How to Establish a Kitchen Work Triangle

09 Oct How to Establish a Kitchen Work Triangle

dishes in cabinetsEstablishing a working triangle in your kitchen can make it that much more efficient and pleasant to work in. If you haven’t designed a kitchen before, it’s important to consider how the kitchen will function, instead of just putting in some cabinets and calling it a day. There is definitely an art to designing a kitchen layout. The following tips should give you a great starting point to help get you in the right direction.

How to Make Your Kitchen Work for You

First of all, let’s define what a work triangle is and why it’s important to consider when designing a kitchen. The three points of the triangle are cooking, cleanup and storage. Each is just as important as the other.


When designing the cooking aspect of your triangle, you want to have everything nearby you’ll need to complete the meal you’re preparing. For example, you’ll want your spices to be in a cabinet within arm’s reach of your stove top. Spatulas, potato mashers and other utensils that are used in cooking should also be within arm’s reach. If possible, you’ll also want to consider installing a pot rack either from the ceiling or wall to have your pots and lids nearby for easy access.

You will also want your prep station to be by the sink. Obviously, it’s ideal to have a separate garden sink on an island to rinse vegetables and other foods to help combat cross contamination, but that isn’t also a possibility in kitchen layouts. Having your prep station near the sink will also help in making clean up that much easier.


Clean up doesn’t have to be a huge job. If your kitchen is laid out correctly, it should be a fast project that isn’t a big deal to undertake. For example, make sure that you put your cabinets containing plates, cups and bowls near the dishwasher. Your silverware drawer should also be nearby to ensure you won’t need to be walking across the kitchen just to put them away. Items that you might not use often or every day, including cake displays, grills, etc., should go in harder to reach cabinets, like above the fridge. This will free up more accessible cabinets for items that are used more regularly.

Another thing to consider when planning the cleanup portion of your kitchen is what type of sink you want to install. Many don’t think about the hassles of an above-the-counter sink (the type of sink that drops in and has a lip over the edge of the counter top). These types of sinks can make cleaning a bit more difficult. Instead, solid surface sinks or under-counter sinks allow the person doing the cleaning to more easily clean the surface of the counter and get food particles into the sink. It might sound crazy, but it’s actually a common complaint.


While this has been touched on in the other two sections, it’s important to reiterate how crucial storage is in completing the kitchen triangle work space. Again, make sure that everything you need for food preparation is stored near where it will be used. Items not used as regularly shouldn’t be stored in easy to reach places.

Additionally, the pantry or main food storage area should be accessible from the whole kitchen. This will make grabbing quick snacks or basic food ingredients (flour, sugar, etc.) easy for everyone – not just the one preparing the food.

With a little bit of planning, you can make your life a whole lot easier. Give it some thought and consider these tips and you’re on your way to an organized kitchen.


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