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Kitchen Work Triangles

The Types of Kitchen Layouts

Kitchen Glasgow

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The Work Triangle

The work triangle was devised in the 1920’s as one of the first measures of efficiency in a residential kitchen.

Whatever the case, the manner in which you use your work spaces in the basic kitchen is the most vital factor when arranging your design. In a commonplace home kitchen, the essential tasks require the sink (cleaning and preparation), the refrigerator (storage) and cooking (oven for cooking). These three work surfaces, when joined by imaginary lines, create the kitchen work triangle. This work triangle is exceptionally useful in deciding a efficient kitchen layout.

Kitchen Work Triangles

The Principles of the Kitchen Work Triangle:

  • The length of each triangle leg is between 1.2 and 2.7m
  • The combined length of the three legs should be between 4m and 7.9m
  • There should not be any appliances or cabinets intersecting any of the legs of the triangle
  • There should not be any major traffic through the triangle


Galley Kitchen

Galley Kitchen

Galley Kitchen Plan

Also called the parallel kitchen, it is appropriate for small spaces and serves as an ideal one-cook zone. It contains two parallel walls across from each other with a walkway in the middle which is the reason it’s also called a walk-through kitchen. That makes it less demanding to design cupboards, as you never need to worry about corner cupboards. On the off chance that you have plentiful space, you can also incorporate an island.

By removing the requirement for corner cabinets, this sort of design utilises each inch of room without wastage.

With an extra column of cabinetry, the galley type offers greater adaptability with regards to storage space. Particularly for larger families or multiple-cook areas, it is vital to have the work zones along only one of the walls. This will help you with avoiding traffic through the work triangle and take out the danger of injury.


One-wall Kitchen

One-wall Kitchen
One-wall Kitchen Plan

The one-wall kitchen is common in studio and loft flats because it uses minimum space. The cabinets and appliances get mounted on a single wall. A modern straight kitchen sometimes also include an island or dining area, making it a bit like the galley layout.

Usually found in a smaller area, this simple layout is space efficient without giving up on functionality. Consisting of cabinets installed against a single wall, this type can have upper and lower cabinets and shelves over bottom cabinets, creating a clean look.

You only have a small width to work with, so having your cabinets up as far as possible will help create extra storage space in your kitchen. While the normal work triangle is not possible in a one-wall kitchen, you should try to put your fridge at one end, the oven and hob in the centre and the sink at the other end.


U-Shaped Kitchen

U-Shaped Kitchen
U-Shaped Kitchen Plan

This style of kitchen has three walls of cabinets and white goods. Select this layout if you have a large space or will spend a lot of time in there. It gives more floor, worktops and cupboard space, creating an good work triangle that helps you save time and energy when cooking.

A great layout for larger kitchens, the U-shaped type consists of cupboards along three neighbouring walls. This kind of layout gives you lots of storage but can feel a bit enclosed if there are upper cabinets on all of the three walls. The U shaped type though allows for good workflow and multiple people at the same time.

This type of layout presents the perfect chance of an uninterrupted work triangle so you should make the best use of the area by having the work zones on the opposite end of the doors in and out of the room.


L-Shaped Kitchen

L-Shaped Kitchen
L-Shaped Kitchen Plan

Ideal for small family houses, it is ideal if you only have a small floor space. The layout uses two walls in an L-shape for cupboards, worktops, and your appliances, which provides a good design for the placing of the three work areas. If you have space left over, then you can also add a small dining table.

The L-shaped kitchen has cupboards along two walls. Although the corner requires some inventive cabinetry plans to make it practical, the open plan style of the L-shaped kitchen offers excellent flexibility when placing appliances and work areas. While you can have the legs of the L as long as space allows you, it is always a good idea to keep it to less than 4.5m.

Where the space allows, you can make the most of the corner by adding a pantry cupboard. This way you will not lose the space that is usually lost in a corner, and you gain an asset to your kitchen. With an L-shaped kitchen, you may even be able to create a small breakfast area in the opposing corner.

Island Kitchen

Island Kitchen
Island Kitchen Plan

Kitchens with an island can add more work and storage space to your kitchen. You can make use of the island for additional cabinet space, appliances, the sink, or worktops. An island has the ability to change L-shaped kitchens into a U shaped layout, and one walled kitchen into galley styled area.

You should however ensure that you have adequate space before deciding on an island kitchen.

A extremely popular choice in open plan houses, the island style gives you a large work surface in the middle of the room. The island can have a cooking surface, sink and bar or wine fridge. It can also be used simply as a preparation area or an area to sit while eating meals. Your room has to be large enough to add an island, its positioning is a good way to create a natural flow of traffic in the area.

Use your island as a work and social gathering area where family and friends can chat while meals are being cooked. As its location is in the centre of the room, it is a good area to install nice decorative lighting that can also serve as lighting when preparing food.

Peninsula or G-Shaped Kitchen

Peninsula or G-Shaped Kitchen
Peninsula or G-Shaped Kitchen Plan

The peninsula type is related to the island kitchen and incorporates a breakfast bar that sticks out from a wall. It provides a free standing work area which can be used as a worktop, breakfast bar or storage area. Different to an island, the free standing area is only reachable from three sides. Apart from that, the peninsula style gives you all the benefits of an island kitchen while using less floor space than a conventional island.

This is a very good solution that gives the benefits of a normal kitchen island where space doesn’t allow for an separate island to be fitted. The peninsula type can also be used for food preparation, eating or other tasks while you are busy preparing meals.

As with the island kitchen, the peninsula allows you to interact during meal preparation. It is a very good solution for a tightly enclosed area, where a wall may be removed to open up the area to an adjacent room without losing storage space.

Need help choosing the right kitchen layout for your home? CGH can help. Contact us for a complimentary design consultation.