Understanding the Kitchen Design Triangle

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Kitchen renovations in Brisbane usually focus on improving style and function. You might need to increase your storage space, upgrade your appliances or replace those sad old kitchen cabinets. Perhaps you’re sick of cooking in a poorly ventilated area that lacks bench space. Or maybe you’re just fed up with your kitchen looking tired and outdated, and you want to reinvigorate the space to better complement the style of your home. Whatever your reasons for renovating, a kitchen remodelling specialist can help you find that perfect balance between functionality, style and budget. And one popular design principle that has been used for decades is the kitchen work triangle.

Understanding the Kitchen Work Triangle

Also known as the ‘golden triangle’, the kitchen work triangle is a design theory that identifies the three main areas in a kitchen and then determines where these elements should be placed in relation to each other. The idea is that the most commonly used areas in a kitchen are the space where you cook (the oven/cooktop), the space where you clean (the kitchen sink) and the space where you store food (the fridge). The kitchen work triangle specifies that the location of these three areas should be located conveniently to each other, with no obstructions in between. Once drawn on a plan, you should be able to form a neat triangle by connecting the three points. 

How to Use the Work Triangle for Kitchen Renovations in Brisbane

The original kitchen work triangle principle included the following set rules for anyone designing a kitchen: 

  1. You must be able to form a triangle by connecting the three key zones (oven/cooktop, sink and fridge). 
  2. Each zone must be at least 1200 mm apart, but the distance cannot be more than 2700 mm (all the original measurements were in feet and inches, but this is the approximate metric equivalent). 
  3. When all three sides of the triangle are measured and added together, the total must be between 3900 mm and 7900 mm.
  4. No full-height obstacles are allowed to encroach on the triangle, and partial-height obstructions (benches, tables, cabinets, etc.) can’t intrude on the triangle by more than 300 mm. 
  5. Traffic flow through the middle of the kitchen work triangle should be avoided at all costs.  

Does the Kitchen Design Triangle Work with Different Layouts? 

Considering plenty of kitchen renovations in Brisbane don’t involve a traditional U-shaped layout, this begs the question: does the kitchen design triangle work with different layouts? Because the design triangle uses the concept of three interconnecting points, the theory can be used with just about any kitchen layout that involves at least two sides (such as an L-shaped, G-shaped or even a galley kitchen). 

What Are the Benefits of Using the Kitchen Work Triangle? 

The original concept for the kitchen work triangle focused on improving function in the kitchen. And as any home cook will appreciate, functionality in a kitchen is a very desirable quality! The kitchen work triangle allows for sufficient bench space between the three key areas, making it easier to stack dirty dishes, move items in and out of the fridge and prepare or cook food. And by eliminating obstructions, the kitchen work triangle helps to ensure there is minimal interference in the main traffic flow areas. 

Talk to a Kitchen Remodelling Specialist for Customised Design Ideas

Just because the kitchen design triangle is a tried and true design principle, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for every kitchen. Because the work triangle was first conceptualised in 1929, it was designed to suit a single cook operating on their own in the kitchen (the “housewife”). So, the idea was to keep everything within easy reach. But as times have changed, many families no longer have a dedicated cook who works alone. Instead, a couple may prepare food together, or multiple family members may be in the kitchen cooking, cleaning and preparing food at the same time. In this case, a kitchen governed by the work triangle rules may start to feel cramped.  

This is why it’s a good idea to talk to a kitchen remodelling specialist about what layout and design will best suit your family. The design team at Craftbuilt Kitchens can help you to plan a kitchen layout that will be functional, ideally suited to your needs and that looks amazing. Contact Craftbuilt Kitchens today, or book an appointment to visit our showroom for more design ideas.