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.
Flecked or Softly Veined White. One of the most common and coveted countertop finishes is a stone or manufactured slab material such as quartz in a white or off‐white shade with a light multitonal fleck or grain to give it subtle natural richness. This snowy sparkling look works well in many situations since it is very neutral but also contemporary and fresh. The pale tone brings a sense of cleanness and lightness to the space with a twist of subtle sophistication. In more traditional kitchens this is usually a better choice than a true minimalist white countertop which can be too severe and fight with the elegance of other elements such as knotty woods Shaker cabinets or lantern pendant lights.
Eat‐in area. Your idea of an eat‐in kitchen may be a table that seats a party of eight. You may be overlooking the fact that you have room for a cafe table a small counter or even a flip‐down bar top.