Why do kitchen designers still go on about the "work triangle" of sink, cooker and fridge?

(143 Posts)
BasilBabyEater Wed 19-Jun-13 22:14:37

Given that everyone's got a dishwasher now and lots of veg is pre-washed?

Do we still need it? Did we ever need it? Does anyone live without it and feel every day a rage at not having it?

What should a well-designed kitchen have nowadays?

BasilBabyEater Wed 19-Jun-13 23:00:48


lalalonglegs Wed 19-Jun-13 23:07:21

You still need to fill up saucepans from the sink, drain boiled food in the sink and, um, not everyone buys pre-packed vegetables... I promise you that for people who like to cook, the triangle does make a lot of sense.

I have visited several people who have had gigantic islands which have had to be walked around to get from fridge to sink to stove and, while I have politely smiled and said how lovely, I have no idea how anyone could do more than make toast with that sort of arrangement.

Jaynebxl Wed 19-Jun-13 23:31:40

We get our veg unwrapped cos it is better for the environment so it isn't washed. We eat rice or pasta a lot and that requires filling a pan. Even with a dishwasher I like to wash some things in the sink. In fact whenever I start to cook I fill the sink with hot soapy water ready to wash stuff as I go in case I need to use it again. So the triangle makes sense the way I use the kitchen.

senua Wed 19-Jun-13 23:42:24

My kettle is next to the cooker so I 'do the triangle' every time I make a cup of tea!

wonderingagain Wed 19-Jun-13 23:50:50

It's tosh. We nearly ended up with a 12 seater island unit thanks to our kitchen designer.

Think about how you function in the kitchen and design your kitchen with that in mind.

Do you all help with cooking? Do you want everyone out of the way when you're cooking? Do you need a separate teamaking area? Do you have friends in your kitchen, do you bake a lot, etc etc.

Then place the things you don't need access to a lot (the cooker - generally only used once a day) out of the way, and put the sink and tea area in a prominent area so everyone can reach it.

We have tucked our storage out of the way along with the fridge because although you need to get things out, you don't need them to be close to work surfaces.

I didn't listen to all the books about distance between units and I do regret that as we keep bumping into each other.

Also the best thing to put underneath the hob is the oven, drawers go either side. We also don't have wall units and have lots of tall floor to ceiling units for plates etc.

wonkylegs Thu 20-Jun-13 08:15:23

You must remember some 'kitchen designers' are no more than shop assistants who know what is in their range. They have no other design experience or qualifications and have just been taught how to slot units in on the PC like tetras.

The advice of thinking how do you use the room is good. The triangle is a good rule of thumb but must be combined with common sense and the actual user requirements.

GibberTheMonkey Thu 20-Jun-13 08:19:26

We're in rented and our stove is tucked round the table the other side of the kitchen to the fridge.
Technically they're in a large triangle but they're a bugger to use.

JassyRadlett Thu 20-Jun-13 08:30:58

The work triangle isn't about washing up! It's rinsing, draining, filling pans, rinsing hands, etc etc.

WeleaseWodger Thu 20-Jun-13 08:33:51

I don't understand how a fridge doesn't need to be near a work surface - unless you can carry an armful of stuff without spilling / dropping. The supposed "kitchen designer" who owned and designed our current house thought this and it's idiotic. The endless trips btw the fridge and nearest work surface I make are ridiculous.

purplewithred Thu 20-Jun-13 08:36:08

When people talked to me about the 'work triangle' I would ask 'so what is a good work triangle' and they never had any idea. All the articles I read just had diagrams saying 'look, here is a work triangle'. Useless.

Notably, Magnet have done no followup on our kitchen to ask us whether the layout works for us - how can they learn what works and doesn't work if they don't ask?

lottiegarbanzo Thu 20-Jun-13 08:43:59

Yes, Jessy is right. Our sink and kettle are about a mile from everything else, so I walk miles a day getting water for cooking, to wash hands while cooking, or to get milk for hot drinks.

sudointellectual Thu 20-Jun-13 08:59:15

The most important thing for me is to have the cupboards near enough to the dishwasher that I can unload everything whilst standing in one spot. Ideally opposite or on a corner. It's the biggest timesaver I've found.

