Pure white countertops, generally only available in manufactured materials such as Corian or Caesarstone, bring a contemporary, minimalist freshness that no natural stone can match. Luckily, these materials resist stains well, so they can stay a crisp white for years with just a little care. This stark look works well in contemporary spaces. As mentioned, the severity of a true white can fight a traditional decor, but in a modern space it feels appropriately crisp. It’s especially effective in small spaces, such as compact condo kitchens, paired with minimalist white cabinets to give the illusion of a bigger space.
Older homes with smaller kitchens sometimes have the refrigerator inside the "U", but that really eats into the counter space. Most often you’ll see a U‐shaped kitchen with the refrigerator on the adjacent wall right outside the "U", which is fine. It’s still within the work triangle. One signature of the U‐shaped kitchen is the peninsula. In this case, it doesn’t have seating due to the passageway between rooms. The lack of kitchen seating is often the reason people prefer the L‐shaped kitchen with an island to the U‐shaped kitchen.
The L‐shaped kitchen is by far the most popular layout these days. It's most often seen with an island, so it's perfect for entertaining, multiple‐chef cooking or for making dinner while the kids sit at the island and get help with their homework. The adaptability of this layout is what makes it so desirable. Whereas a galley or U‐shaped kitchen can work in the smallest of spaces, you often need a bit more room for an L‐shaped kitchen with an island. This layout has the most amount of variations by far and works with any style, whether a kitchen is modern, traditional or somewhere in between.