kitchen design layout has evolved from era-driven trends:

The 1950's L-shape made room for fun family meals at the kitchen table. Think "Leave It To Beaver." L-shapes are often an easy fix to change things around.

Galley kitchens...sigh. A throwback to the days of sailing the high seas? Or perhaps a contractor's afterthought: "Oops! I almost forgot to put a kitchen in this house. Just cram it in anywhere, boys!"

Okay, I guess galleys were considered efficient during their heyday in the 1960's...and still can be if there's a nice space with open feeling.

U-shape kitchens became popular in the 70's and 80's when women felt empowered to command bigger space and more efficiency in their kitchens. I am woman, let me cook.

U-shapes are still efficient - if they're roomy enough, but that isn't always the case today.

Now island kitchens are all the rage, especially with open design floor plans that make the kitchen and family room one big happy space.

Watch any HG-TV show and you'll hear the desire expressed over and over again for an "open concept." An island kitchen is conducive to just this type of layout, where the cook and the rest of the family and friends can interact.

Want to change your layout?

You may already have the architectural "bare bones" in the room to reconfigure the layout...

...consider moving the location of appliances or the sink as well as cabinetry where you need it.

Changing some kitchen layouts involves a bit more work - like opening up a wall - to transform the space.

Sometimes the change is one you already have in mind but just need that added spark of inspiration to show you you're on the right path.

Click below on your basic existing layout for sample kitchen designs to transform your space into a layout you'll love.

L-Shape Kitchens

Galley Kitchens

U-Shape Kitchens

Island Kitchens


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Kitchen Makeovers you can do in a weekend!

Add more storage with roll-outs! Under the sink base is an area you can use to store pots and pans.

Paint the ceiling a new color!

Buy fresh new rugs, dish towels and oven mitts.

Tile your backsplash.

Hang a pot rack.

Change out your cabinet hardware.

Paint the walls - or just one as an accent wall.

Hang a new utensil rack near the stove.

Install a wood countertop on the island.

Change out light fixtures.

Replace short wall cabinets with new, taller ones - they're cheaper than base cabs and using a different color can look great!

Decorate your soffits with framed vintage dishtowels or your kids' artwork.


Have a question about YOUR kitchen?

Feel free to Ask Me a Question!


Thinking of remodeling?

Keep a notebook or scrapbook of notes, clippings and ideas.

Kitchen magazines are expensive - look through them in the grocery checkout line. If you see pix of a kitchen you really like, buy that magazine.

Stop in at home centers and pick up any free cabinet manufacturers' catalogs.