With the help of a few basic principles, you can design a kitchen that meets your needs precisely – saving you time and effort and contributing to a better quality of everyday life.
The work triangle – creating an ideal workflow
The main working functions in a kitchen are carried out between the cooktop, the sink and the refrigerator. These three points and the imaginary line between them, make up what kitchen experts call the "work triangle".
Ideally, the line between these three points should not exceed 6 feet in total. The ideal distance between the different working points is 35''.
Work zones – simplifying everyday life
When deciding where to put cabinets and appliances in relation to each other, it can be helpful to think in terms of work zones. This approach, focusing on function rather than objects to fit in, means you’ll end up with an everyday-friendly and efficient kitchen.
The three main zones are: storage (fridge/freezer and dry storage), washing (sink, dishwasher) and cooking (cooktop, oven, microwave).
Here are some basic tips to consider when planning your work zones:
Avoid crossing the kitchen with hot pots and pans. Think about placing your oven and cooktop near the sink and countertops.
Your sink is an important area. Plan to have your fridge close at hand for easy food prep. And close proximity to your cooktop makes it easier to drain your pasta and vegetables.
For storing, make sure you have enough storage space for all the food - both for dry goods and in the fridge. A countertop nearby your pantry or high cabinets and fridge makes it easier to put groceries away.
In most cases, it’s the shape and size of your room that decides what kitchen layout you ultimately will choose. However, some kitchen layouts may suit your needs and living situation better than others. Here are five common kitchen layouts and their main characteristics. They also illustrate how to ideally plan your working zones.
Where space is scarce, a single-line kitchen in which the working triangle is reduced to a straight line can be the most practical solution.
Single-line with island
This single-line kitchen includes an island. An island provides plenty of storage as well as extra work surfaces, but it requires at least 50'' of free space around it to work well.
The L-shaped kitchen is ideal when you want to add a dining table or kitchen island. It’s also a good way to make the most out of a corner, as well as, integrating the kitchen into a dining area.
If you have a large room the U-shaped layout is ideal. It gives you maximum space and plenty of storage options. If the room is very large, it’s important to ensure that the points of the working triangle are not too far from one another.
You don’t need to have a huge amount of space for this layout. It’s geared for food preparation and provides two great work and storage areas on opposite sides. In fact, it’s a favorite of many professional chefs.