The Well-Designed Kitchen
Pro tips to help you create an efficient kitchen design
When architect Louis Sullivan said: "Form ever follows function," he was talking about skyscrapers, but he could very well have been talking about kitchen design. All great kitchens, no matter the size, no matter the cost, have one thing in common: Function. Your kitchen may look fabulous, but the honed marble, the sleek appliances with custom insets, and the bespoke tile backsplash will quickly lose their luster if the kitchen, at its heart, doesn't function well.
Think Outside the Triangle
The ideal work area is one that is as close to an equilateral triangle as possible. Understanding that not all kitchen structures lend themselves to this (and that not everyone remembers their 8th grade geometry), the experts at the National Kitchen and Bath Association have made the following recommendations:
- Each leg of the triangle should be between 4 and 9 feet long
- Total length of all three legs of the triangle should be no fewer than 12 feet and no greater than 26 feet
- Major traffic should not flow through the triangle
Sara Ann Busby, CKD and immediate past president of NKBA, is happy to admit that she doesn't always rigorously adhere to a single work triangle layout. "Now a good kitchen layout is not so much about the work triangle as it is about designing for task-specific areas of use—storing what you need for a specific task at a specific area of the kitchen. It's more about a series of mini-work triangles rather than one big work triangle," she says.
TIP: A series of task-specific, mini work triangles sometimes works better than a traditional single work triangle.
"Kitchens are more than a platform to cook. They must enhance life by becoming a place to automatically congregate—just being in them should raise one's spirits."
Johnny Grey, Kitchen Culture: Re-inventing Kitchen Design