The Magic Behind the Kitchen Triangle Layout

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Image: Minimal Home Design

I’m not a home chef. I’m not even much of a competent cook—one of my better half’s favorite stories is about the time I ruined a pan while simply boiling water. But he is a whiz in the kitchen and when we built our house a few years ago, one of his requirements was a spacious kitchen with all the necessary elements. One of those elements was an efficient layout.

It was then that I learned all about the magic known as the Golden Triangle. You see, the layout that supports the best work flow in the kitchen is one that positions the refrigerator, stove, and sink at the points of a triangle and allow ease of access to each point. That usually (but not always, as we’ll see) means each of these work areas are on a different wall. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite examples of the kitchen triangle.

Step-by-Step

With its ample use of concrete, plywood, and stainless steel, and its unapologetic industrial style, the above is perhaps my favorite kitchen of the moment. And, on top of all that décor style, it demonstrates the perfect triangle arrangement with the fridge, sink, and stove just a mere steps from each other.

The Magic Behind the Kitchen Triangle Layout on Interior Collective
Image: Dave Lauridsen for Dwell

Isosceles, Anyone?

This kitchen boasts a terrific mid-century style and puts the sink and refrigerator in a line that’s at a right angle from the line-up, which includes the stove and sink. Still a triangle, and still effective.

The Magic Behind the Kitchen Triangle Layout on Interior Collective
Image: Dave Lauridsen for Dwell

All Four Walls

With the sink on the left, the stove against the back wall, and the fridge on the right, this kitchen also has a nice bar in front, effectively creating a square. But the work triangle is still firmly in place as well.

The Magic Behind the Kitchen Triangle Layout on Interior Collective
Image: Aremelle Habib for Hecker Guthrie on Meadow at Dusk

Hide & Seek

Honestly, I don’t know where the refrigerator is in this wonderful white kitchen, but with the sink in front, even if both the stove and fridge are on the back wall, we have a kitchen triangle. For me, though—not being the cook—the magic is in the décor, which is simply great in all of these kitchens.

Does your kitchen layout help or hinder your cooking?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of JapaneseTrash.com, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite (ruraltheory.com) and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (thenovogratz.com), Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.