Kitchen layout: The work triangle
The kitchen is the heart of every home. It is the place where food is stored and prepared as well as where clean up happens. These are the three elements of the work triangle in the kitchen: food storage (fridge, pantry), food preparation (worktops and the stove/oven) and clean-up (the sink/scullery). As such, these three elements need to work interactively in order for the system to function. When it comes to kitchen, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but it is this sum of parts that enables maximum productivity and minimum disorder.
Where to begin:
Firstly, it is important to note aspects of the existing structure. Where are the plug points, piping, windows and doors? Start by making a sketch of the order you would like it to flow and the run feasibility by looking at the plug and power points to see if it works. Play around with different combinations until you are happy with the potential flow of the kitchen as you want it. This is what you will present to your supplier, once you have selected one. Remember to bear in mind the work triangle and allow for sufficient workspace.
Derived from the Greek words ergon (work) and nomos (laws), ergonomics is the study of work. It is, in essence, the science of work and productivity. It essentially draws on the three elements of the work triangle and positions each so that they flow from one to the other. For instance, the culinary process begins with food storage, so the fridge and pantry must be within reach and close to the preparation area (such as an island). From there, food preparation occurs, so the island should be a short distance from the stove or oven (with no obstacles in the way). Lastly, the clean-up phase needs to be considered, so the sink (or scullery ideally) needs to be located near enough that moving things to this area is not a hassle.
Common kitchen layout designs:
- Single-line: this is common in smaller kitchens and reduces the triangle to a single line. It is a very practical solution.
- Single-line with island: for slightly bigger spaces, this makes use of the single-line while incorporating an island for workspace.
- Parallel: this one is popular with people who love to cook, making use of work and storage areas on opposite sides.
- L-shape: in a kitchen where there is a corner, this is the best design to accommodate it. The L-shape also makes it easy to design an open-plan kitchen that flows into a dining area.
- U-shape: this design is most ideal for the bigger kitchen spaces (especially for a family who enjoys food preparation as a family activity) as it engages space and storage so that everything is within easy reach.
Now that you’re familiar with the work triangle, common layout designs and the things to keep in mind, you’re ready to find yourself a kitchen layout expert. A well-planned kitchen can increase your property value to up to 15% and it is imperative that you find a supplier who can maintain your desires while coaching you on the structural limitations that you wouldn’t otherwise have known. That way, you get exactly what you want while securing the functionality, longevity and aesthetic charm of your culinary haven.
If you need to update your kitchen so that it works best for your, the following suppliers have got you covered:
|Little Known Designs||Echo Glass||Galloway Kitchens|
Sources: www.channel4.com, www.geappliances.com, www.ikea.com, www.merillat.com