Bent Into Shape | The Work Triangle

Increase your kitchen's efficiency (and eliminate stress) by employing use of the "work triangle" in your kitchen's design.

Kitchen Work Triangle  

The work triangle is made up by careful arrangement of the stove, sink, and refrigerator.  Each is situated at a point of the triangle. This layout, which was developed by the University of Illinois (Small Homes Council) in the 1950s, organizes work at different points of the kitchen and keeps common tasks from interfering with one another—a feature that’s particularly important as more and more families are sharing the meal prep duties.

From food prep to dishwashing, the sink is the vertex of the triangle, so centering it between the stove and refrigerator is a smart design move . And since you’re standing there most of the time, experts recommend installing a window above or near the sink to allow natural light to pour in. 

Ideally, the perimeter of your work triangle should not be more than 25 feet, and individual sides of the triangle should not exceed 9 feet or be smaller than 4 feet. These guidelines mean you’ll walk less and, ultimately use the kitchen more efficiently.

The work triangle should be spared of your home’s main traffic patterns. When designing your kitchen, make sure the triangle is more like a scenic side road and less like a traffic-laden interstate. For best results, free the triangle’s path from all obstacles and allow ample clearance. Follow these simple steps and you’re sure to design a kitchen that you’ll savor for life.