Tips for Designing One Wall Kitchen

Tips for Designing One Wall Kitchen

The one-wall kitchen, also referred to as I-shaped, single-wall or linear, is the simplest form of kitchen layout, designed for homes with limited kitchen space. This is a typical arrangement where the whole stretch of the counter is set against the wall. In this design, the primary sink is installed between the refrigerator and your cooktop. A one-wall kitchen is suggested to have a counter at least 10 feet long or 60 square feet of space including moving space.


The one-wall kitchen is often found in lofts or studio-type apartments as it is highly suitable for an open plan living. All kitchen appliances and cabinets are permanently fixed on a single wall counter, making it as the best practical space-saving solution. But due to its smaller size, this uncomplicated layout may only offer a limited counter space, which seems difficult for multiple users to work together. On a brighter side, the one-wall kitchen can provide more space while allowing you to develop a broken open plan and enhance the overall appeal of your living zones.


Design ideas for a one wall kitchen with island

A one-wall kitchen is fully adaptable in just about any kitchen style you want whether you like to have a contemporary, rustic or modern feel. In a cabin style kitchen setup, consider using an exposed wood ceiling coupled with a single-line of cabinets and drawers, giving your kitchen an impressive rustic theme. And then complement this lovely theme with an efficient kitchen island paired with a natural stone countertop. Even if you can't accommodate a huge island, a narrow counter seems more than enough for storing food and cutting ingredients.


A one-wall kitchen is often characterized with either pure white or off-white color, which effectively draws out the openness of an enclosed space. With this color, expect your kitchen to come out clean, airy, and huge. Consider using black granite countertop on both wall counter and island to create a stunning contrast against white color. And then complete the entire kitchen with either maple or caramel brown wood flooring to achieve a contemporary feel.


Design ideas for one wall kitchen with dining table

Aside from having a kitchen island, you may also complement your one-wall kitchen with a beautiful dining table. Vibrant colors are capable of providing a cozy and warm atmosphere each time you want to visit your kitchen. Imagine the wonderful combination of the light yellow breakfast table and green cabinets, backed with white granite backsplash and hardwood flooring. You may comfortably enjoy your family moments at the kitchen without breaking up the essence of an open plan living.


The dining table is also a good replacement for a kitchen island, particularly if you don't have enough seating space. You may look for a functional kitchen island with a wine cellar, drawer pullouts, and a multi-purpose countertop, which can also be used as a breakfast bar or a study table. A kitchen island with 15-inch overhang countertop might be suitable since you can get additional storage options underneath on top of your single-line cabinets.


Storage and Lighting tips

Since the single-wall kitchen only offers very limited space, here are some few suggestions to help you utilize its full potential:


  • Opt for a monochromatic color scheme like the white-black-gray combination to reduce the chances of making your kitchen appear crowded.
  • Determine the final position of your refrigerator and cooking range first before building up a plan for overhead storage and base cabinets.
  • Consider smooth surfaces such as polished granite or marble countertop as these finishes are able to display excellent reflective effects.
  • Consider using crafted wood on floors, cabinets, and ceiling to give your single-wall kitchen a great cottage-style appearance.
  • Install some floating shelves on the adjacent walls as alternative storage options.
  • Consider installing some base cabinet lights, so it's easy to find what you'll need for meal prepping.
  • Only use task lighting to provide a clear view of the entire kitchen. But you may use pendant lights or drop-down lights focusing the kitchen island below.


Tips for Cabinetry


  • Consider installing more overhead cabinets on top of your range hood as additional storage.
  • Install an under-the-counter pullout chopping board to give you more workspaces other than the regular work counter.
  • Utilize all potential storage spaces such as cabinet underside, cabinet doors, and side walls using cup hooks, magnetic strips, and racks.
  • Consider using an integrated sink with built-in dishwasher and storage racks to save space.


Pros and cons of One Wall kitchen layout

The simple design of the one-wall kitchen is always an ideal solution for an open plan layout, complementing the free flow of living spaces. This kitchen concept may look fascinating with white overhead cabinetries and natural stone countertops. But the whole kitchen atmosphere can become more exciting if decorated with ceiling-mounted lights as well as elegant architectural details such as cornices, wallboards, window plants, granite backsplashes, cabinet moldings, and texture sand painted walls. Despite various concepts that can be applied to the one-wall kitchen, it's still helpful to know the pros and cons of this straightforward plan.




  • Suitable for small-size family and individuals who live alone
  • Provides maximum floor area for home furniture and traffic while enhances openness
  • Enhances the free flow of traffic since there's no kitchen island along the way
  • Greatly reduces cost since one-wall kitchen only needs few counters and cabinets
  • If the sink is positioned at the center, one wall kitchen allows for additional work counters on either side
  • Unused spaces are reduced, especially the corner spots
  • Suitable for “broken” plan layout concepts




  • Kitchen work triangle is inefficient as you need to move from one zone to another in a single direction.
  • Offers limited storage options and only allows a limited number of users unlike other kitchen arrangements
  • Requires a kitchen island or breakfast table since work counters are not enough
  • Unable to entertain guests unless you're working on a kitchen island fronting them


It's no longer a surprise that a lot of people would like to have a clean and comfortable kitchen space. Unlike the traditional L-shaped layout, the one-wall kitchen plan only occupies a very narrow space, which helps create easy access from one living space to another.

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  • Dale Basilla
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