Kitchen shape trends: Rectangles

Layout ideas

Rectangular kitchen designs have long been the most common kitchen layout – sometimes through necessity (i.e. a rectangular room) but sometimes through choice in a larger, open-plan space. With two longer sides offering practicality and versatility, there are all kinds of layout and styling solutions for your rectangular kitchen, whether it be a modern or traditional design scheme.

If you're looking at your rectangular kitchen and wondering what to do, it's helpful to understand the benefits compared to a square layout, and have under your belt a few styling tips that will let you work around your design scheme and available space.

How do rectangular kitchens differ to square kitchens?

The subtle change in shape from a square kitchen to a rectangular design immediately opens a wealth of design opportunities. Rectangular kitchens offer a fuller length, giving you the option to maximise your space more effectively no matter the size of your kitchen.

Ways you can style your rectangular kitchen

Ways you can style your rectangular kitchen

Your rectangular kitchen can be styled in a series of ways, with each layout offering something different depending on the style you prefer, the space you have on offer, and what suits your daily lifestyle. Here are three practical layouts that could help you make the most of your space.

Style your kitchen around two perpendicular walls

Change the feel of your rectangular kitchen with the introduction of units and appliances across two perpendicular walls, giving an L-shape look. This functional style maximises flexibility and offers distinct work zones when it comes to food preparation, cleaning, and cooking. So, it's ideal for a busy family kitchen.

This layout works well within a smaller kitchen, allowing you to open the floor to a small seating area, or shelving. Which suits perfectly because an L-space lends itself to working between your oven, fridge, and sink without trouble.

If you have a lot of room left over, styling a multifunctional kitchen island can allow you to incorporate extra storage as well as a welcoming entertainment area.

Spread your kitchen over both sides with a corridor or galley layout

Spread your kitchen over both sides with a corridor or galley layout

A narrow kitchen might benefit from a corridor-style layout – also known as a galley kitchen – that places units and appliances either side of your room.

Take advantage of this two-sided layout when designing your kitchen and place commonly paired appliances in close proximity without affecting traffic flow through the room. For example, the sink and oven-hob could go one side for easy food prep and cleaning, while the fridge could be placed opposite for fast access.

The corridor design scheme also gives you the opportunity to use your units to channel a bold focal point at the end of your kitchen, whether it be a striking painted, tiled, or accessorised wall or an eye-pleasing piece of furniture.

Choose simplicity with a one-wall design

Choose simplicity with a one-wall design

Keep all your appliances and accessories together with a single-wall layout – also known as a one-sided kitchen. Everything goes on one wall: units, appliances, storage. It's simple, visually interesting, and creates an enormous amount of social space in the rest of the room.

Provided you have a wall long enough, it can be especially effective in a smaller kitchen where space is tight. In these cases, wall space becomes floor and worktop space: incorporate wall-mounted cupboards and go about integrating smaller appliances (microwaves, coffee machines) at chest height.

With all that open area, think about a family seating area, ideal for casual eating or entertaining friends. If you don't have a dedicated dining room, the one-sided kitchen allows a single part of the house to pull double duty.

Consider the ways you can work your rectangular kitchen around your lifestyle. For more inspiration on the styles and colours you can use in your kitchen design, browse our full range.