October 31, 2007

The Kitchen Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle... that I heard of, but not about the Kitchen Triangle. However it exists and it seems to make sense. It is actually helpful when remodeling a kitchen to optimize your cooking productivity and other kitchen work processes. So I think: what do you do in the kitchen when you bring in your grocery shopping, when you start to cook, when you bring back in the dirty dishes, when you have guests etc...

The (U.S.) National Kitchen and Bath Association has specified these guidelines for your "work triangle":

* The sum of the work triangle's three sides should not exceed 26 feet (792.5 cm), and each leg should measure between 4 feet (122 cm) minimum and 9 feet (274.3 cm) maximum.
* The work triangle should not cut through an island or peninsula by more than 12 inches (30.5 cm).
* If the kitchen has only one sink, it should be placed between or across from the cooking surface, preparation area, or refrigerator.
* No major traffic patterns should cross through the triangle.

The source is Charles and Hudson and more kitchen design guidelines can be found here. (inch/feet - cm converter)

After studying the guidelines I think we have to move the fridge a bit further up, otherwise the island is interrupting the work triangle... right?

Here, another opinion by The Kitchen Designer.
More kitchen design at:
HGTV Kitchen Design
Better Homes & Garden

Picture sources: 1) Charles and Hudson, 2) draft for our kitchen by Boloni, China


  1. What a lovely blog you have! I must tell you, my husband's grandparents came to the U.S. from Calabria in the early 1900s.

    It sounds like you are doing a beautiful renovation.

    About the kitchen...well, don't worry too much about what you think you "should" do. I don't like shoulds If you think this will work for you, all you have to do is understand that an island can sometimes be a bit of an obstacle. If your plan is ok with you, that's just fine. If you don't want to move around the island so much, then you may want to change something. Just do what suits you. The guidelines make very good sense and should be followed where they can be, but sometimes, they all cannot be followed. Enjoy planning your kitchen!

  2. Hi Susan,

    I studied your blog all afternoon long! What a great blog, so many interesting things to know about kitchens. And you only started in February! Congratulations to your success and thank you for stopping by!

    I read what you wrote about the work triangle. There is no kitchen police... But we will take out a wall and move a bathroom in order to have a spaceous kitchen. It would be a pitty if the island would disturb.
    The kitchen designer here in Beijing are not much of a help although we are with the first address (Boloni).

    You must visit Calabria then!

  3. -suzie- oh, I'm so glad my blog was helpful. As you can see, I am passionate about kitchens! I have to agree about a spacious kitchen. I have one too that is very open, very informal, and it works well for our home. I think your plan is looking good, lots of counter space. I really need counter space, I spread things all over!

  4. Interesting post about kitchens. My kitchen is possibly the best and most functional kitchen I have ever used, and it is similar to your initial sketch. However, my cooktop is on the island (Thermador, with a pop-up vent); and the refrigerator is directly to the right of the double oven. Hard to explain. I need to look at your pictures again!

  5. OK, I looked at your pics again. My kitchen is like your second picture. Is the blue thing the fridge? That is where my fridge is, but it is facing the island, which is at an angle. So, my work triagle has the sink at the top; underneath that is the cooktop; and to the right is the oven and fridge. The dishwasher is to the left of the sink. The area between the cooktop and the sink is not a traffic pattern; the other side of the island is for crossing the kitchen.

  6. Hello 'things that inspire',

    Thank you for helping me!
    I try to imagine your kitchen! Unfortunately there is no post about it on your blog...
    Me too, I moved the fridge (blue) up to be opposite of the island. I am waiting for the new draft now.

    It is so diffucult to figure our what would be best, because I have never lived in that house. I am thousand of miles away form it and even the layout like it is now is not how it will be in the future. So a lot of imagination is necessary. - But its fun!

    My MOI is landing here tomorrow. I am waiting for her input!!