Create a space that’s perfect for storage and socialising with an L-shaped kitchen.
An L-shaped kitchen – in which the cabinetry runs along one wall and continues along the adjacent one – is a practical and flexible layout. It can accommodate most room shapes and sizes and, when planned well, makes for an ergonomically sound space. Include island units or a dining table to make the space suitable for entertaining or just to add extra working room.
What space do I need?
L-shaped kitchen layouts work for most spaces, except those that are exceptionally large or small. With a truly tiny room, you’re better off sticking to a single-galley kitchen; with a larger one, use an island to narrow the distance between work stations.
L-shaped kitchens: the pros
“An L-shape offers you plenty of flexibility in the positioning of appliances and storage as well as the chance to have a substantial amount of worktop space,” says Sandra Henry, Sales and Marketing at Lida Cucina. It also works well with the current vogue for open-plan living. Locate the kitchen in one corner of a kitchen-living space or use it to link zones together, with the end of the ‘L’ denoting the end of one function and the start of the next.
…and the cons
If your room is large then the working triangle will be too, which doesn’t make for an ergonomically sound workspace. Plus, if you choose not to use an island or peninsula unit, you’ll have an open space into which everyone can come and go – not ideal if you need to keep children out from underfoot when you’re cooking.
Add an island
An island will enhance an L-shaped kitchen of any size. It’ll boost functionality, creating a surface for homework to be done, space for guests or simply extra work stations. It also means you don’t have to have your back to guests when you’re cooking, especially if you have the hob located on the island.
Read our professional guide to planning a kitchen island
…or a dining table
If you don’t have room for a separate dining area, think about placing a dining table in an L-shaped kitchen. Use it to seat guests and to place hot dishes from the oven.
Laying it out
Many L-shaped kitchens have a tall bank of units on one wall to house the ovens, fridge and larder, and a run of low-level units on the other for worktop space and a sink. Think about placing this latter beneath a window so you can enjoy the outdoor views while washing up.
If you want to use both walls for worktop space, keep tall units such as a larder or fridge at one end to keep lines smooth.
Maximise storage in an L-shaped kitchen by incorporating a corner solution such as a le mans or carousel unit. These swing out to bring all the cupboard contents out into the open, meaning that even the very back of the unit can be used – so you won’t need to bend down or peer into far corners to locate cookware any more.
Open up with shelving
An L-shaped layout will certainly bring plenty of storage into your kitchen, but if you’re worried about it looking too functional, think about introducing some open shelving. This will break up the expanse of units to create an airier feel, and you’ll be able to inject personality into the space with the items you choose to display.
Browse more ways to open up your kitchen