How to Create Small Kitchen Layouts

Small kitchens aren’t unusual, but they sometimes do have unusual shapes! At Exeter Kitchen Store we come across all kinds of kitchens and have established a few key design elements that help to make the most of limited space. Check out our below tips and ideas so you know how to create the best small kitchen layout for your home!


Galley kitchen layout

Small Galley Kitchen Designs

A galley kitchen is straight forward in its design. Quite simply, it is two rows of cabinets lining two facing walls, leaving a corridor passage down the middle. Because this style of kitchen is super simple, with no twists or turns in it, there is full access to each cabinet. This means you don’t have any corner cabinets you need to watch out for or add corner mechanisms to, however, it does mean there often isn’t much space to work with.


At EKS, when creating small galley kitchen designs, to overcome the limited space available we recommend using tall wall units, as these are perfect for maximising storage. Linear designs also make the world of difference and are easy to achieve with simple straight edge handles or a handleless door. Additionally, the galley kitchen can be designed by ensuring drawers and door lines meet and create clean lines. Of course, at Exeter Kitchen Store we can offer specific recommendations based on available space and individual needs.


An example of where the Exeter Kitchen Store Team was able to maximise available space in a galley kitchen can be seen below. At the end of the left-hand row of cabinets a chisel base cabinet was used. The chisel base unit starts the depth of a standard cabinet and tapers off to a narrower end. This way, the entire space is used, and no storage is lost if one end of the room is more confined, or a greater area is required to open a door. This kitchen additionally features a pull-out table in a top drawer, so extra work surface area is available if required.


galley kitchen layout

galley kitchen layout

Small U-Shaped Kitchen Designs

A U-shaped kitchen is pretty much what it sounds like, a kitchen designed in the shape of a ‘U’. Mostly these kitchens tend to have an uninterrupted design, where the worktop joins the cabinets together, forming the U-shape. However, it is possible to add extra units to create the same shape if a door or passageway prevents the units connecting. Small U-shaped kitchen designs don’t tend to leave much space other than for cooking, as each available space tends is filled with cabinets and worktop areas. To prevent the space from feeling too busy or crowded, we recommend including a couple of open shelves instead of wall cabinets. This way you still have storage space, but the room lets in more space and air. The shape of this kitchen additionally is perfect for making use of a working triangle, as the design encircles the space, so there is plenty of opportunity for strategic placement of the cooker, fridge and sink for easy access.

u shaped kitchen layout