Planning A Functional Kitchen Design

You are currently viewing Planning A Functional Kitchen Design

When most of us plan a new kitchen design, we start thinking about how it’ll look.  Stunning new white cabinets.  Polished quartz countertops.  Modern pulls and knobs.  But planning a new kitchen is actually an opportunity to improve your existing layout and design. 

Research shows that by laying out key elements of your kitchen in a certain way – the fridge, stove, sink, and areas where you prepare food – you can improve your cooking workflow.  Take the time to learn about what makes a functional and effective kitchen design.  It’s the first step in planning a new kitchen that will work as hard as you do.

The Kitchen Work Triangle

Researchers developed the kitchen work triangle theory in the 1940s.  It’s been a part of well designed kitchens ever since! The work triangle organizes your kitchen around three anchor points: the refrigerator, the sink, and the stove. 

In general, if you can draw an imaginary triangle between these three points, then you have an efficient design. That’s because the work triangle focuses on limiting the number of steps you need to take. It’s an excellent starting point that helps you work efficiently and effectively while preparing meals.

The Kitchen Work Zones

The kitchen work zone theory involves organizing your kitchen around three zones:  prepping, cooking, and cleaning.  To plan your kitchen design according to this theory, group your resources for each function in the same area.

To start, the prepping zone is where you likely do the majority of your cooking.  This area should be near the refrigerator and your dry goods cupboards to minimize back and forth.  Having the garbage receptacle in this area will help you dispose of waste as you work.
The cooking zone is the area surrounding the range and oven.  To make the cooking process run smoothly, place this zone right beside the prepping zone, or directly opposite it.  This will enable you to move easily between the two. 
Finally, the washing zone, which features your sink and dishwasher, can be separated from the other two zonesIdeally, this zone should be near the cupboards that hold your dishes. This allows you to unload your clean dishes with ease.


Other Functions To Consider

Many kitchens are used for more than just prepping, cooking, and cleaning.  They can also function as the heart of your home.  Kitchens are where friends gather to share a glass of wine or family members hang out and discuss their day. Add an extra zone for socializing by extending your countertop and adding bar stools,.  This allows friends and family to hang out and chat while you’re preparing a gourmet meal. 

You can get ideas for a wide range of kitchen designs by viewing recently completed kitchens in our inspiration gallery.

Request a design consultation