What’s the Point of a Kitchen Work Triangle?

By Lana Bingham

The modern day kitchen serves many purposes – a place to entertain guests; a storage space for groceries, appliances and cookware; a homework hub; and a spot to sit and enjoy a snack. But let’s not forget its main point – cooking! Enter the kitchen triangle, created in the 1940’s to offer a functional and efficient cooking domain. Although this concept has been called “outdated” by some design professionals, the basic idea of it can still be applied to new homes in Tampa Bay.

This design concept consists of a healthy range of motion between the 3 most important aspects of the kitchen: the sink, stove and refrigerator. A custom home builder Tampa designs the kitchen to reflect the cooking and entertaining needs of each homeowner. However, there are a few kitchen triangle design guidelines:

  • Don’t make your triangle too big or too small – the key is to find the perfect balance. A kitchen with too small of a triangle will feel cramped, while one that is too large will seem disconnected. Even with a large kitchen layout, keep the main features of the triangle close enough together to allow for an uninterrupted flow of traffic.  The ideal distance of each side should be between 4 and 9 feet.
  • Your entire kitchen design doesn’t have to be confined to the triangle area. If you have sufficient space, your kitchen can also include a pocket office, breakfast nook or double-island. The times have changed and new family roles have emerged, forcing the kitchen to take on new characteristics as well. Don’t be afraid to incorporate additional task stations to accommodate your family’s lifestyle.
  • Never obstruct the lines of the triangle. Don’t place stationary (islands and roll-out cabinets) or mobile (trashcans and pet feeders) objects in the path of your triangle. The idea is to minimize traffic and maximize movement; creating functional space for prepping, cooking and cleaning.
  • Prep space is an essential element of the kitchen and should be included in one or more sides of your triangle. Utilize counter and storage space near the sink, stove and island and be sure to have frequently used utensils nearby. Another option is to incorporate a butcher block into your counter top or island for easier prep work.
  • Triangles come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. So, don’t expect that your triangle will be a perfect right angle. The form will vary according to kitchen size, layout and placement of appliances.

Home builders in Tampa understand the importance of proper ergonomics in the kitchen. Even though the kitchen has greatly evolved over the past 80 years, current designs still provide efficient and functional cooking. It’s safe to say that the kitchen triangle is not extinct – it just has more layout options to compete with.

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