Architectural Home Designs & Decorating Ideas

Master a Compact and Functional L-Shape Kitchen Design in Five Easy Steps

5 minute read

Are you remodeling your kitchen and want to maximize workspace and storage without claiming too much square footage? The versatile L-shaped layout could be the perfect solution for your cook space. This smart configuration makes the most of every inch by wrapping counters and cabinets along two adjoining walls.

With strategic planning, the L-shaped kitchen grants you room to prep, cook, and clean up while neatly accommodating appliances, sinks, and seating areas. Keep reading to discover the many benefits of the tried-and-true L-shaped footprint and tips for designing your own high-functioning L-kitchen.

Benefits of the L-Shaped Kitchen Layout

Abundant Continuous Countertop Space

l shape kitchen layouts

One of the L-shape’s biggest perks is its generous countertop workspace. By installing full counter runs along two adjoining walls, you get long, uninterrupted prep areas on two sides of the kitchen.

This delivers plenty of landing space for meal projects, with room for multiple cooks to maneuver without crowding each other. The open corner also provides additional area for small appliances, cutting boards, or seating.

Efficient Cooking Work Triangle

The L-layout allows you to easily establish an optimal cooking work triangle, with the refrigerator, sink, and stove spaced for efficient foot travel.

Placing these three zones at triangle points means ingredients, tools, and dishes are always close at hand. Short distances between key areas eliminate cross-traffic conflicts and make everything from boiling pasta to washing produce more streamlined.

Smart Storage Solutions

Abundant base cabinets and wall storage along two walls let you neatly tuck away everything from pots and pans to platters and small appliances.

Floor-to-ceiling corner pantry units max out vertical space, while pull-out shelves, lazy susans, and other specialty organizers in base cabinets prevent wasted nooks.

Adding a kitchen island provides even more storage capacity with extra lower cabinets and drawers.

Smooth Traffic Flow

The L-shape layout establishes two clear pathways for moving through the kitchen’s work zones. Entry points from multiple directions, including via an island, further improve flow.

The continuous counters allow cooks to work next to each other without crossing paths accidentally and colliding. For small to medium kitchens, it’s hard to beat the L-shape for balanced spaciousness and logical foot travel.

L-Shaped Kitchen Design Tips

Strategic Sink Placement

Look for ways to use the length of the L’s counters when positioning your sink fixture. Placing it at the end of a counter run opens up valuable surrounding space.

Tucking it into the corner window is also optimal for gazing outside while washing dishes. Be sure to allow enough open counter nearby to conveniently load dirty cookware and serving pieces.

Optimize Lighting

Layering lighting ensures all kitchen zones get proper illumination for tasks and ambience. Pendants are ideal over the central island and peninsula prep areas.

For the sink and stove, undercabinet strips provide task lighting. Wall sconces flanking the hood boost visibility for cooking. Track fixtures give flexibility.

Incorporate Seating

An L-kitchen’s spacious footprint easily accommodates a breakfast nook, casual banquette, or island/peninsula seating for morning coffee and meals.

Add counter-height barstools to round out the island for extra seating. Tuck a small table into the back corner by the windows to create an intimate dining spot.

Include Visual Interest

While the L-layout emphasizes functionality, touches of flair liven it up. Glass cabinet doors, two-tone finishes, stone or tile backsplashes infuse personality.

Try open shelving to display cherished tableware. Position the range hood as a focal point. Strategically placed windows and skylights also add aesthetic appeal.

L-Shaped Kitchen Layout Floor Plans

Standard L-Shape

This is the classic L-shape with two equally proportioned legs spanning from 8 to 15 feet each. This leaves an open, walkable area at the intersection. Large windows above the sink maximize natural light.

L-Shape with Island

Adding an island or peninsula at the junction point of the L increases prep and storage. An overhang creates casual seating on one side. Pendants illuminate the island surface.

U-Shaped L-Layout

This L extends into a U by adding a third leg of cabinets and counters. The U format surrounds the chef with ample workspace. An island can fill in the center.

How to Design an L-Shaped Kitchen

Step 1: Measure the Space

Start by carefully measuring the overall kitchen footprint along with individual architectural elements. Note exact locations of windows, doors, and connections for plumbing and electrical.

Identify existing traffic patterns through the space. Look for openings to link the kitchen to dining areas and exit points.

Step 2: Sketch Your Floorplan

Map out preliminary placements for the refrigerator, oven, sink, and dishwasher based on the work triangle concept. Indicate potential traffic routes through the work zones.

Experiment with different island dimensions and positions to optimize flow. Adjust as needed to allow room for seating and walkways.

Step 3: Choose Cabinets and Counters

Select cabinet door styles and finishes to achieve your desired aesthetic. Contrasting uppers and lowers add visual interest. Determine countertop materials that are durable and easy to maintain.

Be sure to include smart built-ins like corner lazy susans, pull-out shelves, and vertical storage slots. Glass cabinet doors lend an airy sensibility.

Step 4: Pick Sink and Faucet Fixtures

Choose a single extra-deep or double bowl sink to streamline washing tasks. Select a high-arc faucet in a finish that coordinates with the other hardware and lighting.

Consider extras like a soap dispenser and filtered water tap. Position the sink at an ergonomic height.

Step 5: Add Finishing Touches

Bring the whole design together with final decorative flourishes. Pick backsplash tile and flooring materials that align with your style. Install pendants, sconces and undercabinet lighting.

Fun built-ins like a beverage center, plate rack, or spice drawers complete the job. Add stools for casual gathering around the island or peninsula.

With smart planning to maximize every inch, the versatile L-shaped kitchen layout can offer an abundance of storage, spacious countertops, and efficient workflow. Keep these tips in mind for designing your L-shaped cook space tailored to your needs and tastes.

By following the steps outlined above for measuring, planning, cabinetry, fixtures, and finishes, you can craft a high-functioning L-kitchen perfect for cooking, entertaining, and family living.