How Should I Redesign My Kitchen Layout?

a tiny kitchen working triangle

Determining your kitchen work triangle involves planning the arrangement of the three main work areas: the sink, stove, and refrigerator. This is what we call your Working Triangle. The goal is to create an efficient layout that minimizes unnecessary movement between these key zones. Follow these steps to determine your kitchen work triangle:

  1. Identify the Key Zones:
    • Pinpoint the location of your sink, stove (cooking area), and refrigerator. These are the primary work areas in your kitchen.
  2. Measure Distances:
    • Measure the distances between these three key zones. Use a tape measure to get accurate measurements.
  3. Establish Ideal Distances:
    • Aim for an ideal total distance of around 22 to 26 feet for the three sides of the triangle. This allows for efficient movement without excessive walking.
    • Make sure you always have 36 inches between fixed structures so that you can move large appliances in and out of the kitchen.
  4. Triangle Guidelines:
    • Each side of the triangle (sink to stove, stove to refrigerator, and refrigerator to sink) should ideally be between 4 to 9 feet.
    • The sum of all three sides should fall within the recommended total distance.
  5. Avoid Obstacles:
    • Ensure that there are no obstacles or barriers within the triangle that could hinder smooth movement.
  6. Adapt to Kitchen Size:
    • Adjust the triangle dimensions based on the size of your kitchen. In smaller kitchens, you may have a smaller triangle, while larger kitchens may allow for a more spacious layout.
  7. Consider Workflow:
    • Think about the natural workflow in your kitchen. Place frequently used items near each work area for easy access. Dish washers should always be close to the sink, for example.
    • The Stove should have counters on both sides so you can set items on it while cooking. Spice racks should be placed close to the stove area as well.
    • Pay attention to the cabinetry you will install. If you have a lot of large pots and pans, large drawers would be a great idea. If you use a lot of cookie sheets for baking, make sure you give yourself a nice tall cabinet to rack those vertically.
    • Do you have a lot of appliances? Where can you store those so they are easily accessible. Maybe consider pull out shelves
  8. Adapt to Your Cooking Style:
    • Tailor the triangle to your specific cooking style. For example, if you often prep ingredients at the sink before moving to the stove, ensure a smooth transition between these areas.
  9. Test the Layout:
    • Walk through the planned work triangle to ensure it feels comfortable and practical. Make adjustments as needed.
  10. Think About Additional Work Zones:
    • While the work triangle is crucial, consider additional work zones, such as prep areas or a designated space for baking, to enhance overall kitchen functionality.

By carefully planning and adjusting the layout based on your kitchen’s size and your personal preferences, you can create an efficient and ergonomic work triangle that contributes to a functional and enjoyable cooking space.

Happy Remodeling!

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