Having enough countertops in your kitchen is what quickly transforms any culinary task from stressful to absolute bliss.
The U-shape kitchen layout not only provides plenty of space for work zones but also keeps appliances and surfaces within close reach while offering you more than enough freedom to move.
Plus, there are so many ways to tinker with this straightforward arrangement that are as unique as the individual using it.
Below are 25+ U-shaped kitchen design ideas to help make your kitchen stand out from all the rest.
25+ U-Shaped Kitchen Design Ideas:
- Floor Levels
- Countertop Levels
- Add a Soffit
- Play with Baseboards
- Position of Large Appliances
- Shorten the Leg Length
- Remove Cabinets
- Create a Breakfast Bar
- Utilize Concrete Floors
- Separate Flooring from Other Rooms
- Add LED Lighting
- Other Unique Fixtures
- Bold Backsplashes
- Color Coordinate Cabinets
- Try Color Accents
- Colorful Small Appliances
- Multi-Colored Cabinets
- Mix Up Colors
- Play with Texture
- Extend Use of Wall Tiles
- Economic Use of Space
- Add Shelving
- Make Shelving Stand Out
- Storage Touches with Personality
- Continue Storage to Other Rooms
- Use a Projector or Mounted TV
1. Floor Levels
All journeys start with a single step, and your new kitchen design is no different. In this case, that step is literal and involves adding depth to your kitchen by either raising the height or decreasing it. Placing your kitchen on a separate tier from the rest of the house creates a stunning visual break you’ll love!
2. Countertop Levels
The floor isn’t the only thing that benefits from a shift in height in your kitchen. Try a break away from traditional, flat countertops by placing them on various levels, too. By doing this, you create more storage space, designated areas for cooking, and a charmingly unique appearance.
3. Add a Soffit
Many homeowners use soffits to dress up the ceiling portion of exterior roofs. However, the same idea works wonderfully in your kitchen, too. It adds an extra level of dimension to the room and can also be used to introduce new lighting fixtures.
4. Play with Baseboards
Surprisingly, there’s a lot of wiggle room for design when it comes to the baseboards in a kitchen. For example, some remove the plinths altogether, leaving an indentation that gives the counters an added breadth of height. Others simply choose to color coordinate the base of the counters to match the palette in the kitchen.
If you’re a fan of structure and symmetry, there’s no better layout than the U-shaped kitchen. And maybe you don’t need everything absolutely even all the time but just like your workspace nice and tidy. The symmetry of this plan is what makes maintaining and designing it all the easier.
6. Position of Large Appliances
A slightly less conventional approach to your kitchen setup includes placing the larger appliances right next to each other. Modern designs certainly depict this style as a convenient transition from one point to another that opens up more counter space in the kitchen.
However, this placement typically tends to make the appliances work extra hard, so a little space between them doesn’t hurt either.
7. Shorten the Leg Length
What’s ideal about the U shape design is that it’s relatively open, so you don’t feel confined to one tiny space when cooking. Making the “U” legs shorter is a great way to open up this space even further without sacrificing the accessibility in the layout.
8. Remove Cabinets
Another incredible way to expand the space in your kitchen is to remove part of the cabinets. Doing this frees up a wall for decorative touches like paintings, shelving, and knick-knacks while also generating a more open atmosphere.
9. Create a Breakfast Bar
A fun twist on this design is to remove cabinets on one of the sides rather than the base of the “U.” Not only does it create a more expanded layout, but it also doubles as a quaint little breakfast bar. You can even customize this little seating area with a different color paneling or countertop to make it stand out from the rest of the kitchen.
10. Utilize Concrete Floors
Sometimes building your ideal kitchen derives from working with what you have. For example, rather than covering concrete floors with expensive new tiles, utilize them to their fullest potential. Concrete floors make a great foundation for an industrial-style kitchen motif.
11. Separate Flooring from Other Rooms
One way to keep your kitchen visually unique is by separating it from the rest of the house. Since you can’t make the room an island unto itself, the easiest way to make it stand out is by using a completely different flooring between the kitchen and its adjoining rooms.
12. Add LED Lighting
Lighting is another fantastic way to punch up color and visual aesthetics in a room. All that counter space and cabinets make the use of LED lights ideal for a warm, gentle glow throughout the area. Not to mention, they’re super easy to install.
13. Other Unique Fixtures
LED strips aren’t the only type of lighting fixtures to enhance the ambiance in a room. There are numerous styles available when it comes to lights, including exposed bulb pendants, candelabras, track lighting, and more. Each brings its own level of appeal and theming to your kitchen.
