Kitchens are the heart of any home. You will likely be in and out a few times per day to prepare food, get snacks, clean up messes, and more. Because you spend so much time in the kitchen, you want to enjoy it, and thankfully, there are many different options. Each of the six common layouts will provide you with space to cook, clean, and store food in many different configurations.

The L-Shape

This kitchen has two walls that connect perpendicularly to create the shape of an L. All appliances, counter space, and cabinets fit on those walls. However, they tend to lack cabinet space compared to other options. They are common in apartments, or when you want to blend your kitchen into your dining space.

The Island

The island design can be useful if you have a larger kitchen space but need some more usable counter. The island provides you a large stretch of the counter throughout the center of a kitchen. The island creates the perfect workspace for serving or food prep. And, many island designs provide you with extra cabinets and outlets to add even more usability.

The Galley

Galley kitchens are like a hallway with two walls of counter space parallel to each other, typically with one side holding the sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator while the other counter offers the oven and stove, as well as prep space for cooking. Typically, you can walk straight through this kitchen from one area of the house or apartment to another, but sometimes, they form a dead end instead. These kitchens are perfect in smaller homes and apartments.

The Peninsula

A peninsula kitchen is similar to the galley, but one wall is removed. Instead, there is a counter jutting from the wall to create a peninsula rather than a free-floating island. This space is usable but lacks cabinetry above it. This gives you the same perks that you’d get from island designs without requiring as much floor space. Usually, you will see this in compact homes and apartments that simply cannot accommodate a larger kitchen.

The U-Shape

The U-shape kitchen takes an L-shape kitchen and adds a third wall to it, creating the typical U form. These tend to be quite flexible and fit in most kitchen spaces. They also offer plenty of cabinet space for optimizing storage, with many counters for food prep. These tend to be one of the ideal options people gravitate toward, especially when leaving some of the wall space clear to include a window for natural lighting.

The Straight

Straight kitchens use one wall for everything, making them the smallest option available. They typically fit into studio apartments. However, such small kitchens also have to make sacrifices, such as cutting out dishwashers or not including a full refrigerator. This means that you have to be smart and maximize all space you have. You may also need to include other storage space, such as adding shelving nearby or bringing in a hutch or baker’s rack.