Move over triangle, make way for the new kitchen zones layout

The ‘kitchen triangle’ has long been the go-to basis for kitchen design, and for good reason; it’s logical, practical for many and easy to implement in a multitude of room layouts. The foundation of the theory is that there are three key elements to any kitchen: the sink, the fridge and the oven, and these should be situated within easy reach of one another, no more than nine feet to be exact.

Why the triangle doesn’t work in the modern kitchen

Many households now see multiple chefs, including children, creating the need for a simultaneous work space allowing for various activities and numerous people at one time. This contrasts with the area within the triangle, which is often a one-person space and a no-through-traffic zone.

Additionally with scientific revelations and growing health concerns relating to eating habits, it’s not unusual to see families and individuals making dietary adjustments such as finding alternatives for starchy carbs, or preparing meals in advance. People are making a conscious effort to spend more time in their kitchen, and to spend it wisely. This means the zones within the kitchen must be logically arranged to optimise, not only the space but the time spent utilising it.

And then, with environmental sustainability at the forefront of many minds, the general waste bin may no longer need to be as accessible as the recycling and food waste caddy, giving way to an easily reached recycling station within the kitchen. Could the children be more likely to recycle their leftovers or packaging if it was easier for them?

How to create the perfect kitchen layout with ‘zones’

Rather than suggesting that the traditional triangular kitchen layout is an obsolete design theory, it could be considered that kitchen priorities have evolved to encompass more elements than the basic three.

Less is currently not more. Instead of the basic three elements: the sink, the fridge and the oven, Blum is leading the way considering the kitchen space, with relevance to five specific zones: Consumables (food items), Non-Consumables (cooking equipment), Cleaning (the washing up area), Preparation (workspace and utensils) and Cooking (the appliances used for cooking). Perhaps a ‘Kitchen Polygon’ or a ‘Kitchen Convex Pentagon’ would be more apt than a triangle?

Dependent upon your personal preference and family needs, the order your zones flow in will differ. For instance, some may want their cleaning zone adjacent to their preparation zone so they can clean easily as they work, or perhaps because the clean dishes rarely make it to their cupboards, tending to travel from the dishwasher to the workspace and back again. For others, it may be important for the non-consumables; pots and pans, to be next to the sink so clearing the draining board is quick and easy.

Functionality is key, with practicality in mind from the beginning, but the fluidity of the zones is of parallel importance, as easing from one activity to the next creates efficiency. It’s helpful to consider your dominant hand here; if you are right-handed your zones should flow clockwise, anti-clockwise if you are left-handed.

This is why the time spent understanding how you use your kitchen, how you all live within it and who uses it is so important when planning your new kitchen layout.

Essentially, each individual or family is different, along with the size of the room and available budget, therefore every kitchen has varying requirements and differing priorities. The good news is we are no longer limited to the ‘kitchen triangle’. To find out more, and discover what’s possible in your kitchen, call our team on 01865 596768, or send an enquiry to sales@jshod.co.uk