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7 Tips to Designing the Perfect Single-Walled Kitchen Layout

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 07/02/19

If you're planning a single walled kitchen layout and think your design options are limited, then think again.

In this article, we explore various ways to make a single walled kitchen work and look amazing!

Ultimately, a kitchen spread over just one wall can actually turn out to be more practical and affordable than you think.

Getting Started

Planning the perfect single walled kitchen requires a lot of care and attention, as space tends to be limited. In fact this type of kitchen layout is generally used when one has a very small or compact kitchen.

There's various things to take into account, including the space available, the room layout and which one is the most practical wall.

So, let's take a look at some very simple tips and tricks anyone can follow, which will help you design the perfect single-walled kitchen, and still manage to achieve a stylish finish with the feeling of space and functionality.

1. Add a Kitchen Island

When restricted to a single wall, you can easily add more counter space by installing a kitchen island.

Obviously, make sure you have enough floor space to achieve this.

Assuming there is, a kitchen island is the perfect complement to a single-walled kitchen.

A kitchen island sits parallel to the kitchen wall and helps to enhance the overall layout, creating extra counter space and storage space.

If floor space is limited, you can opt for a narrower island, which is still very practical.

If a fixed island is a non-starter, there's also the option of a portable island, which can serve as a breakfast table, bar, or cooking area.

Both add more practicality and counter space and look amazing.

The kitchen island can also enable you to establish the working triangle in your kitchen. While the sink and refrigerator can be placed along the kitchen wall, you can have the oven and cooktop installed within the kitchen island.

2. Buy Suitable Appliances

Choice of appliances is another important consideration.

The appliances will need to be located along the same wall, with the refrigerator possibly being positioned as a standalone unit on a separate wall.

Make sure you choose appliances that are suitable and complement the scale of your kitchen.

Shop for compact ovens, microwaves, dishwashers and warming drawers, and keep in mind the need for models which are less noisy.

The colour of the appliances should complement the colour of your kitchen cabinets.

3. Clever Positioning of Appliances

Once you’ve chosen the right appliances, they need to be carefully placed to improve efficiency. You do not want to end up walking from one end of the kitchen to the other several times.

There are different layout options that work well in a single-walled kitchen:

Option 1

It may be best to go for an arrangement where the sink is placed in the centre of the kitchen. In that way there will be countertop space on either side of it.

The refrigerator can be placed as a stand-alone on one end of the room if the wall length is not too large. Otherwise it should be placed closer to the centre.

The oven and hob should be installed within the island, which will be parallel to the sink.

In this way you would have an efficient workflow as you would have established a working triangle.

Option 2

If a kitchen island is not a feasible option, this may be the best layout for the appliances.

The refrigerator can be placed at the far end, with a sink right next to it and worktop space on each side.

Beneath the sink you can place a dishwasher.

The oven and hob can be placed on the other side.

Option 3

At the further ends of the kitchen you could have tall units.

In these units there can be the oven in one side, and the fridge freezer in the other.

4. Add a Focal Point

If you're aiming for a simplistic design, you may want to incorporate a focal point to showcase in your kitchen.

This will make your kitchen look more inviting and cosy.

Common options include a stone feature, a bold coloured feature wall such as a splash back, or some statement shelving.

You'll be amazed at the difference such small details make, and it'll help draw attention away from the otherwise plain design that the kitchen may need to be constrained to.

5. Add Some Open Shelves

You could add some open shelving within the frame of the kitchen itself, to move away from a design that is made up solely of cabinets.

6. Appropriate Cabinets

Your choice of cabinets are a key element in a kitchen.

Certain cabinetry styles look better when used on a single wall. These include:

Minimalistic Cabinets

Minimalist style cabinets achieve a look that is ideal for a single-walled kitchen.

The sleek lines promote an efficient look, which also increases storage space.

These cabinets are very popular with those who prefer modern styling, an all-white or open concept.

They also help the room to feel bigger, brighter and more spacious.

Rustic Cabinets

Rustic themed kitchens can still look fabulous if you adopt a single walled layout.

It's highly recommended to utilise crafted wood for different elements in the room, including the cabinets, the drawers and the flooring.

You will love the warm look this brings to your kitchen.

Retro Style

A retro style is another great look for a one-walled kitchen.

The single line counter looks great and it is a neat choice for those who prefer a simplistic design.

7. Colour Palette

Colour choices are of utmost importance in any kitchen. You want to choose a colour that makes the room look spacious and bright.

These are some of the best options when it comes to a single wall kitchen.

Classic White

White was, and remains, a very popular colour choice for kitchens. The bright and clean look that a white kitchen achieves is incomparable.

Your room will look airier and more open. So this is the perfect choice for those who are worried their kitchen is too small and may feel cramped.

Vibrant Bold Colours

If you want your kitchen to look and feel warm, opt for vibrant colours.

Cheerful and bright colours such as green and yellow can make a kitchen look truly fabulous.

These colours are generally complemented by some neutral tones to make the kitchen look more open, despite the fact it's spread along a single wall.


A great choice for those who want a minimalistic, clean-looking kitchen which is modern in style.

Two-tone lack and white units and countertops complement one another beautifully in a kitchen.

Sometimes you will find greyish backgrounds or features added in too.

Advantages of a single walled kitchen

A single walled kitchen offers various advantages.

  • It is a more affordable option.
  • With fewer units you can achieve a more efficient workflow.
  • Everything is within reach.
  • The space available is used well, and there is no loss of space as in the case of huge corner cupboards, which are difficult to access.
  • It is a more sociable layout that promotes an open-plan arrangement.
  • Increases a sense of openness in the room.

Disadvantages of a single walled kitchen

Unless it is properly designed, a single walled kitchen could pose some drawbacks;

  • Lack of counter space since a good percentage of it needs to be taken up by the sink and appliances.
  • Certain activities and tasks are more efficiently done if there is an adjacent worktop available.
  • More prone to clutter.

Possible solutions

These problems can be overcome:

  • By including a kitchen island so as to add more worktop space.
  • You could also use pullouts and pan drawers for more storage space.
  • Door storage racks can be very useful.
  • Store certain supplies or items in stackable containers to make the best use of the space available.
  • Opt for tall cabinets that reach to the ceiling to use wall space efficiently.
  • Purchase compact appliances.


These are just some tips and tricks, which can help make your single wall kitchen look truly unique and fabulous.

At the end of the day, you can be as original and innovative as you want to be as the kitchen is the heart of your home, and it deserves to look and feel great regardless of its size or layout.