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Why the Kitchen Triangle Works

Have you ever heard of the kitchen triangle?  What about the “working triangle” or even the “golden triangle”?  While you might not be familiar with the term, you’ve definitely had run-ins with the functionality.  This basic design concept works to connect the most important spaces in any kitchen.  So, you have a room that’s not only beautiful, but easy to use!  Today, we’ll explain how we use this to create our clients’ dream kitchens.

What exactly is the kitchen triangle?

Ideally, it’s how the 3 main spaces of the room flow into one another.  When the kitchen transformed in the 20thcentury—thanks to modern appliances—interior designers noted that certain features should be closer to one another.  Specifically, we’re talking about your refrigerator, sink, and stove.  Each piece should make one point of the triangle and be neither too close, nor too far from one another.  This allows people to utilize their space most effectively—while making cooking a little easier.  By the 1950s, this theory was everywhere!  And honestly, we still work with these guidelines today. 

What are the requirements?

Think about your own kitchen.  Is it easy to get what you need, when you need it?  According to this theory, measurements are key to creating the proper flow.  Each “leg” that connects one of the primary spaces should be at least 13 feet long. But not more than 26 feet in length. You also don’t want any obstructions in your way.  Typically, the sink, refrigerator, and stove are high-traffic areas in your home.  So, we want to make it a quick step from one to the other—without any obstacles in your way.  When it comes to tables, islands, or other furniture, try to keep them outside of the working triangle.  Otherwise, you could find yourself rushing from the stove to the sink with a big pot of boiling water, only to run right into a jutting countertop.

Keep in mind, this rotating theory was created several decades ago when one person was largely responsible for preparing most of the household meals.  Now that the family dynamics are changing a little, we need to adjust our design accordingly.

How can we make the kitchen triangle more modern?

Well, a lot of the design elements that we consider “modern” can be swapped out without changing the basic flow.  Your appliances, cabinets, tile, paint color, flooring, and more aren’t governed by this concept.  Still, it was designed to make the kitchen more accessible to one primary person. Now, you often have multiple people coming and going—and even more people just congregating around the food!  Plus, designers favor an open concept today that makes for less cramped kitchens.  As a result, the working triangle is expanding to consider “zones” as opposed to appliances.  For example, if you are a baker, you might have a “baking zone” within your kitchen that keeps everything you need for your common recipes within arm’s reach.  Other people might need a “meal prep zone” or a bar area.  Just think about the functionality that’s important to you! 


At KCCS Construction, we work with you every step of the way.  From design to décor, we’re a full-service construction company.  See how we can improve your kitchen work triangle to give you a new space that’s perfect for your everyday needs.  Call us today to get started!

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