Kitchen design 101: Plan the perfect kitchen layout

Say goodbye to kitchen traffic jams

When designing your dream kitchen, it’s tempting to only focus on cool kitchen gadgets and trendy décor ideas. However, it’s also important to consider how you and your family will move around the space. You want to be able to cook, clean and eat – all without getting in the way of other household members.

Is there enough space for two people to cook at the same time? Are the most-used appliances easily accessible, or hidden in a corner? Is the fridge door blocking the entrance to the kitchen? These are all things we need to think about. We’ll show you how to create a robust plan so you can design a functional kitchen layout to avoid bumping shoulders and bickering.

make the most out of your kitchen space

The working triangle – what is it and why is it so important?

The kitchen ‘working triangle’ is the space between the three most used areas of your kitchen (the sink, hob, and fridge). By making sure that this triangle is spacious, clear, and dynamic you’ve already taken a big step towards making sure your kitchen is functional. To make the time spent in your kitchen easier, try laying it out around the working triangle. You can do this in a few ways…

u shape kitchen layout ideas

U or G shape:

By placing one appliance on each side of a U or G-shaped layout you can easily create the perfect working triangle.

galley kitchen layout ideas

Linear/galley shape:

Keep at least one of your appliances on the opposite side of the room. This design makes it easy to move between the hob, fridge and sink – great for tight, corridor-style kitchens.

L shape kitchen layout ideas

L-shape/open plan:

Sinks go great beneath windows, and ovens and fridges work well when closer together.

kitchen island layout ideas


Fitting a hob on an island counter is a great way to open up the kitchen, and make the whole room feel more sociable.

As well as the above, consider the following when designing the layout of your kitchen:

  • The total distance of the triangle (between all three points) should be no more than 5m (with a recommended minimum of 3m)
  • The sink should be the easiest to access part of the triangle, as it’s the most used area of the kitchen
Top tips for improving the flow of your kitchen
  • Make sure walkways are big enough to cater for two people to move around with ease.
  • Don’t place major appliances directly opposite each other. You should be able to open your oven and dishwasher without them running into each other. The same goes for cabinets and drawers, they should all open freely.
  • Don’t block kitchen entry points. Make sure there is enough space for people to enter and exit the kitchen with ease.
  • If you’re placing bar stools next to the worktop, make sure they aren’t placed directly in front of cupboards and drawers that are used frequently.
  • Talk to an expert! Designing a kitchen requires a lot of thought and attention. Why not book a free planning appointment with one of our expert advisors? They’ll help you plan a kitchen that works for the size and layout of your space. Using our 3D design tool, they’ll help bring your vision to life.
kitchen planning advice

What to consider when choosing cabinets and drawers

Once you’ve decided the layout of your kitchen, it’s time to think about the storage and the types of cabinet you want. Each style offers different advantages. Tall wall cabinets use the whole height of your space, larder units can house your appliances or be turned into storage towers. With our Caraway cabinet range, you can create a huge number of combinations to suit your needs. Each cabinet works together seamlessly and lasts a long time.

When choosing your cabinets, try to plan out the ‘zones’ of storage for the different items in your kitchen. From food and perishables to utensils and cleaning supplies, everything needs a place. The key to this is to make use of your drawers. While many people like to use fewer drawers in their kitchen, they can really boost the amount of easily accessible storage. It’s even easy to create a clean ‘drawer-less’ look with hidden internal drawers. Our Soto drawers are especially useful, with two depths (standard and deep), 100% opening, and soft-close build.

Soto drawers b&q

Add the finishing touches

Your overarching plan is crucial to making sure you have an organised kitchen. But it's the little things that make the room perfect. If you want to keep your space flexible, use our Pebre internal storage range and our Romesco sinks. They’ve both been designed to help you make the most of the space you have.

pebre storage b&q