Kitchen Evolution: Function Alter the Triangle

When I started studying kitchen layout many (many!) Years ago, I heard all about the much-venerated kitchen work — in which the fridge, range and sink have been placed 4 to 9 feet apart, forming a roughly equilateral triangle. This design principle was developed back when many folks had smaller, closed-off kitchens, where only 1 person prepared and cleaned up dishes. It’s an efficient way to lay out appliances and the sink at a tiny closed or semiclosed kitchen.

The work triangle is still practical today, but with kitchens that now run the gamut from miniature single-wall galleys up to big open-plan kitchens, it is more helpful to think in terms of work zones rather.

Ward-Young Architecture & Planning – Truckee, CA

Work zones are just the normal evolution of the kitchen work triangle. As kitchens grew in size and opened up to additional rooms in the home, it became more of a challenge to place appliances at a neat triangular layout. In addition, we have more appliances than ever before — dishwashers, extra sinks, microwaves, independent cooktops and wall ovens — not to mention more individuals working and interacting in the space. By sectioning off your kitchen into work zones, you’ll maximize efficiency in a bigger space; more cooks, as well as their guests, will be adapted.

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Group appliances and fixtures according to use. To set up work zones on your kitchen, think of the activities that you perform regularly: keeping food, homework, cooking, baking, serving, eating, cleaning, making coffee, chilling wine etc.. A work zone contains whatever you use to perform each job.

For example, you should place your dishwasher next to your sink, with a compost bin and a garbage bin nearby to streamline kitchen cleanup.

First Lamp

Store what you want where you want it most. As well as group appliances and fixtures according to use, give yourself sufficient storage in every zone for everything you want to perform the job.

This wood-topped baking zone is perfect for kneading bread or rolling out pizza dough. All the bread-making and baking tools can be kept in the cabinets under. Someone can quickly work at this channel while another individual prepares food in another portion of the kitchen.

Sinclair Associates Architects

Supply landing areas alongside significant appliances. For security and efficiency, consider putting a countertop landing place next to your major kitchen appliances, particularly the stove, cooktop, microwave and wall ovens.

That you want to be able to rapidly set something down hot without having to trek halfway across your kitchen. This will also give you a cooking work zone; you can store items like knives, cutting boards and pots and pans from the cabinets and use the countertops for cooking and chopping homework.

MAKE Design Studio

Produce a kids’ zone. When you have kids and a good-size space, set up a place from the kitchen where the children can hang out, do homework and eat snacks. This will make it possible for you to all be from the kitchen together with no little ones getting underfoot.

Fivecat Studio | Architecture

Take a zone for your guests. When you have an open kitchen and prefer to entertain frequently, you know how important it’s to have a place where guests can hang out and chat while you prepare meals and beverages. A huge island or peninsula works nicely for this, because it can work as a barrier that prevents individuals from getting in your way while also giving them a place to perch while you work. Again, consider the items you use for serving and entertaining, and keep them in the cabinets under so that you can readily access them.

Homes From Architects Tour

Widen the aisles. Whether you opt for the conventional work triangle or to divide your kitchen into work zones, pay attention to a kitchen aisle widths. The suggested minimum aisle width is 42 inches, however I prefer 48 inches, particularly in kitchens with numerous cooks. Should you cook and entertain frequently and have the distance, you can go as wide as 54 inches. Wider than that, though, and your distance will probably become ineffective, as you’ll spend more time walking than cooking.

Tell us Does your kitchen have a zones or triangle? How does the layout work (or not) for you?

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