The Kitchen Work Triangle

The Kitchen Work Triangle

In our last blog entry, we shared a few ideas to make your kitchen look and feel larger. Having more space sure can be luxurious, but the largest kitchen in the world won’t function effectively unless we put some thought into the design layout. Today, we’ll look at a fundamental element of kitchen design intended to maximize the efficient use of the space in your kitchen.

The kitchen work triangle was originally developed in the 1940’s – an era when kitchens were typically far more compact than they are today. The principle of the triangle was based on the work of Frederick Taylor, a mechanical engineer whose career was devoted to analyzing and maximizing the efficiency of workflow productivity.

The Triangle in Action

Since the vast majority of kitchens are approximate rectangles, you might be wondering why we’d use a triangle to organize a kitchen’s workflow. For the sake of clarity, a visual aid is in order.

Kitchen Work Triangle

Ideally, the corners of the triangle should fall on kitchen “hot spots” such as prep counters, refrigerators, sinks, and stoves. This way, we’ll always have our most frequently used kitchen utilities within easy reach. Likewise, we should be mindful of the length of each leg of the triangle. As a general rule of thumb, legs should be no shorter than four feet, and no longer than nine feet. Cookware such as skillets, pots, and knives should also be kept in close proximity to the corners of the triangle.

The Caveat

The workflow triangle might be a tried and true element of kitchen design, but it isn’t perfect. The kitchen work triangle assumes that only one person is working in a kitchen. With two cooks, the triangle can become maladaptive and inefficient. As is the case with many design principles, the kitchen triangle should be treated as a helpful guideline rather than an unbreakable rule. That said, the underlying idea that the items we used most in a kitchen should be kept close at hand is a sound organizational concept.

Ready to revamp the layout of your kitchen? Give us a call today for a consultation!

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