U-shaped Kitchens This is one of the most common layouts and is particularly convenient for multiple cooks. The large expanse of counter space gives two people enough space to work without bumping into each other. This layout has an open side that usually leads to the adjacent family room or breakfast area or a combination of the two. “The cook is not isolated,” Rose says. The other side of the U is a dead end, so there is no traffic going through there to disturb the cook.