Kitchen in U-Shape: Plenty of Space for Amateur Chefs

A kitchen in U-shape is the perfect kitchen shape for hobby cooks who have sufficiently large space, like to cook a lot, and prefer to be in the company. From the idea to the finished Dream kitchen: how to plan your kitchen in U-shape.

The U-shape is very popular in kitchens: it makes cooking easier
The U-shape is very popular in kitchens: it makes cooking easier.
Photo: living4media / Boyd, Andrew

A kitchen in a U-shape is a real miracle of space, which comes into its own especially well in large rooms and with an open design. This type of kitchen is the optimal meeting place for cooking with family or friends and, when properly divided, offers plenty of storage space.

The kitchen in U-shape usually consists of three adjoining kitchen units. They can have different lengths and freely protrude into the room as a bar, integrated kitchen island, or dining area.

Kitchen in U-Shape: The Pros and Cons

Advantages Disadvantages
  • The U-shape provides maximum work surfaces,
    plenty of space for cooking and optimal
    storage space.
  • Whether family or friends, cooking is fun,
    even with several people.
  • Enough space for not built-in kitchen appliances
    such as coffee makers and Co.
  • A dining area or counter can only be integrated with an open floor plan.
  • The U-shape is not suitable for rooms with several doors.
  • A kitchen in U-shape does not fit small rooms.

Kitchen in U-shape: Planning Tips

So that the kitchen in U-shape does not look too bulky and visually reduces the space, there is a simple trick: play with the width, height, and arrangement of tall cabinets – this makes the kitchen look lighter and more modern. You can leave the tall cabinets completely on one side if you like.

When planning the kitchen, emphasize sufficiently large base cabinets and over-corner solutions. Here you can accommodate a lot of utensils. Install the kitchen sink in front of the window to make the best use of daylight. Direct access from the front door or garage makes storing the week’s groceries easier.

Refrigerating, Cooking, Sinks: The Magic Triangle

From the refrigerator to the work surface, from the work surface to the stove, from the stove to the table or sink: these paths matter in every kitchen. To make kitchen work particularly easy, you should ensure that the individual areas are adapted to the work steps during the planning stage. In a U-shaped kitchen, this means arranging the three main areas – refrigerator, stove, and sink – according to the so-called “magic triangle” so that walking distances are not too long. The stove, sink, and refrigerator are grouped around you in a U-shaped kitchen.

Since the size of the room and the kitchen layout differ from person to person, the triangle in each kitchen is also different. Ensure the refrigerators are not located directly next to the cooking area. Otherwise, you will consume an unnecessary amount of energy.

Designing a kitchen in a U-shape requires a certain amount of space
Designing a kitchen in a U-shape requires a certain amount of space.
Photo: iStock/n4mal

Furnish the U-Shaped Kitchen Ergonomically

Ergonomics should not be neglected in the U-shaped kitchen either: Right-handed people work most ergonomically from left to right, i.e., clockwise, while left-handed people work the other way around. Considering this when planning the kitchen will make your work easier and create order, even when things get really busy at the stove.

You should also adjust the work surfaces to your height for the best possible ergonomic conditions when preparing, cooking, or washing up. As a rule of thumb, there should be a 10 to 20 centimeters distance between the elbow and the respective work area when the arm is bent.

Whether dishwasher, oven, or built-in coffee machine: Today, all built-in appliances are arranged at an ergonomically sensible height – this makes work easier and noticeably easier on your back. Plan all built-in appliances so that you can work standing upright with your arms bent without having to arch your back.

What Should Be the Size of a Kitchen in a U-Shape?

The interior should be at least two meters wide for a well-functioning kitchen in a U-shape, allowing you to open drawers and cabinet doors conveniently. However, the spacious, open U-shape is better in large rooms or eat-in kitchens than in a small kitchen.

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