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Kitchen Layout Ideas - The Kitchen Work Triangle

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Here is an interesting concept that can make life in your kitchen run a little smoother… Introducing the Kitchen Work Triangle.

The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms and is often described as the heart of the home. An efficient kitchen is key to a happy living environment. The Kitchen Work Triangle is a concept based on improving efficiency and productivity in the kitchen. It is a term first coined in the 1940’s following a study by the University of Illinois School of Architecture.

The aim of the Triangle is to space the three most commonly used areas in the kitchen at the optimal distance apart to minimise traffic. In most kitchens the three most commonly used areas are the sink, refrigerator and cooker. These areas represent the three points of the Kitchen Work Triangle. Having these points too far from each other will waste time, while having them too close will make the kitchen feel cramped.

Layout Rules

  • Each point of the triangle should be between 1.2 and 2.7 metres apart.
  • The sum of all three sides of the triangle should be between 4 and 7.9 metres.
  • There should be no obstructions, such as cabinets or islands, between each point of the triangle.
  • No household traffic should flow through the work triangle.

Where to Place Appliances

  • The placement of the sink is restricted to areas within reach of your plumbing, so keep this in mind if you are having plumbing installed or replaced. Traditionally sinks were placed at the window for a nice view while washing up, however since most kitchens now have dishwashers, this is no longer the obvious placement choice. The sink should be placed between or across from the cooker or refrigerator.
  • The cooker should not be placed near windows or curtains, and it should have plenty of work surface surrounding it for ease of use.
  • The refrigerator should be placed in accordance to the Kitchen Work Triangle, in a place where you can fully open the door while letting people pass by at the same time.
  • Dishwashers should be placed within three feet of the sink or as close to the plumbing in the kitchen as possible. Make sure you are able to fully open the door without obstructions while leaving enough space for people to pass by.
Remember, the Kitchen Work Triangle is just a guide; there are no set rules. You should design your kitchen to suit your unique preferences and needs. You may have limited space to work with but always make sure to pay close attention to each and every measurement as every inch makes a difference.

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