The Kitchen Triangle: Why It Matters


The kitchen triangle is an essential aspect of kitchen design, creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing space.
Many kitchens are designed poorly in a way that is difficult to put your finger on. They not only are awkward in appearance, but make it difficult for cooking and other kitchen activities to flow naturally. In many cases, this is due to the lack of understanding of a basic kitchen design principle called the kitchen triangle. The kitchen triangle is simply a layout guideline that makes it easy to design a kitchen that looks great while allowing easy use.
You have probably seen and even cooked in kitchens that are simply not designed well. Maybe you felt like you had to walk a half marathon to get the things you needed just to make a salad. Maybe you felt you were constantly tripping over other people or pets. Sometimes there is no real perceivable problem but the flow just seems off. In many cases, this is a design issue.
Not only does a poorly designed kitchen often seem slightly ‘off’ in appearance, they are not conducive to cooking and cleaning. You are constantly having to move from one side of the kitchen to the other, tripping over open drawers, and moving things around. In many cases, certain parts of the functional kitchen space are too large while others feel cramped.

What is the Kitchen Triangle?

Home economics and efficiency experts developed the concept of the kitchen triangle in the forties and it remains the gold standard for kitchen design today. As the name suggests, the three main areas of the kitchen are arranged so that they are in a triangle. These three main are those for cooking (your range and oven), food storage (refrigerator and major storage cupboards), and food preparation (sink, dishwasher, and food prep areas such as butcher blocks).
If you draw a line between these three areas, it should make a triangle. This does not have to be a perfectly symmetrical triangle, but it should meet certain space guidelines to give just the right amount of area for efficiency. Most experts agree that:
1. Each side of the triangle should be between four and nine feet.
2. The sum of all sides together should be between 13 and 26 feet.
3. Nothing should block the line for more than one foot, including open cupboard doors.
4. Tall objects should not be placed within the triangle or on one of the lines creating it.
5. This triangle should not be placed with a major traffic area, such as a path between doors, intersecting it.
Designing a kitchen that obeys this general plan will make your everyday activities more efficient. In addition, it will make your kitchen simply look more balanced. We have all seen kitchens that appeared too big to cook in, or those that seem too cramped for productive work. Regardless of the size of your kitchen, it will feel attractive and ready for use if you obey these guidelines.
One of the major benefits of having professionals help with the design of your kitchen is that they know efficiency and design principles such as these. There are several little secrets like this one to ensure that you get the attractive and functional space that you need. For example, did you that there is an ideal amount of space for aisle width in kitchens?
Are you tired of tripping over cabinets, people, and pets? Talk to the experts at to see how good design can make your life more efficient and less frustrating. Family, dogs, and general clumsiness may not be to blame here.