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The Work Triangle

The phrase ‘the work triangle’ refers to the main area in which most homeowners travel while working in their kitchen. The three points of the work triangle are the stove, sink and refrigerator.

It’s important when designing an efficient kitchen to focus on the use of space and ensure the work triangle is manageable. It’s almost universally agreed that the perimeter of the work triangle should be no more than 7m in total, with somewhere between 5-6m being ideal.

When thinking about efficient design in the kitchen most often people focus mainly on the items that will adorn the kitchen, eg. fridge, dishwasher, bench top, etc. But great kitchen design encompasses so much more. Many factors influence the success of a kitchen’s design including what space is available and how that space is used; how choice of colours can work for or against a design; placement as well as the choice of appliances; and how the kitchen works within the structure of the home.

The space defined by the work triangle will depend on the layout of the kitchen (whether it be gallery-style, L-shaped, U-shaped, single-length, etc).

A work triangle should achieve a balance to keep often-used items close enough together for efficiency, yet not so close that conditions become over-cramped.

A larger kitchen, when well-designed, may even feature multiple work triangles…

Brian Patterson, an award winning Kitchen Designer and one of the Nouvelle Team, often utilises a second work triangle to allow for more than one user of the kitchen at any one time.

“One of the main complaints by the cook is that other people in the kitchen ‘are always under my feet”. This problem can be alleviated if you can position the pantry, fridge, utensils and bench space in a second triangle so that the two triangles meet at the fridge but do not cross one another, Brian says. “This brings a smooth flow to the traffic and less frustration for everyone, especially when in a hurry.”

To learn more about the advantages of the work triangles please contact us at Nouvelle.

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