Creating the Perfect U-Shaped Kitchen: Expert Tips and Ideas

Deepblue Direct June 14, 2022

Not sure which kitchen style to choose? A U-shaped kitchen could be exactly what you need! This popular layout offers tons of counter space and storage, all while keeping the cook right in the heart of the action. Let's dive into our favourite U-shaped kitchen ideas to spark your inspiration.

What Makes a U-Shaped Kitchen Special?

U-shaped kitchens stand out from other layouts due to their unique design that maximises functionality and efficiency. The three-sided configuration provides ample counter space and storage, allowing for smooth workflow and easy movement between key work areas.

This layout also promotes an open and inviting atmosphere, making it perfect for socialising while cooking or entertaining guests. With its excellent use of space and natural flow, a U-shaped kitchen is not only practical but also a stylish choice for homeowners looking to create a beautiful and functional heart of their home.

Keep these key points in mind when designing your u-shaped kitchen:

  1. Leave room for walkways: Ensure a smooth traffic flow by leaving space between appliances and walls.
  2. Don't place appliances against walls: This can limit your counter space. Instead, maximise it by using an island or peninsula.
  3. Add a seating area: Make the most of your available space by incorporating a cosy spot to sit and chat.
  4. Choose light colours: Brighten up your kitchen and make it feel more spacious with lighter hues.
  5. Consider the layout of other rooms: Plan your U-shaped kitchen to complement the flow of the rest of your home.

With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to designing the perfect U-shaped kitchen that's both functional and stylish by avoiding classic mistakes.

Breakfast Bar: A Tasty Addition to Your U-Shaped Kitchen

Adding a breakfast bar to your U-shaped kitchen is absolutely doable, and it's a fantastic way to create more space for sitting and eating. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate a breakfast bar:

Extend the counter: Make sure to extend the counter out from one of the opposing units of the U shape, providing ample space for seating.
Consider a breakfast peninsula: If an island isn't an option, a peninsula can work wonders. Opt for a floating unit to maintain the open flow of the room.
Open plan U-shaped kitchen: If your kitchen is part of an open floor plan, you could even install a breakfast bar outside one of the counters. This keeps the dining area separate from the cooking zone.

With these tips, you'll be able to incorporate a breakfast bar that not only looks great but also adds functionality to your U-shaped kitchen.

bright u-shaped kitchen with white worktops and grey counters

Storage: Maximise Space in Your U-Shaped Kitchen

To make the most of your storage in a U-shaped kitchen, keep in mind the triangle layout. Here's how to organize your storage for maximum efficiency:

  • Easy access: Store frequently used items within reach of the cook, on the same side as the hob.
  • Cutlery and crockery: Keep these on the opposite side of the kitchen.
  • Cleaning products: Store them under the sink.
  • Maximise wall storage: Use taller cabinets to make the most of vertical space.
  • Corner cupboards: These are perfect for bulky appliances or lesser-used items.
  • Cohesive cabinet style: Choose one style for both base and wall-hung storage units to maintain a unified look.

Cabinet Considerations for Your U-Shaped Kitchen

When planning cabinets for your U-shaped kitchen, keep these tips in mind:

  • Different dimensions: A U-shaped kitchen will require distinct cabinet dimensions compared to an L-shaped kitchen.
  • Make the most of storage space: Organize your cabinets wisely to avoid clutter and maximise the layout.
  • Add visual interest: If you have a lot of cabinetry, consider using dark colours for contrast. Pair with a light-coloured countertop to brighten up the space.

With these storage and cabinet tips, you'll create a functional and visually appealing U-shaped kitchen that suits your needs perfectly!

modern u-shaped kitchen layout with grey counters and wooden walls

How to Incorporate a Kitchen Island

When planning a kitchen island for a U-shaped kitchen, it's crucial to consider your space dimensions and kitchen layout. Ensure the island is large enough to be helpful but not too big that it takes up excessive space or becomes a distraction. Additionally, make sure the kitchen layout allows for easy movement around the island.

