How to select the best kitchen layout for your home | Balnei & Colina | Balnei & Colina

The Most popular kitchen layouts

The Most popular kitchen layouts

For avid cooks, seasoned hosts, and busy families alike, the kitchen is the centre of daily life—and a place where both beauty and function are more important than ever. 

Whilst it’s normal to head straight to the fun parts and spend time selecting finishes for your kitchen renovation, like paint colour and tapware, it’s more important to start with planning a suitable layout for your kitchen renovation. Investing in creating the best kitchen design and layout initally, will provide you the best foundation for a successful kitchen renovation. 

The kitchen renovation professionals at Balnei & Colina will do all the ground work for you, following the best kitchen design principles: scale/proportion, delineation of work zones, strategic placement of appliances, creating adequate storage, movement and workflow, all in keeping with Australian building codes and standards. 

For the kitchen renovation team at Balnei & Colina, the ultimate objective is to create a kitchen renovation design that is not only beautiful, but purpose built for optimal performance day in and day out. A kitchen renovation that not only outperforms, but reflects your unique style preferences and requirements. 

In this month’s B&C Journal, we explore the kitchen layouts best suited to today’s modern living. We hope it provides an easy guide to selecting the right kitchen layout for your next kitchen renovation project. Enjoy!

Robert Fonti

Director, Balnei & Colina


The 5 Most popular kitchen layouts

Here's a look at some of the most popular layouts to choose from: 

A well-planned kitchen layout is crucial to gaining an efficient, enjoyable space, and every good kitchen design starts with creating the ideal kitchen layout, one that makes the most of the allocated space. 

A smart kitchen layout can positively influence how you work in your kitchen. Convenience, ease of access, and activity workflows like food preparation, cooking and washing, all rely on the creation of a smart kitchen design with a good kitchen layout. The team at Balnei & Colina kitchen renovations Sydney can design and plan your ideal kitchen, ensuring maximum use of space and creating the right movement flows across key kitchen zones, to ensure your kitchen workflow is as smooth and efficient as possible. 

Island kitchen layouts are arguably the most preferred layouts in today’s modern homes, although U-shaped, L-shaped, Single-wall and Galley kitchens are still common. Each configuration has its own pros and cons. If you can fit one in, a kitchen island opens up a world of increased functionality including storage, seating, and counter space.




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  • Greater flexibility in kitchen design and layout
  • Maximum connection between your new kitchen and adjacent open-plan living spaces.
  • Best suited to entertaining

The island layout is ideal for people who want a multi-functional kitchen room. From meal prep and homework, to socialising and entertaining, an island layout can cover it all. A kitchen island layout is often viewed as the layout that allows the most connection with adjacent rooms in open plan homes, allowing the cook to entertain and prepare meals at the same time. 

Kitchen island layouts can be configured to suit the room as well as the client’s particular workflow. A kitchen island can house a sink, cooktop, microwave, range hood and even wine and book storage however, the kitchen renovation team at Balnei & Colina ideally allot one kitchen zone (ie cooking/washing/prep) per island bench, incorporating maximum storage, counter space and space for casual dining. 


Image credit: Devol Kitchens



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2. U-Shaped kitchen renovations


  • U shaped kitchens are less open and offer a greater degree of privacy and separation from adjacent living areas
  • Still open enough to foster connections with family in adjacent rooms in an open plan setting
  • Perfectly suited to more period style homes

U-Shaped kitchens are ideal for larger families, or where two or more cooks are working  simultaneously in the space. The kitchen is shaped like the letter ‘U’, hence the title U-shaped kitchen, with a meal prep area along one wall, a sink and clean-up area at the connecting arm, and a cooking/baking area along the next. Balnei & Colina kitchen designers call it the perfect ‘kitchen triangle”, as it allows for the most efficient and smooth flow of movement.

This kitchen layout is also flexible. It can work for different kitchen renovation spaces including longer, galley-style spaces, as well as larger square shaped rooms with a central island workstation. An example of the U-shaped kitchen design is our Balnei & Colina kitchen renovation Sydney Ashfield.

