L-shaped kitchen ideas – for a space that is practical, concise and effortlessly stylish

If you want a classic layout that works in any size space, the L-shaped kitchen is the one to go for
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  • Why should you have an L-shaped kitchen? Good flow in your kitchen will put everything you need to hand and make it a joy to use..

    Ergonomics is the study and design of equipment that fits the human body and its cognitive abilities. Applied to kitchen layouts, it focuses on creating a smooth, intuitive passage through the space, as well as the most efficient and comfortable cooking environment. Worktops and cabinets are positioned to effortlessly suit the physicality of the user and the job in hand, with sinks and appliances are located to encourage logical movement between tasks. For smart kitchen storage, ensure provisions and utensils are stored where they’re most frequently used.

    L-shaped kitchen ideas

    When deciding on a layout for your kitchen your choices are to a great extent dictated by the shape and size of your room, but that doesn’t mean you have to be restricted when it comes to design. Whether the space is small, medium or large an L-shape layout works with both contemporary and traditional cabinetry, and the form is flexible enough to adapt to structural needs, such as sloping ceilings or large windows.

    Paying attention to sight lines, traffic flow and entry and exit points at the planning stage is paramount. One of the most popular kitchen layouts, the L-shaped kitchen is great for multipurpose spaces, neatly keeping the work zone restricted to one area and the rest of the space free.

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    1. Double the L-shape potential

    l-shaed kitchen with l-shaped dining area

    Image credit: Robert Sanderson

    If space is no issue you could opt for a layout that cleverly incorporates two L shapes. A bit like the premise of a classic video game, use the kitchen units to fit together perfectly to make the best use of floor space. The main L-shape counter can be a base for the kitchen appliances and amenities, while a smaller L shapes fits within the space to house a built-in dining bench area. Using the L shape to fashion a separate zone helps to create a sociable dining area that feels disconnected just enough from the main cooking space.

    2. Embrace an L shape for an open-plan layout

    open-plan kitchen and living room

    Image credit: Robert Sanderson

    It goes without saying, if you have an open-plan kitchen and living area you only really have two walls on which to consider for the kitchen. Capitalise on a far-side corner to keep the kitchen restricted, allowing the living area to benefit from the windows and other architectural details. The kitchen takes up valuable wall space which means you therefore can’t sacrifice any walls with design details already in place. Keep sinks and appliance to one end to ensure they are at the furthest distance from the living area also.

    3. Make the most of a small kitchen space

    L-shaped kitchen

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    In a small kitchen an L shape is ideal as it concentrates all storage and appliances into two sides of the room, leaving the others free and open, so making the overall space seem bigger. Keep the colours on the lighter side so it doesn’t appear too cramped. A mixture of cabinets and drawers makes housing pans, pots and general paraphernalia a breeze, while Kilner jars display pretty condiments and dried food to perfection.

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    4. Open up your scheme

    L-shaped kitchen

    Image credit: David Giles

    This L-shaped kitchen makes excellent use of space. It is easy to work in since the work triangle can be easily established. Open shelving prevents a small kitchen from looking too busy, while banks of cabinets look stunning in a large kitchen as well as providing an abundance of storage. A table and chairs fits neatly into the kitchen, while still zoning it off from the rest of the room. Whatever the size of your kitchen, the beauty of the L-shaped layout lies in its simplicity and flexibility, the ease with which it can be adapted to suit practical requirements and different design tastes.

    5. Utilise colour and pattern

    L-shaped kitchen

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Don’t be afraid to use darker colours and patterns in your kitchen. Deep colours are warming so often work well in larger kitchens. Inject refined rustic style into your kitchen with painted wooden cabinetry. In a traditional space, use painted wood to co-ordinate kitchen cabinets with walls and architectural features; in a contemporary scheme, to soften the sharp edges of minimalist design. Go for a mid to deep grey shade, like this one, as it oozes easy elegance and sophistication.

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    6. Incorporate an island

    L-shaped kitchen

    Image credit: Fiona Walker-Arnott

    Where space isn’t an issue an L-shape with a central island unit provides informal dining space for the family or a place to chat with friends over coffee. Keep the cooking and kitchen chores tightly together in an L and let the rest of a large room be given over to family life. Add personality and character with quirky signage and curios.

    ‘For those working with an open-plan space, this style of kitchen works exceptionally well,’explains Paul Bangs, category director for kitchens at Wickes. ‘The addition of an island can provide an extra preparation and seating area, whilst becoming a focal point for the room. Likewise, this style of kitchen works well for those who entertain often or have families as they offer plenty of space.’

    7. Consider cabinetry

    L-shaped kitchen

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Lack of size does not have to mean lack of style. This compact l-shape kitchen with hi-gloss units creates wow factor in a small space with its sleek stainless steel appliances and an acrylic splashback in bright pink. Kitchen splashbacks are a perfect example of how kitchen planning and interior design have become intertwined. A simple Corian worktop complements the look.

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    8. Keep it family friendly

    L-shaped kitchen

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Give your kitchen over to family life. Fitting your cabinetry, worktops and storage into an L shape leaves the remainder of your kitchen free for you to express yourself. Here optimum use of space on two sides of the room allows for an uncluttered look opposite, enhancing the feeling of space. The look of a layout has become a major factor in an open plan scheme; you need to think more carefully about the design and aesthetic of the kitchen as it will always be on view.

    9. Store vertically

    L-shaped kitchen

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Give a wood-effect kitchen an edge with statement accessories. Here this rustic country scheme is brought to life with contemporary tiling. The choice of light and dark tiles, which work to separate the cooking and prep zones, provides a stark, modern contrast to the more traditional cabinet design. If your kitchen is verging on the small side, consider installing wall-hung shelves into the corner of the room.

    Open shelves are a practical and stylish solution in any kitchen. Display china and glassware, so that they are easily accessible. Try running a fixed rail below the bottom shelf to hold utensils with hooks for saucepans.

    Prefer a different layout? Read: Create the perfect U-shaped kitchen

    What are you waiting for? Get planning your perfect L-shaped kitchen.

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