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Your Complete Guide to Kitchen Layouts

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Many consider the kitchen to be the heart of the home. It’s where families and friends gather to create and enjoy meals for celebrations or just to spend quality time together.

For this reason, kitchen design and renovation projects are some of the most common projects home building professionals complete. From small, simple kitchen designs to large, open-concept kitchen-dining rooms, all successful renovations begin the same way: with a kitchen layout.

Every kitchen layout is different, but they all follow the same basic ergonomic considerations. Keep reading to learn more about common kitchen designs and concepts to keep in mind when drafting blueprints for your next project.

Kitchen Ergonomics

When creating a kitchen layout, contractors must consider basic ergonomic principles that ensure the functionality of the space. Many customers will be primarily concerned with aesthetics, but contractors need to first account for the technical components of the design.

Working and Reaching Heights

The basic workspaces in a kitchen must be precisely designed for optimal use. Sinks, countertops, cabinets, and drawers that aren’t designed to be seamlessly integrated into the kitchen can end up causing a massive headache to the clients when it comes time to use their new kitchen.

Standards for optimal countertop height are between 33.5 and 40 inches and can be modified within that range to suit the height of the customers. This means builders should customize the kitchen design to set the countertop at the same height as the primary user’s elbow.

To get this measurement, have the client stand in a neutral position with their forearms at a 45-degree angle from the surface of the countertop. Measure in a straight line from floor to elbow. This measurement will be the recommended countertop height.

Stoves, ideally, should be slightly lower than countertop height so that the customer has ease of visibility into pots and pans while cooking.

When calculating the sink height, consider the bottom of the sink basin, not the rim where it meets the countertop. The user should be able to reach into the sink without too much strain.

Customizing a client’s kitchen design with their height in mind is an easy way to stand out from the competition and win a glowing review.

The Working Triangle

The working triangle concept is a way to maximize the efficiency of a kitchen design. It posits that the stove, sink, and refrigerator should each represent one point in a triangle.

The basic principles of the working triangle are as follows:

  • Each face should be between 3.9 feet and 8.8 feet.
  • The combined length of all faces should be between 13 feet and 26 feet
  • No appliances or cabinets should interfere with the triangle
  • Major traffic should not pass through the triangle

More design principles recommended by the National Kitchen and Bath Association include specific dimensions for doors, walkways, seating placements, and more.


Clients looking for a kitchen renovation may have plenty of ideas about the aesthetic of the flooring, but it’s likely they haven’t considered the functionality as seriously.

Sprung floors offer less resistance and are more comfortable for walking and standing. Other flexible materials include cork and bamboo. These options are more comfortable for long hours spent over a sink or stove, making the kitchen more user-friendly.


While decorative mood lighting can drastically improve the aesthetic value of a kitchen design, it’s important to remember task lighting. Under-cabinet, range hood, and sink lighting will make tasks like washing dishing and chopping vegetables safer and easier.


Another important consideration is the accessibility of the room in accordance with the specific needs of your customer.

Customers with mobility concerns and physical limitations, those who are left-handed, or anyone above or below average height will benefit greatly from custom accessibility in their kitchen design.

3D render of a kitchen designed with Cedreo
3D rendering of a u-shaped kitchen

Although each design should be unique to the needs of the client, here are some simple kitchen layout templates to get the design process started.

1. The One-Wall Kitchen

This layout is ideal for smaller spaces. It is a simple kitchen layout designed to maximize the functionality of available space.

In a one-wall kitchen design, cabinets are placed against the upper and lower section of a single wall. Using vertical storage, designers are able to create more floor space and a minimalist aesthetic.

Using the working triangle theory in this design isn’t technically possible, but it’s recommended to place a fridge on one end of the wall, the oven in the middle, and the sink at the other end.

2. The Galley Kitchen

A galley kitchen design is based around two walls of cabinets running parallel to each other with no corner units, thereby maximizing the available wall space.

These designs are simple and cost-effective to build, making them ideal for clients who have tight budgets.

3. The L-Shaped Kitchen

This practical kitchen layout is ideal for both large and small spaces. The cabinets in this design follow an L shape along two connecting walls.

While designers will have to employ skillful maneuvering to maximize the space of corner units, the flexibility of this layout makes it easy to efficiently place appliances and other important work areas.

4. The U-Shaped Kitchen

In a larger space, U-shaped kitchen layouts are ideal for increased storage and efficiency. It involves placing cabinets along three connecting walls.

Designers should vary the types of storage in these layouts to avoid crowded or enclosed effects. However, when done correctly, U-shaped kitchens provide ample space for work and can accommodate a wide variety of uses.

5. The G-Shaped Kitchen

The G-shaped kitchen requires at least a ten-by-ten space to be manageable. They are ideal for medium to large areas with open concept designs. It is a great option for allowing the kitchen space to flow into an adjoining room such as a living or dining area.

6. The Island Kitchen

Island kitchen designs have been popular for years due to their versatility and ability to offer plenty of storage. Islands can accommodate a variety of activities including food preparation, cleaning, or hosting.

These designs are best for larger areas, as an island can make a smaller kitchen feel crowded and disrupt the navigability or the space.

7. The Peninsula Kitchen

Peninsula kitchens are similar to island kitchens. The difference between the two designs is that peninsula kitchens include counter space that extends from a wall or cabinet unit.

For spaces that don’t accommodate an entire island, these designs are ideal as they provide more work space and usability.

Design a Stunning Kitchen Layout in Cedreo

Now that you understand some basic concepts for designing beautiful kitchen blueprints, it’s time to begin the design process.

Outsourcing project layouts to architectural and design professionals is expensive and time-consuming. Building professionals who want to design breathtaking, precise, and accurate layouts for kitchen renovation projects in-house choose Cedreo .

Cedreo offers the functionality for creating construction-ready drawings while also providing the ability to conjure impressive 3D renderings that will set your team up for success.

Cedreo is the 3D design software that helps building professionals improve client relations, increase sales, and establish a professional reputation. Sign up to start using the free version of Cedreo today.

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