The Kitchen Work Triangle – What, Where & How?
In the backdrop of the ever-expanding demand for modern housing and the corresponding lack of space, it has become exceedingly important and relevant for architects and interior designers to make efficient use of the available space. The kitchen is one of the most often used rooms in our homes,, second sometimes only to our bedrooms, the need for efficient and optimal layout and design has become a key consideration in present times. And the most important aspect to keep in mind when doing this is intelligently planning out the KITCHEN WORK TRIANGLE.
What is it you ask?
As we all know, the most often used interior components of a kitchen are the sink, cooktop or stove and the refrigerator. The theoretical lines between the spaces occupied by these components form the kitchen work triangle.
Most modern residential kitchens are single user kitchens and therefore are planned accordingly. There are a number of layouts for a kitchen and the most commonly used layouts are as follows:-
One Wall/Pullman Kitchen – as the name suggests, all appliances in this type of kitchen layout are placed along the same wall and as such, it becomes impossible to form a kitchen work triangle.
Galley Kitchen – This kitchen type is the most efficient in terms of utilization of space. This layout is characterized by two countertops on either side of a walkway. Here, you will find that two components of the kitchen work triangle or along one wall and comprise part of the same countertop and the third is on the other. Most open kitchens use this layout as it provides for a very lean flow of movement.
L-shaped Kitchen – This layout also makes use of two countertops although, they are connected to each other in such a way that they form an L-shape or a right angle. Here, the corner spaces are also made use of and can sometimes become a little more complicated and expensive in trying to make the best use of space.
U-shaped/Horseshoe Kitchen – This type of kitchen layout is basically a galley kitchen which also has third countertop that connects the two other countertops on either side of the walkway. Here one countertop is always against a wall and the other two countertops can be enclosed by walls or be left open to more than one side and can thus accommodate more than one cook. This kitchen layout can accommodate the most number of different combinations for a kitchen work triangle and are generally used in larger spaces.
Kitchen Islands & Peninsulas – The use of kitchen islands & peninsulas in conjunction with any of the above layouts can also help in maximizing the efficiency of space and movement within the kitchen. They are generally used in larger kitchens and provide for more counter space and easier definition of multiple kitchen zones if planned and used effectively.
How to best plan a kitchen work triangle?
There are many things to take into consideration when planning out your kitchen layout. And to best utilize the space available for any given requirement, there are certain factors to keep in mind. Some of them are listed below as follows:-
Measurements – As we have read above, the kitchen work triangle is made up of the imaginary lines drawn between the stove, refrigerator and sink. Keeping these three appliances as vertices of that triangle, there is an optimum range of measurements that determine the length of each side or in more accurate terms, the distance between each of these appliances. The distance between these three appliances should be within 4 to 9 feet and the total length of the path covered by these three appliances should be between 13 and 26 feet.
Space – Most kitchens in apartments range from 50sqft. to over 200 sqft., depending on the type of project and the appropriate square footage that has been designated for the kitchen area. Taking into account the measurement parameters given above the kitchen work triangle must be structured in such a way that the flow of movement should be unhindered.
Walls – The number of walls available within the space allocated for a kitchen plays a vital role in determining the layout of the kitchen and thereby, the kitchen work triangle.
Numbers of cooks – Most home kitchens are used by just one cook and thus have given rise for some interior designers that have optimized a handful of different layouts which make the best use of space.
Gone are the days when artists struggled to find patrons. Today, the world of design is dominated by art of various types. Interior designers, across cultures talk about fusing décor with modern paintings. If you have the thirst for collecting art, you may have started long time ago. Exhibiting art in the right sense is not something everyone is blessed with. Interior designers can help you showcase paintings that are worth thousand words.
The 'art and soul of the room
Interior designers say, wall art matters the most in home decor. We plan the entire layout most of the times and leave out the art element. In reality, this should be the other way around. If choosing a colour scheme is daunting, you can pick the art you love the most and plan your colours based on it. Decorating the room with a few prominent shades from the splash of colours on the walls can add both life and texture to the space. Also, bare walls look complete if you design a look with art as the focal point. So whether you are styling on a budget or investing big time in art for your home, you must remember that art is visually appealing and overtakes everything in the room.
Indian Art -- the masterpiece in a room
If you think choosing the perfect art is difficult, you can look for something traditional and elegant. The Indian art market is steadily appreciating with every passing year. Intricate paintings, with ornate work and motifs successfully compliment a myriad of furnishings and Indian accents. Indian art is a perfect blend of art work and design concepts. Online stores can offer a plethora of options with prints and creative photographs which can be artistically framed. Colourful history of civilization, sculptures and deities are a few art pieces that can add a traditional touch to your office or home interiors. Tapestry art and vintage mirrors can be perfect masterpieces that reflect your taste and style.
Your art – The window to your personality
A room with relaxing art is best to soothe your senses and calm your nerves. The natural elements in landscape paintings showcase the beauty of colour and are inspiring. Mountains, valleys, rivers, beautiful flowers and the colours in the sunset that are inspired by nature can revive and refresh any room. You must ensure you stir clear from paintings that portray natural calamities and poverty stricken people. Likewise, a large life like portrait of a famous personality or an ancestor is not something you want to display in the room where you usually relax after a long day’s work. A bright and vibrant dose for paintings can never go wrong. What you pick for your room will certainly reflect your personality and style.
Closet space is something we all wish we had more of. Whether you are a shopaholic or one of those ‘I buy only what I need’ types, you have to admit that having as much closet space as you would like would be like a dream come true. Imagine you have all the space for your clothes and your accessories! It would be a joy just to look into the closet and see the various sections within with neatly arranged items of clothing and other essentials.
But alas! Not all of us are blessed with ample space in our rooms to fit our spoils of retail therapy. So, here we are talking about what we can do with the space we have to accommodate our fashion choices.For the Millennial
A simple wardrobe or a waist high chest of drawers will more than suffice to house the casual clothes and the bare essentials that a typical millennial would need and use. Especially considering the fact that most millennials live in small apartments with barely enough room and generally also have room mates.For the Busy Bee
If you are someone who is all work and no play, then you barely have any time to indulge in diverse fashion choices and chances are that you have more formal clothing than anything else. And for that you will need a full-length cupboard that has enough room to hang your jackets and suits. With latest design trends you can even have double-racked hanging in the same closet with the pull-down system that allows you to reach the higher shelf easily.For the Couples
Often, we find that couples who live together, whether you are married or not, fight over the amount of closet space available. In this situation it is best not to share the same piece of furniture to house your garments as it can become very difficult to demarcate a well-defined space for each member of the couple. Therefore, it falls upon the couple to invest in separate pieces of furniture so that there are no unnecessary arguments over who takes up more closet space.For the Traveller
If you are someone who barely spends any time at home, things that concern the normal individual with the average live-at-home lifestyle would not bother you. Things like closet space or design of the closet space would barely matter. Since, most of your life you live out of a suitcase, it can be quiet handy to have multiple small pieces of furniture, like many chests of drawers, where you can pair up your clothing and set a certain number of pairs in each drawer in such a way that every time you travel, you know exactly what goes where and how many pairs to pack. It also makes doing the laundry a lot easier, as a bonus.