14. Bold Backsplashes
Backsplashes make a statement, usually one much bolder than your neutral-toned cabinets and counters. As a result, it’s crucial to listen to what your backsplash says about your kitchen. It should blend well with its surroundings but stand out enough to draw its fair share of attention.
15. Color Coordinate Cabinets
Long gone are the days of plain white or wood grain cabinets. If you want a bright pink space to store your dishes, it’s available somewhere by now. Using the color of your cabinets to orchestrate the color scheme of the century is one way to make your kitchen uniquely you.
16. Try Color Accents
Subtlety works just as well when it comes to design ideas, and little touches of color make a huge impact. A fresh, natural appearance arrives in the form of bright greens and earthy tones. After adding some minor, colorful embellishments to your kitchen, throw in a plant or two for good measure.
17. Colorful Small Appliances
Never underestimate the importance of your small appliances, especially when tying them into a fabulous color scheme. These handy little tools make just as big a statement as the walls surrounding them and can dress up a drab, monochromatic room with bursts of color or add to an already vibrant setting.
18. Multi-Colored Cabinets
If you can’t decide which color to go with for your cabinets, it’s okay to try a little of everything. Multi-colored cabinets make a huge splash in the modern kitchen and are absolutely gorgeous when paired with the right shades and complementary hues.
19. Mix Up Colors
The modern kitchen sees a ton of black and white color combos. And while some homeowners are hesitant to mix black appliances with white cabinets, and vice versa, it actually generates a stunning fusion of color. You can play around with this mix of colors until you find the right amount of each for your kitchen.
20. Play with Texture
Coordinating the right color palette doesn’t mean everything in your kitchen must be uniform. In fact, too much of one color makes everything look dull and unappealing. Playing with textures breaks up monochromatic patterns by adding enough color variation to be palatable.
21. Extend Use of Wall Tiles
Like adding a backsplash against the wall over the stove, some kitchen designs employ tiles to add color and texture to a dull room. Rather than stopping partway, these tiles go all the way to the top of the ceiling, sometimes covering one full wall of the kitchen. It breaks up the monotonous feel of the room and adds an extra special something to the decor.
22. Economic Use of Space
Smaller kitchens need to really make use of their space. As a result, using counter space for storage and every available nook and cranny becomes key. If you don’t have enough space in your cabinets, those finishing touches on your countertop need to be more functional than decorative. Though there is no reason they can’t be both!
23. Add Shelving
Cabinets are great, but shelving brings a whole new level to your kitchen aesthetics. They’re much less about storage and more about personal touches, which means you get to add your own brand of flavor and personality to each ledge.
Plus, they aren’t bound to the same boring square units cabinets are. Instead, they can be staggered, have hooks, and come in many different lengths and heights.
24. Make Shelving Stand Out
So you decided to go with shelving, but you still want to keep some storage space on hand. Not a problem! Niche shelves make the perfect addition to cabinets by giving you enough room to house your dishes while also giving you a little extra space for decorative touches. You can also add pops of colors to these shelves and make them stand out even more.
25. Storage Touches with Personality
There are many different ways to display your personality in a kitchen and just as many different ways to store things. One example of using both of these concepts is with a built-in wine rack. It provides you with a place to keep your wine safe and at the ready, as well as displaying one of your many culinary loves.
26. Continue Storage to Other Rooms
Since most kitchens adjoin spaces like the living room, it’s only natural that the two rooms share a design in some components as well. Since the cabinets and appliances in the kitchen often extend into the connecting areas, it leaves an excess of wall space or storage.
The best way to economize on space is to use these excess areas with shelving units or entertainment stands for TVs.
27. Use a Projector or Mounted TV
If you’re used to watching a little bit of TV while preparing a meal but don’t have enough counter space, use a projector or mounted TV instead. Rather than hauling a bulky TV onto the countertop and sacrificing some much-needed workspace, or staring into a tiny screen for recipe guidance, use your wall space.
Doing this lets you catch up on the latest movies or follow complicated cooking directions without leaving your kitchen.
There are many reasons the U-shaped kitchen design is one of the most popular in the United States. Its wrap-around design makes it easy to get from one point of the kitchen to the other without feeling trapped in one area. Plus, after discovering all the different ways to make your kitchen unique with just a few simple touches, who wouldn’t want to get started right away?