To add an island to a U-shaped kitchen:

  • Use two runs of cabinets instead of three, creating an L-shaped work area that can easily incorporate an island.
  • Consider a peninsula or breakfast bar instead of an island, providing the same workspace without taking up as much floor space.
  • When selecting appliances, think about how they'll be used, such as ensuring the stove is easily accessible if you cook a lot or including a second sink or prep area on the island if you entertain often.


For a minimal U-shaped kitchen design, remember to:

  • Use handleless cabinetry and a gloss finish for a sleek, modern look.
  • Add a small amount of open storage to display personality without overwhelming the space.
  • Utilise white for cabinetry, ceilings, and walls to create a compact design that opens up as you move around.
minimal u-shaped kitchen with cream cabinets

Open Plan

When designing an open-plan U-shaped kitchen, keep these points in mind:

  • Ensure there's plenty of natural light coming into the space, making it feel larger.
  • Consider adding an island in the centre for extra counter space and storage.
  • Choose light-coloured cabinets and countertops to maintain a bright and airy atmosphere.

Seating Nook

When planning a seating nook for your u-shaped kitchen, consider the following:

Location: The nook should be where it will be most practical, near the kitchen appliances or dining area.

Size: The nook should be large enough to accommodate several people.

Shape: The nook should be U-shaped to mimic the kitchen layout.

Materials: Use the same materials and colours for the nook as you do for the rest of the kitchen to create continuity.

Feature Wallpaper

Feature wallpaper can add depth and personality to a U-shaped kitchen. Choose a design that complements your kitchen style or creates a harmonious look by picking out a colour from your cabinets. Installing wallpaper in a kitchen can be more challenging due to appliances and surfaces, but with careful planning and execution, it can be done successfully.


When planning lighting for a U-shaped kitchen, consider both task and ambient lighting. Task lighting illuminates key work areas, while ambient lighting creates a relaxing atmosphere. Use ceiling lights and wall-hung lamps for even light distribution, and define your space with LED lights under cabinets or counters. Softer spotlights in the ceiling provide a warm and relaxing atmosphere.

light u-shaped kitchen design with breakfast bar


Are U-shaped kitchens outdated?

No, they're not outdated. U-shaped kitchens offer versatility and functionality for various layouts, making them an excellent option for maximising space and storage.

How do you make a small U-shaped kitchen bigger?

Make a small U-shaped kitchen appear larger by using light colours for painting or staining cabinets, incorporating glass doors on some cabinets, and using open shelving to create the illusion of a larger room.

What are some advantages of a U-shaped kitchen?

A U-shaped kitchen offers more counter space and storage options than traditional layouts, making it great for entertaining guests and creating a more open and inviting atmosphere.

What do you do with corners in U shaped kitchen?

You can leave the corner empty, which works well if you don't have much to store, or put something in the corner that uses the space without being in the way.

Where do you put a refrigerator in a U-shaped kitchen?

Place the refrigerator in the space within the U-shape, against one of the shorter walls, or even in a corner, depending on your kitchen's layout and your personal preferences.

Why Choose a Boiling Water Tap for Your U-Shaped Kitchen?

A boiling water tap can be a valuable addition to your kitchen, offering unrivalled convenience, significant time-savings, and an unbeatable luxury feel. To integrate this feature seamlessly into your kitchen design, consider the following points:

  • Choose the right model: Opt for a Hanstrom or Verana instant boiling water tap that suits your kitchen style and requirements. 3-in-1 taps dispense instant boiling water, plus regular hot and cold water. 4-in-1 taps dispense filtered cold water as an additional feature.

  • Plan for installation: A boiling water tap works by using a boiler tank connected to the mains water supply and a power socket. Make sure you allocate space for the boiler tank when planning your kitchen layout.

  • Temperature settings: Most boiling water taps dispense near boiling water at 98°C, which is suitable for most uses, including making hot drinks and sterilising baby bottles or kitchen utensils. Some models may offer adjustable temperature settings to cater to your specific needs.

  • Tap location: Place the boiling water tap in a convenient location, ensuring easy access for cooking and cleaning tasks while maintaining a cohesive look with the rest of your kitchen design.

By carefully considering these factors, you can successfully incorporate a boiling water tap into your kitchen's design, enhancing its functionality and overall appeal. Learn more about how boiling water taps work.