Other Guidelines, Other Choices for Your Kitchen

“Rules are not necessarily sacred. Principles are.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

“Form Follows Function.” (Louis Sullivan)

Image F-S-A

Function – Safety – Appearance

Information About The Kitchen Triangle

Did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the first architects to use the work triangle in his kitchens? During a tour of the Gordon House (the only FLW-designed home in Oregon), I overheard the docent talking with visitors about many of Mr. Wright’s innovations in home design that we still use today, and had to add that tidbit of trivial information. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) describes a work triangle in their guidelines:

“The distances between the three primary work centers (cooking surface, cleanup/prep sink and refrigeration storage) form a work triangle. The sum of the three traveled distances should total no more than 26 feet with no single leg of the triangle measuring less than 4 feet nor more than 9 feet.”

The guidelines also state: “No major traffic patterns should cross through the basic work triangle.”

If you have a galley kitchen, with the garage door at one end and an aisleway that leads to other rooms, there’s no way you can avoid traffic passing through the work triangle. If you have a “U” shaped kitchen, or an “L” shaped kitchen, you can easily avoid traffic dissecting your work triangle. But you can have traffic challenges in all kitchens, especially if more than one person is working in the space at the same time. The single work triangle isn’t effective in a multiple-cook kitchen, and we must apply other guidelines. Some people use multiple work triangles, but that complicates the work flow. The design has to be flexible and dynamic, to fit your unique circumstances as well as your space. Considerations that help achieve the best plan include:

♦ Is the cooking done by one person, or more than one person?

♦ How are the tasks divided?

♦ Are there special cooking or baking activites? How often?

♦ How many participate in clean-up?

♦ What is a typical meal?

♦ Who is left-handed and who is right-handed?

♦ Does anyone have special needs that might require a lowered countertop?

The two most important aspects of kitchen design are function and safety. These form the base vertices of a triangle. This is what I call the “Principles Triangle”. The top vertex represents your kitchen’s appearance. Once function and safety are addressed, your kitchen can be any style, any color. If the triangle is inverted, it’s impossible to achieve safety and function after appearance.

It takes years to learn all of the principles (and earn the professional credentials) to transform an outdated, dysfunctional, unsafe dungeon into a haven of fun-filled activity and harmonious gatherings. I can help you achieve the perfect kitchen to fit your budget, lifestyle, and personal preferences, and would love to chat with you about it!

“See the Possibilities. Create a Positive Difference.”

Call  D. P. Design (503-632-8801), or send an e-mail  to Diane, to get more information about how she can help you create a functional, safe and beautiful kitchen (or bathroom).

© Copyright 2015 D. P. Design “See the Possibilities. Create a Positive Difference.”