The Work Triangle – A Tested Design

The kitchen work triangle is a tested design concept that helps plan an efficient work-space. Each leg of the triangle represents one work area – cooking i.e. oven and hob; cleaning i.e. sink and bins; storage i.e. pantry and fridge.


The overall concept is to create a kitchen so that the cook can reach each area with ease. At the same time there needs to be enough space to avoid overcrowding. General guidelines suggest space of between 1.2m – 2.7m per leg of the triangle. The sum of the triangle should not exceed 8m.

In order to avoid accidents no major walkways should cross through the triangle.

However, these are guidelines not rules.


The work triangle originated in the 1940’s when kitchens were smaller and planned for housewives to create family meals.

Modern Day Life

In the modern world kitchens have evolved into a multi-functional place. As the hub of the home it’s where we cook, dine, entertain and work. Often there is more than one cook. Therefore, modern designers have a different approach to kitchen planning. The triangle has become less essential and designers think more in terms of zones.


Modern design concentrates on activities. Whilst not exclusive the main zones can be broken down as follows:

Food Storage – placing a pantry, fridge and freezer in the same area for storage of all foodstuffs makes sense for easy access to ingredients.

Equipment Storage – a section of large drawers and cabinets makes finding crockery and cookware easy.

Cleaning –placing the sink, dishwasher, bins and recycling together will minimise cleaning.

Preparation – drawers and worktop space for utensils, chopping boards, knives for easy preparation.

Cooking – keep the oven, hob and microwave in one zone with space for hot dishes, wooden spoons etc.

Design Flexibility

Designers today must be more flexible. At Kitchenality we concentrate on our clients’ needs. For instance, if a family have children who do homework in the kitchen it will be a priority to create a comfortable work-space. Alternatively, if socialising is the prime concern, we will look at options for easy entertainment. A bar area with stools for canapes and drinks in an obvious choice.

Free Design Consultation

If you would like to discuss how to design your kitchen then call Kitchenality to arrange a free design consultation.  Or pop in to the renowned furniture store of Arighi Bianchi where you will find us on the first floor. We have a friendly and professional design team who will be delighted to help you create the perfect kitchen for your needs.