A mistake I shall be rectifying in my next kitchen is having the brew cupboard, kettle, and fridge as far away from each other as humanly possible, so making a cup of tea spreads chaos right through the whole kitchen. Argh. Next time, I shall group them.

Grouping all the kit for frequent tasks is good design, imo. This can be simple things like just putting the toaster next to the bread bin (I actually have neither of those, but just as an example), prep area near bin, crockery next to dishwasher, or identifying extended workflows: laundry cycle, breakfast time, kitchen supper, and figuring out how to streamline and contain them.

I design systems at work and am pleased by efficiency. These may not be your priorities!

BasilBabyEater Thu 20-Jun-13 09:59:46

This is really interesting.


I hadn't thought of the bit about situating your crockery cupboard so it's convenient for the dishwasher.

Floggingmolly Thu 20-Jun-13 10:05:52

Where does having a dishwasher come into it? It hardly precludes the need for a sink?

Bonsoir Thu 20-Jun-13 10:09:48

My fridge is not in my kitchen and I don't find this at all impractical - the fridge is in a great place for unpacking food, which is very useful

But I do like my sink, dishwasher, job and oven to be accessible from a single standing position.

Floggingmolly Thu 20-Jun-13 10:11:22

Where's your fridge, Bonsoir?

wordfactory Thu 20-Jun-13 10:15:38

My sink is in an island a few feet from the hob/oven. I stand between them when cooking IYSWIM. And it's very handy.
The dishwasher is built into the island too.

The fridge though is at the other side of the room and it is a PITA. Often when cooking, you end up leaving stuff out rather than clearing up as you go along...

Damnautocorrect Thu 20-Jun-13 10:16:06

We learnt about it in HE at school!
One thing they seem to forget now is when you take something out the oven you need somewhere to put it

Bonsoir Thu 20-Jun-13 10:35:00

My fridge is in the ante-room to the kitchen which would have been the servant's pantry in bygone days. It is right next to the hall, so the shopping is delivered straight in front of the fridge!

Clayhead Thu 20-Jun-13 10:40:16

You must remember some 'kitchen designers' are no more than shop assistants who know what is in their range. They have no other design experience or qualifications and have just been taught how to slot units in on the PC like tetras.

I think that may be the case for some places but is really unfair on some of the people who work in the independent shops, who have decades of useful experience.

Floggingmolly Thu 20-Jun-13 11:04:29

Wow, do you live in a Stately Home? grin

Bonsoir Thu 20-Jun-13 11:06:52

No, a Parisian apartment!

Our kitchen is small, with no room for a table or island to be in the way - at least nothing is a long distance away from anything else.

But we did do some minor reorganising after we'd been there a while, along the lines suggested by sudo - kettle, mugs, coffee jar all close together, toaster, breadbin, cereal all close together. Works well.

Incidentally I wash my hands loads while cooking - I definitely need the sink to be handy. And it needs to be near the cooker - who wants to carry a heavy pan of hot water and pasta across a large kitchen to drain it?

noddyholder Thu 20-Jun-13 12:49:16

Its a nonsense like most interior design 'rules'. I have never used any of them especially the bloody 'colour wheel'

lalalonglegs Thu 20-Jun-13 13:26:25

Got to disagree with you noddy. It's just a really simple way of making sure that the most important elements of a kitchen are grouped in a way which makes them easily accessible from each other and guarantees that they won't be blocked by other bits of the kitchen. I'd be really surprised if you have designed a kitchen which didn't nod to that ideal.

noddyholder Thu 20-Jun-13 14:11:16

I have never used it. It may have occurred as the best layout on its own within the design but no it is not a rule and kitchens are my thing. Unless a kitchen is huge there are only ever a few steps between appliances and not everyone uses a kitchen in teh same way.

noddyholder Thu 20-Jun-13 14:14:18

I myself like everything in a row if there is room and then full height hidden storage on an adjacent wall. There are too many rules and not enough individuality.

wonkylegs Thu 20-Jun-13 14:17:47

Clayhead I did qualify my comment with 'some'. I was thinking more of those who work for big chains than independent stores.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 20-Jun-13 14:22:27

I have a very awkard shaped kitchen with a door/window on every wall. I have a "tea station" with kettle, coffee maker on it, cupboard with mugs, tea coffee etc above it. A unit with toaster, breadbin, etc on it, with fridge at end. The sink and cooker are close so veg etc can be drained, hands washed.

