U-shaped Kitchen Ideas: 8 Great Designs for Any Sized Space

u-shaped kitchen ideas
(Image credit: Mereway Kitchens)

When getting to grips with u-shaped kitchen ideas being aware of how and when you will be utilising the kitchen is key to any design's success.

Are you a busy family who needs a breakfast bar spot to quickly eat in the morning? A couple who need an incorporated dining area? Or, are you remodelling to develop your skill as a cook and need the storage to match?

Kitchen design can be a fine art, so by being realistic about the size of the space and its opportunities while looking at design inspiration will get you on the right path. 

Take a look below at our favourite u-shaped kitchen ideas that can be applied to any size kitchen.

1. Big or Small: U-Shaped Kitchen Layouts

small u-shaped kitchen ideas

(Image credit: Good Home/B&Q)

U-shaped layouts allow for flexible design that suits every lifestyle. Regardless of the size, units along three sides of a space can be a flexible and dynamic way to orientate your kitchen. 

This modern kitchen beautifully combines practical working space with a social environment. For a similar effect, add a worktop overhang, pendent lighting and relaxed open cupboards. 

2. Add a U-shaped Kitchen with an Island for a Welcoming Space

u shaped kitchen with island

(Image credit: Mark Welsh c/o Oakwrights)

Whether its to add extra workspace, a place to sit and chat or just to break up an empty expanse, islands in u-shaped kitchens are always a winning idea. 

The homeowner of this oak-frame self-build (by Oakwrights) once worked in catering so knew exactly the elements she wanted in her new kitchen. 

The pale shaker-style timber units are delicately contrasted with a dark quartz worktop along the wall lines, but a soft oak breakfast bar blends the whole scheme together effortlessly. 

(MORE: Kitchen Island Ideas)

3. Get Creative with Small U-shaped Kitchen Layouts 

small u shaped kitchen layout

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

Small kitchens can pack a big punch when given the right amount of careful consideration. This compact space ticks off the boxes in terms of storage, workspace, bold design and a breakfast bar to boot.

4. Include a Peninsula to a U-shaped Kitchen Design

u shaped kitchen ideas with peninsula

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

Break up an open-plan layout by adding a u-shaped base units with a large peninsula. 

The homeowners of this Border Oak self build were extraordinary savvy when planning their kitchen as the main u-shaped work space is actually quite compact, enabling convenient cooking. Plus, by adding a double-depth peninsula unit they don't just get added storage but a unified space that continues down to the dining area. 

5. Use Bold Colours in a U-shaped Kitchen Design

u shaped kitchen with island

(Image credit: Mereway Kitchens)

Kitchen design trends of 2021 are all about going big on colour. Navy and green have been the shades of choice for the last couple of years, but black and charcoal are set to join them. 

This light and bright u-shaped kitchen with island is anything bit dark when paired with a practical and stylish white quartz worktop. 

(MORE: 10 Essential Features for a New Kitchen)

6. Make a U-shaped Kitchen a Social Space

u shaped kitchen with breakfast bar

(Image credit: Trend Interiors)

This kitchen is everything it should be: warm, inviting and ever so practical. From the open shelving units in a stunning cashmere to the sophisticated breakfast bar that mean whoever is cooking is a part of the action. 

7. Add Modern Touches to a Traditional U-shaped Kitchen Remodel

u shaped kitchen remodel

(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

Choosing a traditional interior design for a remodel or renovation doesn't limit appliance and storage choices to those that would have been found in that era. 

This thatched home renovation and extension project unites period features, like the oak beams, an Aga and the tongue and groove-style doors, with contemporary elements (the daring blue, Scandi influences and modern fridge/pantry design).

(MORE: How to Remodel a Kitchen)

8. Go for Grey in a U-shaped Kitchen 

u-shaped kitchen ideas

(Image credit: Mereway Kitchens)

A unified approach makes this kitchen look sleek and well-considered. The rooflights, flooring and even dining chairs all beautifully complement the duo-tone shaker kitchen units. 

Amy Reeves

Assistant Editor Amy began working for Homebuilding & Renovating in 2018. She has an interest in sustainable building methods and always has her eye on the latest design ideas. Amy has interviewed countless self builders, renovators and extenders about their experiences for Homebuilding & Renovating magazine. She is currently renovating a mid-century home, together with her partner, on a DIY basis, and has recently fitted her own kitchen.