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Say Goodbye to the Kitchen Triangle

Traditional kitchen design ideas move aside to make way for new techniques that increase efficiency and make better use of space.

Photography by Tim Murphy
Say Goodbye to the Kitchen Triangle


The “kitchen triangle” — the holy grail of design that places the stove, refrigerator and sink at each point of that triangle — is no longer ideal. This configuration was created to make it easy for one person to flow effortlessly between the kitchen’s key components. But put several people in this space and you’ll just be in each other’s way. So now smart kitchen designers are reorganizing the kitchen into zones.
 
 
For example, the prep zone has its own dedicated sink separate from the dish sink. The baking zone has two ovens and a wood or marble surface for working dough. A serving zone provides ample room for large gatherings and food display. A kitchen library, somewhat removed from the action, boasts bookcases, a small desk and data ports. And specialty zones like grilling stations, pizza ovens, built in fryers, etc., serve the resident chef’s passions.

Allen Holcomb, president of MossCreek, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based design firm, says that everyone wants an oversized island these days, whether it’s to whip up a big meal or serve as a family gathering spot.

“These kitchens are too large to maintain the traditional ‘work triangle,’” he explains. “To add function, think about refrigerated drawers, vegetable sinks and a microwave in an island drawer to allow more efficient casual cooking."
 
 
Allen gives his clients this simple but sage advice: “The most important thing is to match ‘your’ style of cooking. Whether you are Southern, Kosher, Italian, etc., your cooking style should determine the nuances of your kitchen’s design. Think about your cooking process and how to maximize every step.”