The U-shaped kitchen, otherwise known as the horseshoe kitchen, is an excellent solution in terms of ergonomics and practicality because everything is concentrated in one place and it is easier to cook, wash and clean. However, each unit must be placed with the utmost care to make sure that this boon does not turn into a bane. Poor positioning could lead to cramped spaces and an inability to open doors or drawers properly.
In a nutshell, a good U-shaped kitchen design means recreating the ideal work triangle. The three points of this triangle are formed by placing the range, sink and fridge on opposite sides. The cooktop and the sink must be kept quite close to each other so that pans of boiling water can be quickly transferred - but not too close, otherwise tap water might accidentally splatter onto sizzling oil and cause a hazard. The sink should ideally be kept underneath the window sill so that dishes can be washed in daylight. However, much depends on connections to the existing mains and plumbing.
The popularity of open spaces in home design means that peninsula solutions can be used to give a sense of separation between the sitting room and the kitchen, creating some spectacularly elegant settings.