If space permits, a central island within the U- shape kitchen layout provides a casual dining or workspace.

U-Shaped layouts require room, so they're ideal for larger kitchen spaces. Our Balnei & Colina designers recommend this layout to homeowners who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, or use it as a multipurpose room.  


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Channel 7 House Rules Kitchen Renovation Sydney by Balnei & Colina


3. L-Shaped kitchen renovations


  • Modern, functional, stylish and open plan
  • Popular design for smaller homes and medium sized apartments

L-Shaped kitchens are best-suited to smaller homes and medium sized apartments. The layout looks like the letter 'L', with a sink and food prep area usually located on the longer countertop run and a baking/cooking area on the shorter arm.

You can quickly move around from one area of your kitchen to another without obstacles impeding movement flow, and this allows for more than one person to work in the kitchen simultaneously. Often a dining table is incorporated into this type of layout, where the new kitchen and dining room share the one space. 


Image credit: Real Living


Image Credit: 47HomeDecor




  • Ideal for smaller homes and apartments
  • Perfect solution for combined kitchen/dining spaces
  • Allows for maximum workflow in a limited space

This kitchen renovation layout, also known as straight-line, is best suited to compact open-plan homes and apartments, particularly studio apartments.

Similar to the L-shaped kitchen design, the single-wall layout works well when combined with a dining table that is located directly adjacent to the new kitchen. Your dining table can also double as a meal preparation zone.

For this modern kitchen layout the fridge is best positioned at one end of the kitchen, with the appliance wall (oven, microwave, steamer) and pantry located at the opposite end, and cooktop and sink in between. This will help maximise counter space, storage and workflow, making most of the limited space.


Balnei & Colina Galley Style Kitchen Renovation




  • Functional and efficient layout
  • Potential to transform a passage way into a highly functional space. 
  • Perfectly suited to period style homes and apartments. 

Galley kitchens are very common in older and period style homes and apartments. Best suited to small/medium sized homes where the kitchen is separated from dining and living areas. 

Galley style kitchen renovations are more about function than socialising and surprising to some, combining this type of kitchen design with the right home and space can create one of the most efficient layouts.

Balnei & Colina Sydney Marrickville kitchen renovation provides the perfect example of a galley kitchen layout


Image credit: M. Lahr Homes


A kitchen is more than just a cooking space. It's a hub of home activity, and when it comes to planning your dream kitchen renovation, you want to ensure maximum space efficiency and functionality. Here are some tips on planning the perfect kitchen layout for your next kitchen renovation:


  • When planning a new kitchen layout, consider the orientation of the new kitchen in relation to adjacent rooms 
  • Allow 600mm drop zones around washing and cooking zones
  • Seperate prep wet areas and cooking zones.
  • Select your appliances appliances early on, so that your Balnei & Colina kitchen designer can incorporate these can into your new kitchen layout.
  • Rule of thumb: Combine a maximum of 3 design elements per kitchen renovation, benchtop material, cabinetry finish/colour and splashback material.
  • If feasible, dedicate storage (eg larder cupboard) for smaller appliances to keep your benchtop as free as possible for meal preparation.


Ultimately, the perfect kitchen design is unique and personal to each client. A kitchen renovation that functions primarily as a family hub for meals, entertaining as well as smaller functions like homework, for example, will look very different from that of a young single city dweller who eats out almost every night. For that reason, the team at Balnei & Colina renovations commence all kitchen renovation projects learning about our clients’ daily kitchen routines (including cooking habits), their unique needs and style preferences. Every Balnei & Colina kitchen design and renovation is unique to each client with with no two the same. 

Still unsure which kitchen layout to choose for your kitchen renovation? Leave it to the experts at Balnei & Colina Kitchen Renovations Sydney. The experts at Balnei & Colina can help every step of the way from planning to execution. Simply book a kitchen design consultation with a kitchen renovation expert today on 1300 450 320 or drop us an email You can also send us your project details via this contact form

To stay up to date with the latest kitchen design trends, visit us at or connect with us via Facebook or Instagram.


Image Credit: IDF Studio



Image credit: M House Developement



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