Kitchen Guides

Determine the Right Appliance Layout for Your Kitchen

The kitchen work triangle can feel like a mystery to some homeowners. The expression is thrown about very often in kitchen layout — but how necessary is it? Since appliances are easily the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel, deciding what can fit into your brand new kitchen and in which it can go is a very important and personal decision. These skilled hints from four architects and architects are able to help you figure out an appliance layout which works for you.

Melton Design Build

Do You Require a Work Triangle?

“The work triangle is vital, but it is not the only real solution,” says interior designer Alison Glen. Traditionally, kitchen designs revolve around a fundamental connection between the refrigerator, stove and sink. While this contour keeps everything within arm’s reach as you’re cooking, sticking to it also strictly can actually make a kitchen’s layout more complex.

More about the kitchen work triangle

Polhemus Savery DaSilva

“The kitchen work triangle doesn’t have to be a triangle,” says architect Hiromi Ogawa. “I think it’s called a triangle so that people understand that those 3 pieces work together. But the most important issue is workflow, and this can be different depending on the space and the operator’s needs.”

Above all else, ensure that the route between your three work centers — prep, cooking and cleanup — stays clear and direct. “It is OK to spread them out, but simply make sure the cook doesn’t have to go round the island to get from one spot to another,” says architect Heather McKinney.

For bigger kitchens, these work centers can be broken up into various zones with their own individual work triangles. A prep sink may be located alongside the refrigerator, while the microwave and cleanup zone may be closer to the major sink.

Divine Design+Build

Some less frequently used appliances may be better off placed away from the primary kitchen work zone. Wall ovens can be set remotely in the event the cooktop is fundamental. Ensure you zone the kitchen for cooking and for interacting. “If you can keep flow from inside the chef’s work zone, it actually helps to keep your kitchen feeling and functioning more efficiently,” says McKinney.

Village Architects AIA, Inc..

Picking Appliance Sizes

“It is important not to get overly hung up about the appliances or the cabinets,” says Ogawa. “Let them notify the other.” On occasion a large appliance can compromise counter or storage space. In case you have to compromise on something because of an appliance, ask yourself if the appliance — regardless of how much you love it — actually needs to be that large.

Sweet as a Candy

While 30-inch ovens are standard in the USA, ovens run closer to 24 inches throughout the majority of Europe. Architect Amy Alper proposes looking into an oven between between the two dimensions — around 27 inches broad — if you are running low on space. These smaller ovens heat fast and are extremely economical.

Glen advises keeping your appliances in proportion with one another. A 48-inch refrigerator could end up overpowering a 30-inch range. Having a massive refrigerator that sticks out beyond your counters won’t just interrupt your traffic space; it’s unsightly also.

Alper also proposes looking into undercounter appliances. While they’re often more costly because they need to be built in, they help minimize counter clutter and can be readily obtained. Countertops often work nicely for appliances never used every day and that can be stored off the majority of the time.

Jeanne Finnerty Interior Design

Small Kitchens

Appliances can be tricky in kitchens with limited square footage. While a smaller kitchen may have a simpler work triangle, sometimes it simply won’t work with the layout. Even so, a smaller region makes it effortless to keep everything close at hand.

Tracery Interiors

“The fashion of kitchen and space accessible sometimes dictates what achieves the best space complete,” says Glen. If you can’t purchase an appliance triangle to function in a little kitchen, ensure your storage for food and tools is in an appropriate space — that can assist with the workflow. Alper suggests a galley style as an alternative — using the sink, oven and fridge on one wall and the prep space opposite can work well in tiny kitchens.


Be honest about how much space you can devote to appliances. “I can think of almost no helpful appliance which doesn’t require 2 feet of depth,” says McKinney. But think carefully about what you truly need. A stove and range may provide a little kitchen with much more counter space, but in case you really want two wall ovens, then stick with these instead. Ultimately, it’s almost always about what works best for your home.

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