And two floor to ceiling fitted cupboards act as a larder. Oh and we have a very narrow cupboard (all that could be fitted in) near the cooker for herbs, spices, vinegars, oils etc.

Works well, considering the awkwardness of it! No island, though or table, though the dining room opens directly off the kitchen,

PipkinsPal Thu 20-Jun-13 14:23:08

My BF has a very large kitchen on the house he has been rennovating for 8 years hmm I planned the kitchen on the way I think you would use it, ie cooker, pan cupboard, sink and dishwasher, cupboards for dishes in a line then the fridge/freezer. So the water from the sink would fill the saucepans which would be put on the cooker. Then in reverse draining in the sink. Either wash pans in sink or place in dishwasher. Then put the clean dishes and cutlery away in the cupboards next to the dishwasher. So it would be a kind of a production line. Cupboard above kettle (which by the sink for easy filling) storing teabags, coffee, sugar and mugs. Milk out of the fridge for the hot beverages. So a triangle is no good unless you have a small kitchen.

noddyholder Thu 20-Jun-13 14:24:04

I agree pipkins I too like a production line.

LifeofPo Thu 20-Jun-13 14:27:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bonsoir Thu 20-Jun-13 14:40:19

Agree that a "hot drinks station" with espresso machine and kettle plugged in beneath a cupboard containing cups (bottom shelf) and tea and coffee (second shelf) is a necessity, as is having plates and glasses stored directly above the dishwasher.

moondog Thu 20-Jun-13 14:45:00

I've just had a whole new kitchen and utility that I worked out myself.
I don't like clutter so I have storage for everything-very little is on show. A little Spartan for some perhaps but I live it (surely a definition of middle age-getting excited about utility room?)

It's quite interesting working out where to put everything in my new layout but figure it will evolve to best suit me as time goes on.

middleagedspread Thu 20-Jun-13 14:53:43

So, what you're all saying makes utter sense. Did a kitchen designer tell you this, or did you work it out yourself?
needs hot drink station

LifeofPo Thu 20-Jun-13 14:55:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wonderingagain Thu 20-Jun-13 14:57:06

We used to have our crocks above the dishwasher but when the DW door was open we couldn't reach the cupboard. Our crocks slightly to one side in shallow tall cupboards with lots of shelves.

One of the key things to remember is that appliances are always 60cm deep and need that depth of cupboard, but crocks, food etc is better on shelves that are shallow.

We have a shelf for cups and tea but no wall cupboards (yet).

We did ours ourselves from Ikea - dp is handy and it was a galley kitchen so no dodgy corners.

A breakfast/bread/toast area is a good idea, our microwave is there too for those reheats.

Weleasewodger - yeabut, when I get stuff to cook out of the fridge I make one or two journeys, get everything out at the same time. Ours isn't miles away from the surface, but as it's deep, it's at the end of the line of units. It's next to the drinks area though, and cups and glasses are also nearby.

wonderingagain Thu 20-Jun-13 15:02:18

middleaged after seeing 3 designers, all men, all looking like they had never cooked their own dinner in their lives I decided to go it alone and use common sense. I also got inspiration from large open plan US kitchens which really function for families - they have things like snack drawers for kids, office/calendar space and TV all factored into their designs.

I think in the UK we are still in the 1950s here, when kitchens were for cooking and probably only one person (wifey) would be using it.

moondog Thu 20-Jun-13 15:04:24

Oh Po, I see open shelves and just think ...dust.
I have less and less the older I get. grin
I just cannot be doing with stuff all around the place.

moondog Thu 20-Jun-13 15:05:44

Another excellent thing I have discovered is deeper cupboard and higher units which make cooking much better as I am tall.

