Why have a G-shaped kitchen?
The biggest benefit of a G-shaped kitchen is that it provides maximum efficiency of space, with the fourth unit providing extra worktop space on top and cupboard storage underneath.
A G-shaped kitchen can also be a perfect layout for those with an open plan kitchen who want a more distinct separation between their kitchen and living area. The small peninsula of the fourth counter can add a barrier between the kitchen and lounge.
How to lay out your G-shaped kitchen
First, be aware that G-shaped kitchens work best in larger spaces; in a small kitchen a fourth unit could make the space seem cramped, or encroach on the entranceway. Ensure that you consider the flow of footfall through the room and confirm that a G-shaped layout won’t restrict your movement too much.
G shaped kitchen dimensions won’t differ too much from the layout of a U-shaped kitchen; you just need to ensure you have enough space to accommodate your fourth unit, either against a wall or extending into the floor space.
Next, think about your cabinets. To keep the kitchen feeling open and spacious, try to minimise top cabinets as much as possible; a popular approach is to install top cabinets on just 2 sides of your kitchen and leave the others open.
You can also plan in advance how you’ll arrange your ‘golden triangle’ points of fridge, cooker and sink. A fourth counter gives you even more flexibility to choose how you’ll position your most crucial kitchen appliances, but we advise keeping them on 3 counters that are joined. This should help ensure they’re all still within easy distance of each other.
G-shaped or U-shaped with island?
The G-shaped kitchen is a less common layout as many people opt for a U-shaped kitchen with an island instead to give them the extra counter and storage space they need.
An island can be seen as a more luxurious or stylish option but it’s not always the most suitable solution. While islands fit easily into large kitchens, and can have the added benefit of filling an expanse of empty floor space, in smaller kitchens they can be more trouble than they’re worth.
If your kitchen space is limited enough that a central island would block walkways or have to be so slim as to be almost useless, a G-shaped kitchen is the more efficient option. An extra peninsula on your units will provide more storage and worktop space, and fit more seamlessly into a small kitchen.
Colour schemes for your U-shaped kitchen
Next step in your G-shaped kitchen design is the colour scheme. In a G-shaped kitchen you have a lot of cabinet units that will dominate the colour palette of the space, so it’s wise to choose light, neutral colours for your cabinets and worktops. Having a neutral scheme for your installed units also offers more flexibility if you want to redecorate in the future!
White units are the most adaptable starting point; you can adopt these throughout the kitchen, paired with a grey or light wood countertop, and add extra pops of colour in your walls and kitchen accessories.
To develop the white colour scheme, you could vary your cupboard by sticking with white for your upper units and using a darker colour for your base units, such as navy blue, dark grey or black. With darker base units, we’d suggest a light coloured worktop to bring in a nice contrast.
For a fun retro look, pastels are very on trend. Consider light green, pink or yellow base units, with top cupboards fitted at intervals to add pops of colour without overpowering the room. Pair with white walls or an understated monochrome patterned tile, and you’re onto a winner.
The golden rule with a G-shaped kitchen is to keep your units simple; when they dominate so much of your kitchen, it’s important to keep them minimal and unobtrusive. Stick with light colours that will make the room feel bright and airy, and, if you want variations of bold or darker colours, use these on less dominant features.
Choosing your kitchen units
In a G-shaped kitchen layout, variations of top units are essential. With base units already covering all four walls of your kitchen, matching top cupboards will easily feel oppressive and shrink the space unless you have an exceptionally large room to start with.
Don’t be afraid to play with your arrangement of units; you can add straight runs of top cupboards on just one or two walls, or have your top units sit in the corners or slightly above head level to provide extra storage.
In most G-shaped layouts, the peninsula unit will not have a top unit above it. This is often so that it can be used partly as a breakfast bar, with stools on the outside of the counter in an open plan layout. This is one of the most popular G-shaped kitchen ideas to bring an extra communal feel to the space.
If one of your four unit runs is particularly short, you could take the ‘build upwards’ approach and install a tower unit on this side for bulk storage. This works particularly well if you also need to install a full-height fridge or oven unit, as they can sit alongside each other without intruding on the rest of the kitchen area.
Planning your storage
A G-shaped kitchen’s biggest selling point is its ample storage space, but with so many cupboard options you’ll need to plan ahead to find the most efficient way to arrange where everything will go.
The good news is that even if you only have base cabinets, you already have plenty of cupboard space to keep things neat and tidy. In a G-shaped kitchen, with so many units and corner cupboards, you should have plenty of room and all within easy reach, but there are some nice options for upper cabinets if you want to add more.
Consider upper cabinets on either side of your cooker unit, which with an eye-catching splashback on the wall will frame the hob area nicely. These will also make handy cupboards for common cooking ingredients like oils, herbs and spices.
Corner cupboards, while offering huge amounts of extra space, can be tricky when you’re trying to reach something that’s right at the back. So it would be well worth looking into some bespoke shelf solutions; consider a pull-out or carousel shelf that you can navigate to reach items more easily.
If some of your walls feel a little too empty, you can build on your design with smaller storage solutions that double as attractive feature pieces. Open shelves furnished with vases or mason jars can be a pretty addition to any kitchen, or you could install a creative wine rack.
Lighting up the room
G-shaped kitchens are quite flexible in the styles of lighting you can install, and you’ll likely find that you can choose any style of lighting that you love!
LED spotlights are always a simple and classic lighting option for kitchens, merging smoothly into the ceiling while highlighting key work areas effectively.
For something a little more decorative, pendant lights are the answer! You could opt for one central pendant light with a statement shade, or install a set of multiples. These would be particularly effective hung over your peninsula unit, especially if it’s used as a breakfast bar.
In a modern G-shaped kitchen with some top cabinets, LED strips under the top cabinets are a stylish way to ensure you’ve always got plenty of light flooding your kitchen. This lightening impact will be accentuated if you have shiny worktop surfaces to reflect the light around your kitchen.
Adding extra features
The fourth counter of a G-shaped kitchen can be really useful as a dining space if you have limited space for a proper dining table, or just want to make your kitchen more of a social area!
It couldn’t be easier to do - simply place a few high stools on the outside of your peninsula counter and the job is done. To make a more fit-for-purpose dining area, hollow out the counter underneath to create more legroom for diners, or add a slim drawer just beneath the countertop with cutlery and napkins.
Another idea that’s fun to experiment with if you have a larger space is counters angled at 45 degrees. This can make the space feel cosier if you’re worried there’s too much distance between your counters and provides a section where you have a larger depth of worktop. This makes a useful spot for storing countertop items, such as a knife block or toaster.
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