Since the 1940s the kitchen work triangle has been considered the tried and true method of kitchen design. While the triangle served its purpose for a long time, we feel it’s time for the next evolution to take over.
At Kitchen Ideas we’re firm believers in creating work zones in the kitchen instead of using the triangle for every kitchen. The basic problem with the triangle is it’s not versatile. Each kitchen should be tailored to the cook’s individual needs.
The triangle was designed in 1940 when cooks only used a sink, refrigerator, and a cooktop. Kitchens were also only used for cooking back then, and you wouldn’t dream of entertaining in the kitchen.
Today we use microwaves, dishwashers, toaster ovens, warming racks, and a whole hoard of gadgets. Entertaining, and sometimes even serving, in the kitchen is absolutely fair game in modern kitchens.
This is why work zones offer more versatility and functionality than a work triangle. But how do work zones work?
Work zones group appliances and utensils that perform a similar task together to create a designated and efficient space for common kitchen tasks. You can create a work zone for just about any task you can think of, but the most common work zones are: prep, cooking, washing, and serving.
Prep- The prep area is where you’ll spend around 70% of your time, so it’s arguably the most important part of your kitchen. This is where all the chopping, stirring, peeling, mixing, and other kitchen action verbs will happen. Ample counter space next the fridge is a top priority for the prep zone. You’ll also want this zone to be centrally located so you can transfer food to the cooking zone and throw things away in the wash zone without having to hike across the kitchen.
Cooking- As you might have imagined, the oven, range, and microwave will call the cooking zone. Safety is a big concern in the cooking zone. Try to eliminate the need to carry hot items to and from the cooking zone by strategically arranging the zones.
Washing- This zone will consist of at least one sink, the dishwasher, storage for a few cleaning supplies, and trash bins. Since cleaning up is everyone’s least favorite part of cooking, the washing zone needs to as efficient as possible so you spend the least amount of time cleaning as possible.
Serving– Not every kitchen will have a serving zone, but they’re becoming more popular. Most of the time the serving zone is a countertop bar off an island or peninsula. This makes entertaining in the kitchen a breeze and it’s a great place for guests to sit while you’re cooking without getting in your way.
These are just a few examples of common work zones, but there’s plenty of other zones you can create. For instance, if your kitchen isn’t complete with a fresh plate of cupcakes then we can make a baking zone complete with storage for sugar and flower, space for a stand mixer, and plenty of space to rollout the dough.