The Kitchen Design Alphabet

Kitchen design basically speaks in four letters: G, I, L, and U, each one representing a lay-out that would be appropriate for a given floor area.  While contractors will try to build one according to their customers’ preferences, they will recommend otherwise if what a customer wants isn’t feasible.


The one-row and galley kitchens are the most basic designs in use today. Both are I-kitchens, hugging the wall to maximize a small workspace, and positioning appliances within easy reach. I-kitchens are best for long homes, as these have more wall room for the countertop and cabinetry, but less floor space.


An I-kitchen with a perpendicular leg becomes an L-kitchen, which is also a popular design. This brings the legs closer to each other, enabling users to change workstations quickly. L-shaped kitchens are growing in popularity as loft and one-room dwellings are increasing in numbers.


The U-shape makes for more convenient movements in preparing meals, but leaves less space for a dining area. It can hide the main work station, but still allows room for easy movement to other parts of the house. To accommodate dining space, one of the legs could be converted into an island. If the area is big enough, a separate island may be added at the center.


The G-kitchen, while optimizing space, all but encloses the kitchen area with a fourth leg. An island isn’t possible in this setup, but the additional leg can serve as the island.


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