L-Shaped Kitchen Design – Tips, Ideas And Inspiration
An L-shaped kitchen is one of the most popular design layouts. Not only is it suitable for most room shapes, but an L-shaped layout is also incredibly flexible and customisable.
Having an L-shaped kitchen frees up space and gives your kitchen a more spacious feel. But more than that, having an L-shaped kitchen helps to create a practical workflow.
From a classic L-Shape to an L-shape with an island or even a peninsula, the L-shaped layout can really make the most of your room and needs.
What Is An L-Shaped Kitchen?
An L-shaped kitchen is made up of two lengths of kitchen counters and cabinets that meet at a 90-degree angle in one corner of the kitchen.
Oftentimes, the lengths of the counters are not the same and one is longer than the other. This is where it got its name L-shaped – it looks like the letter L.
The length of your L-shaped counters depends a lot on the size of your kitchen and the lengths of your kitchen walls.
Remember, some space on your kitchen wall should be dedicated to your fridge. You should take that into account before you decide how long one of the lengths of your L-shaped counters should be.
Why Have An L-Shaped Kitchen?
- An L-shaped kitchen is spacious: Having an L-shaped kitchen allows you to free up space on the wall opposite the cabinets, giving your kitchen a more spacious and airy feel.
- An L-shaped kitchen is efficient: This is one of the wonderful features of this kitchen layout. An L-shaped kitchen is a thoughtful design not just in terms of being functional and aesthetic. It is also designed to make work in the kitchen more efficient.
This is because of what’s called the “working triangle” or “triangle of work”, where you can move from one area to another, back and forth, in the shape of a triangle. You can move from your fridge to your stove and from your stove to the sink (and back) in short distances. Your meal preparations are made more efficient through the working triangle concept.
- An L-shaped kitchen is ergonomic: It works in harmony with how people and things move in and out of the kitchen. The L-shaped counters allow for two entry and exit points in the kitchen, one on either end of the L-shaped counters. This gives easy access for people to move in and out of the kitchen area.
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Things To Consider When Designing An L-Shaped Kitchen
Working Triangle (or Working Zones)
Before you have your L-shaped kitchen constructed, it’s important to plan the key areas and appliances. There are at least four areas or zones in a kitchen: the fridge, the work (cutting) area, the stove, and the sink.
These are the four zones you’d be moving in and out of most of the time you’re in your kitchen. These zones should be laid out well in relation to one another and form an efficient triangle working zone.
Where Should The Fridge Be In A L-Shaped Kitchen?
The best position for the fridge in an L-shaped kitchen is on either end of the kitchen counters. There is no hard rule on whether the fridge should take the end of the long or short counter.
Much depends on planning your kitchen space and your working zones. But the more important thing to keep in mind is that your fridge should open into the kitchen, and not the other way around.
The same is true for tall cabinets. They are best located at the ends of the kitchen counter so they don’t impede movement or break the aesthetic balance.
Make The Most Of The Corner
Corner space can be used for cabinet storage as well. There are innovative products that allow you easy access to items you store in a corner cabinet space. These include a Le Mans and the Magic Corner pullout units.
These pullout units are excellent innovations. They have a swivel mechanism that allows you to maximise the space in your corner cabinet while allowing for easy access to all items stored inside.
While maximising every inch of the kitchen is important if storage is at a premium, sometimes having a corner cabinet isn’t always the most practical solution. Especially if you don’t have any corner pull-out mechanisms installed.
If, for instance, you find drawers more useful than cupboards, creating a void (empty space) in the corner and putting a drawer cabinet up to the corner instead can provide a more practical storage option. You may feel you’re losing space in the corner, but you gain a more useful cabinet you can use every day.
Always remember: this is your kitchen. It’s important that the design, layout, appliances, and cabinets work for you and your needs.
Classic L-Shaped Kitchen
The classic L-shaped kitchen has staying power, and for a reason – it’s open and spacious yet functional. You can leave the space completely free to achieve a more minimalist look.
L- Shaped Kitchen with Window
If you are lucky enough to have a nice view from your kitchen, an L-shaped kitchen can help you to maximise this asset. Having the sink under the window means you can look out while doing the dishes (perfect for watching the little ones as they play in the garden!).
This design has the fridge and freezer built under the worktop into what looks like another cabinet. This maximises worktop space as you don’t need tall cabinets, but it does mean fridge/freezer space is at a premium.
Top Tip: If you’re a big family or just a fan of freezing, consider getting a chest freezer for more storage. This can be placed somewhere else in your home, meaning you can keep your kitchen design sleek and functional. This Fridgemaster MCF194 Chest Freezer is a very popular and affordable choice.
L-Shaped Kitchen With Island
An island is a highly desirable addition to many kitchens. The L-shaped layout is perfect for adding in this feature. The island adds worktop space, improves the balance of your working triangle, and even allows you to build a seating area.
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L-Shaped Kitchen With Peninsula
If it’s worktop space and seating that you are after, then the L-shaped kitchen with a peninsula may be the design for you. Smart, functional, and flexible, this design is perfect for bigger kitchens.
L-Shaped Kitchen For Small Kitchens
If size isn’t your kitchen’s biggest asset, then an L-shaped design can still work for you. You will need to minimise your cabinet/worktop runs and think hard about the placement of your zones, but it’s definitely doable. In fact, this may just be the best way to make the most of your kitchen.
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L-Shaped Kitchen Diner
Having space to dine in your kitchen is a big bonus, one that L-shaped kitchens can often easily accommodate. Adding a table to the centre area of your space is not only convenient for eating, but for cooking too. The table can function as an additional kind of island when the worktop space gets tight.
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Having an L-shaped kitchen design is a great way to maximise space, increase functionality, and achieve an open and stylish feel in your kitchen.
Whether you add a table or an island, or just leave the space open, consider the L-shape for your kitchen design project.
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.