The U‐shaped kitchen lends itself to high‐efficiency cooking: You can often pivot on one toe as you spin around from refrigerator to sink to stove. A good friend and accomplished cook swears by this kitchen layout. He loves it because it keeps people out of the way when he's cooking. Guests can hang out as long as they stay on "that" side of the peninsula! The U‐shaped kitchen (also called the C‐shaped kitchen) is the perfect expression of the work triangle we hear so much about in kitchen design.
Island. No matter how modestly sized an island can provide invaluable space for working serving and storing. I recently interviewed a designer who advised that we take the recommended dimensions and clearances with a grain of salt as they tend to work only for mansions and in Fantasyland. As long as you’re not bruising a hip every time you round the island you have enough space.
Zinc Kitchen Counters. You don't see zinc countertops in many modern kitchens but this metal has a warmth that has made it popular for centuries. Zinc's tone darkens with time adding patina. Its antimicrobial properties make it a smart choice for a cooking space. This beautiful material typically costs $100 and up per square foot installed.
Most Viewed Gallery Kitchen
A wall‐mounted rack like this one keeps things orderly without swallowing too much space. Buy decent knives if you can afford it as they should last a lifetime. One advantage of a magnetic rack is that you can slowly build up your collection of knives buying one at a time rather than having to invest in one large block complete with knives which can be pricey. If you’re starting from scratch a bread knife paring knife and chef’s knife are essential.
Be clever with your cabinets. Use every spare inch in a small kitchen by building recessed shelves where feasible. Here they surround an integrated refrigerator. With this design solution wall space that’s too skinny or awkwardly shaped for extra cabinets can still be used to hold frequently used items. In this kitchen it also helps open up the room and leads the eye to an appealing feature. The other clever feature in this kitchen is the cookbook niche above the door – another neat storage trick that doesn’t take up too much room. Ask a builder if one can be carved out from an existing wall.
This could either be seen as a broken U or an L‐shaped kitchen with an island. Technically I'd say it leans towards the latter but if you imagine that door on the left being cabinetry you can use this layout for inspiration for your own U‐shaped kitchen.