An outdated concept is gaining new steam to ensure you’re maximizing the space in your kitchen to it’s best to flow and Feng Shui. Introducing: the kitchen triangle. What is the kitchen triangle? It was a concept created in the 1940s by the University of Illinois School of Architecture, which in a nutshell describes the effective working space within your kitchen. 

Thoroughly researched and still in use today, the kitchen triangle theory denotes a certain amount of rules that allow for maximum flow and feng shui within this room of your home. Beginning as an attempt to standardize home design, the concept has faded from favor in recent decades. But as with most things, it’s important to look towards the past to seek improvement from the future. 

Because the kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the house, whether it be to cook, clean, or entertain; the layout is thus fundamentally important to those who hold the roles of chefs, or domestic god or goddess. 

The rules of the kitchen triangle

Touched on before were the specific rules the ‘kitchen triangle’ had to follow to be most effective. These are put down to:

Each leg of the triangle must be between four and nine feet apart

  • This means that no matter your kitchen set up, your kitchen triangle of where you move to work should be between four to nine feet apart. This allows for maximum freedom of movement.

The total of all three sides of the triangle to be between 12 and 26 feet

  • The area of the triangle should be no greater than 12 to 26 feet, which makes sense if you follow the above rule. A kitchen triangle with legs four feet equals a triangle area of 12 feet to work within. 

No obstructions (cabinets, islands, etc) should intersect a leg of the triangle

  • This is just common sense really, as your kitchen triangle will generally roughly be in the main area of the room. You wouldn’t put a cabinet in the way of where you needed to walk, as it would easily obstruct your work and be just in the way, frankly. 

Household traffic should not flow through the work triangle

  • With modern, smaller kitchens; this isn’t always possible as there is simply not enough space for everything. In any case, other people should best be herded to move through another area rather than your kitchen triangle if possible. A lot of this is to do with safety, as you may be carrying hot pans or just being in the flow of getting everything clean. The last thing you need is people getting in your way whilst you’re getting things done. 

Decreasing house sizes mean new solutions

One of the reasons this idea has fallen from favor is due to the decreasing house sizes. As more of the population wants to live closer to the city, smaller apartments have been made as a solution to pack many people into a limited area. 

Many urban homes may not have full kitchens, but rather a kitchenette or even just a stovetop with no oven. Not only this, but many people have come to rely on many modern appliances, such as dishwashers, microwaves, blenders, coffee machines, jaffle irons, etc. With smaller spaces and more appliances, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that you may be dealing with a severe lack of space and the inability to make the kitchen triangle work. 

There are solutions, such as stacking of appliances or going minimalist, but simply by being aware of the triangle theory, to begin with, may help you reassess your needs and workspace. This is of added importance if you work a day job from home and use the kitchen bench as your desk. It will also help keep everything in mind if you are looking to build a home or renovate a kitchen in the future. 

Utilizing the space you have

Whilst the kitchen triangle might seem outdated, the old adages of “keep it simple” and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” ring to mind. A classic concept that has worked through the decades can certainly be brought into modern times to ensure you are utilizing the whole potential of your kitchen space. 

Not only does this save you time whilst cooking or cleaning around the kitchen, but you’re also now part of a long line of effective domestic gods and goddesses who have unlocked the ‘kitchen triangle’ rule. 

You must be itching to go assess your own kitchen right now, and a few new ideas may be brewing on how to better utilize your space. Go and see what works, as you might just find the kitchen layout you’ve been looking for.  Need a plumber to help install your kitchen, contact us now.