The U-Shaped kitchen

One of the most basic layouts for new kitchen designs is the U-shaped kitchen. Consisting of three adjoining walls, two parallel and perpendicular to the third, with no through traffic lanes, this kitchen layout is considered a one-cook kitchen. You can, however, boost the functionality and interactivity of the kitchen by adding an island bench.

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There are several pros and cons to adding an island bench to your U-shaped kitchen.


Whether the island is used for an eating area, work top, cook top or sink, it allows those in the kitchen to face outwards, making this a far more sociable kitchen layout than the U-shaped design on its own. An island also makes it easier for a second cook to work in the kitchen, maximising workspace for both.


A small U-shaped kitchen is not suitable for an island bench. In order for cabinet doors to open properly and for people to manoeuvre safely and comfortably, it’s recommended there be at least 3.5 feet between the island and the surrounding cabinetry.

One benefit of a U-shaped kitchen is how it lends itself to the basic kitchen work triangle, with your cooking area, fridge and clean up/preparation area easily positioned to maximise efficiency. Adding an island however could disrupt the workflow. As a rule, the island should not intersect any leg of triangle by more than 12 inches, however, it is best if the island itself houses one of the three work triangle elements.

Roseville based House of Kitchens is a designer that can help you create a kitchen suited to your home and family. Call us on 02 9416 3365 or email us for a consultation or quote. You could also get inspiration and ideas from our kitchen design brochure. Feel free to browse our website – read more about how we design new custom kitchens or our 5-step process if you engage our kitchen design and installation services.