One-wall kitchen designs have become increasingly popular in recent years for their efficient use of space and creative layouts. In this design, all the major kitchen components are arranged along a single wall, creating a streamlined and organized look. From high-end contemporary homes to cozy bungalows, the one-wall kitchen can work with many different styles. Here is an in-depth look at everything you need to know about planning, designing, and installing a beautiful and functional one-wall kitchen.

Benefits of a One-Wall Kitchen

There are several advantages to choosing a one-wall kitchen design:

Efficient Use of Space

By arranging the kitchen against a single wall, you can free up floor space for other uses like a dining area. This makes one-wall kitchens ideal for smaller homes, apartments, condos and vacation properties.

Easy Traffic Flow

With the work area, appliances and storage along one wall, traffic can move freely through the kitchen without collisions or congestion. This is especially useful in galley kitchen layouts.

Flexible Functionality

A one-wall layout allows you to group the sink, cooktop, oven and refrigerator in a functional work triangle tailored to your cooking habits. Customize the workspace to suit your needs.

Clean, Streamlined Look

By limiting visual clutter on the remaining walls, a one-wall kitchen achieves a clean, minimalist aesthetic that fits both modern and traditional decor. The eye is drawn along the functional wall rather than scattered throughout the room.

Elements of a One-Wall Kitchen Design

When planning your one-wall kitchen, consider how to best incorporate these essential elements:


The length of the countertop determines how many appliances and cabinets you can install along the functional wall. Prioritize the most-used cooking and prep areas.


Include at least an 18-inch length of countertop on either side of the sink for accessibility. Position it conveniently near the refrigerator.

Oven and Cooktop

Position the oven and cooktop for safe and efficient cooking lines. Allow for landing space on both sides.


Situate the refrigerator near the sink for easy food prep. Measure room for the doors to fully open.


Decide which other appliances are necessities in your one-wall kitchen. Customize with microwaves, dishwashers and warming drawers.


Maximize every inch with a balance of base cabinets and wall-mounted shelves. Use specialty organizers to store pans, spices and more.


Proper illumination is key in a one-wall kitchen. Use task lighting, accent lighting and ambient overhead fixtures.


An effective ventilation system is a must. Look for downdraft, wall-mounted or remote fans to match your cooktop.


Carefully choose backsplashes, hardware, accessories and wall decor to complement your one-wall kitchen’s sleek style.

One-Wall Kitchen Layout Options

One-wall kitchens can take several possible configurations:

Galley Kitchen

The most common and space-efficient option places the wall of cabinets and appliances along one side of a narrow galley space.

L-Shaped Kitchen

Positioning the functional wall at a right angle to another wall creates an L-shaped workspace with room for a small dining table.

U-Shaped Kitchen

A U-shaped kitchen allows you to wrap upper and lower cabinets around a peninsula with the sink and cooktop.

Island Kitchen

Adding a kitchen island across from the one-wall provides extra prep space and storage while keeping an open floor plan.

Design Tips and Tricks

Follow these guidelines to create an attractive and user-friendly one-wall kitchen:

  • Use glass-front wall cabinets to prevent the lone functional wall from appearing too cluttered visually.
  • Include a vent hood that matches or blends in with the wall cabinets to minimize its visual impact.
  • Install pull-out shelves in corner base cabinets to access all available storage space.
  • Choose light, reflective surfaces like subway tile or glass mosaics to visually expand the compact kitchen.
  • Accent the room with pendant task lights, statement light fixtures or track lighting.
  • Incorporate multi-function appliances like an oven with a built-in microwave to save space.
  • Locate the refrigerator near the end of the kitchen run for easier access from dining areas.
  • Opt for cabinets in a similar finish to establish a unified look along the singular kitchen wall.

Planning Your Project

Careful planning is key to a successful one-wall kitchen project:

  • Consult kitchen designers to conceive the layout and select materials that suit your lifestyle.
  • Measure carefully to accommodate all needed appliances, plumbing and electrical pre-construction.
  • Create a budget and set timeline for the remodel, getting contractor estimates.
  • Apply for any needed permits from local building departments before renovating.
  • Schedule subcontractors like electricians and plumbers early to prevent construction delays.
  • Pack up kitchen items and make arrangements for cooking and cleanup during the remodel.
  • Plan for additional lighting, outlets and counter space that improves functionality.

Bringing It All Together

With some creative thinking, a one-wall kitchen can be charming, efficient and welcoming. Taking the time to thoughtfully arrange the workspace, storage and appliances along a single wall results in a simpler, less cluttered aesthetic that emphasizes clean lines and purposeful design. By planning carefully and using space-saving layout tricks, the one-wall kitchen can feel open and unconfined, proving you don’t need a huge room to have a functional and beautiful cooking space. With a minimalist approach that reduces visual clutter, the one-wall kitchen is an appealing option for many homeowners seeking to maximize room in any size space.

FAQ About One-Wall Kitchen Design

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about one-wall kitchen designs:

What size kitchen is best for a one-wall layout?

One-wall kitchens work well in compact kitchens under 150 square feet. But the layout can also suit larger spaces desiring an open, streamlined look.

How much cabinetry do I need for a functional one-wall kitchen?

Aim for 10-12 linear feet of base cabinets and wall shelves combined. That typically allows room for all essential appliances, sink and prep space.

What is the minimum counter space needed in a one-wall kitchen?

Most experts recommend at least 15-18 square feet of countertop area for meal prep and staging appliances in a one-wall kitchen.

Where should I locate the refrigerator in a one-wall layout?

Place the refrigerator at the end of the cabinet run for efficient use. Ensure there is room to fully open doors and drawers.

How do I add an island to a one-wall kitchen design?

A kitchen island provides additional prep space and storage across from the one-wall. Allow for at least 42 inches between the island and wall cabinets.

What backsplash tiles work best in a one-wall kitchen?

Opt for glossy subway tiles, glass mosaics or metal backsplashes. Reflective surfaces visually expand the compact kitchen space.

Should I close off the one-wall kitchen from other rooms?

Not necessarily. One appealing aspect of the one-wall design is the open sightlines and flow to nearby living areas.


With thoughtful planning and strategic use of space, the one-wall kitchen layout allows you to maximize storage and functionality along a single run of wall cabinets. Take time to conceive the ideal blend of appliances, prep space and storage customized to your cooking habits. With smart design choices and the help of kitchen professionals, your compact one-wall kitchen can feel open and contemporary while serving all your culinary needs. The streamlined simplicity of consolidating along one wall minimizes visual clutter for a clean-lined minimalist aesthetic. For many homeowners today, the efficiency and purposeful style of the one-wall kitchen makes it an ideal and attractive option worth considering.