Kitchen Layout

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Think about what happens to your food and you will get a good idea how an efficient kitchen works. The steps are usually:

Purchase
Storage
Pre-preparation
Preparation
Service
Dish Washing

Bear all these in mind when planning and you won’t go far wrong. For example, put the fridge near the door where you bring in the shopping (to save you walking across the kitchen each time), put the baking supplies in a cupboard near the oven, the clean-up materials under the sink and snack items near the microwave, and so on.

The Work Triangle

For maximum efficiency, the kitchen’s three primary appliances, the sink, the refrigerator and the cooktop or range should be located in a triangle and as close to each other as possible. The triangle is measured from the center of the sink to the center of the refrigerator to the center of the cooktop.

Although not a hard and fast rule, the perimeter of the work triangle should measure at least 12 feet but not more than 26 feet. Each side should measure at least 4 feet but no longer than 9 feet.


Most kitchens will have service points for all three appliances already installed so the decision s to their layout may already have be made for you. Bear in mind that rewiring and re-plumbing your kitchen will take a lot of time and money.

Start your planning by placing the sink, preparation area and cooking area first. Then draw 3 lines to connect the three areas to get the triangular shape. The smaller the triangle, the shorter the walking distance will be between the three main working areas in your kitchen. If this walking distance is greater than about 26 feet, try to put the three areas closer together.

Another things to remember is that sinks will often (and in fact, should) be placed against an outside wall under the window. This will make the plumbing easier, and also gives daylight where you need it most.

Check any existing ventilation points when planning your new cabinets, as you don’t want to cover them. Ventilation will be of the utmost importance in kitchens that are also used as a dining area, as you will want to get rid of steam and odors.

Tips on Measuring

  • When measuring the size of the kitchen, make sure that the exact shape of the walls is known. If there is an intruding corner in the room it will influence the shape of the worktop and the place of the wall-cupboards.
  • Mark the service points in your plan, as this will define where the main working areas will be placed.
  • The longest unit will consist of the sink, drainer and maybe a dishwasher, so it is best to place this area in your plan first.
  • If you like to cook with a lot of fresh vegetables or you need a big freezer, consider a big fridge/freezer at the end of your worktop for loads of storage and easy access.
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