The Lost Triangle and the Kitchen Star

From on October 11, 2007 in Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen Triangle

Last week, I was reading up on kitchen design and renovation and came across a blog referring to the “kitchen triangle.” Since I am relatively new in the industry and had never heard the term before, I decided to look it up. What is the kitchen triangle? Apparently, the triangle refers to the route most commonly traversed by the kitchen cook, from the refrigerator to the stove to the kitchen sink and back again. It’s common knowledge in the world of chefs, designers, renovators, and even the general cooking public. One of those things that makes me feel like I’ve been hiding my head under a rock.

Still, part of me felt certain that cooking, chopping, and storage areas are simply givens in any kitchen and not necessarily part of some esoteric concept. What about countertops, for instance? Would a longer countertop generate an isosceles triangle? Would a kitchen island best suit a right angle triangle? Is the goal to come as close as possible to an equilateral triangle? I mean, what was the deal? Why was I suddenly relapsing into geometry and why did all this really matter?

After digging a little further I discovered that the triangle is actually a big deal to many people. So much so that I summed up the following points of advice when it comes to kitchen triangle wisdom.

5 Essential Tips for Applying the Kitchen Triangle

  • Strategic placement of the three main elements of a kitchen can greatly increase your efficiency when cooking and cleaning.
  • Each side of a triangle should fall between 4 to 9 feet to avoid feeling cramped or vice versa.
  • The stove is considered the hub of the kitchen, and fares well surrounded by countertops on both sides.
  • The sink, or cleaning hub, is ideally placed beneath a window where there is lots of natural light.
  • Kitchen islands can help detour traffic away from the cooking fray.

All of this makes perfect sense, of course. Still, playing devil’s advocate, I wanted to test it out in my own kitchen. Paying more attention to what I do while cooking, I realized I start by taking all my ingredients out first, from the kitchen and the cupboard to the table where I chop. This, to my surprise generated a perfect triangle. Then I moved back and forth from the table to a small counter by the stove to transfer the chopped ingredients. This generated parallel lines. Making rice required new trips to an opposite counter where I stored the grains, back to the sink, and over to the stove. A triangle on top of a triangle. I then walked back to heat the stove and start cooking the main dish, returning back and forth from counter to table to stove to opposite counter. Triangle over triangles over triangles. And then, instead of triangles, I realized I was making stars instead. Retracing my steps, I don’t think I can change my ways. For me, the triangle isn’t good enough. I need a design for the “kitchen star.”

As always, if a kitchen triangle or even a kitchen star is what you need to become an efficiency expert in your kitchen, consult with one of our certified kitchen contractors.