I now have cupboards for everything.
It is utterly fantastic.

wonderingagain Thu 20-Jun-13 15:10:28

Also in the US they have a thing called an 'appliance garage' (say it with the accent) - in full recognition that we all have 30,000 blenders, juicers, sandwich toasters that we never use but still need a place to be put.

Not having wall units is good because you get a feeling of space.

moondog Thu 20-Jun-13 15:25:29

I have found inverse correlation between amount of equipment and amount people use.

Bonsoir Thu 20-Jun-13 15:30:49

I like my 1950s-style kitchen with very few appliances grin. I have über-expensive saucepans and knives and a hob and oven that are very hot. And I use things like a wooden board and mezzaluna a lot...

Bonsoir Thu 20-Jun-13 15:31:47

Snack drawer What's wrong with a biscuit tin?

wonderingagain Thu 20-Jun-13 15:47:29

Bonsoir me too. I use knife (not expensive) board and a slicer thingy that I have had for 25 years. Just bought a food processor which I reluctantly use from time to time.

wonderingagain Thu 20-Jun-13 15:48:06

But I have a cupboard full of white plastic tat with plugs on.

MadBusLady Thu 20-Jun-13 15:49:04

Whoever "designed" the kitchen in our last rented flat could have done with the work triangle. It was a decent kitchen for a London flat, about 11 foot square, but they'd only put in an L-shape of units with the fridge, sink and cooker all squashed on one wall. The draining board, which was generally occupied because no dishwasher, was right next to the hob and things used to slither off it onto the burners. ARRGH. Drove me mental that place.

middleagedspread Thu 20-Jun-13 19:16:16

This is my favourite subject at the moment.
I've been to see my local kitchen designer today. I so wish I had the resources to order a hand built, oak framed bespoke kitchen

His advise was
Have cutlery drawer very near dishwasher for unpacking
Have 4 feet between unit & island
Have lighting set above edge of work surface to eliminate shadow
Have a big bin
Have somewhere for compost
Don't have floor to ceiling cupboards with high ceilings.

It seemed very sensible.

moondog Thu 20-Jun-13 19:34:15

I'm reading Lindsay Bareham's latest book at the moment and enjoying very much. Mini essays on recipes and equipment in manner of Elizabeth David. Mind you, she seems to have an awful lot of stuff and can cook.

I ruthlessly jettisoned all my mismatching stuff when I moved back into my kitchen and have got all new crockery and cutlery. Nothing fancy, just plain, white and cheap but it is pleasing.

I don't like islands and those bar stools. I think they will date very fast. I don't like the idea of a big permanent piece in the centre of the room.

My new fridge is so lovely I haven't even taken all the plastic sleeves off the shelves yet, in manner of Arab families I have known who have kept the plastic covers on the sofa for years.

Bonsoir Thu 20-Jun-13 19:52:17

I agree, moondog - I don't like islands either. I like a proper kitchen table (wood, that you can roll pastry out on and scrub clean) in the middle of my kitchen.

LauraPashley Thu 20-Jun-13 20:10:48

I have to disagree with your kitchen designer re the bin middleagedspread, we are in the midst of this at the moment and I think I would not have my mahoosive silver branantia thing again, but a small under counter thing that gets emptied every day. Less smelly surely?

Can I ask people's opinions re ovens - built in so they are at eye height (but imo look a bit silly), or freestanding range type thing?

noddyholder Thu 20-Jun-13 20:15:39

I have never done an island apart from once and the woman had fake nails and tits

noddyholder Thu 20-Jun-13 20:16:12

moondog what fridge do you have?

LittleBearPad Thu 20-Jun-13 20:18:20

Argh mezzaluna. They always make me think I've just skinned my fingers with one.

We went from a small bin to a brabantia style one and I love the fact it doesn't fill up in a day. But then I avoid all bin tasks like the plague.

middleagedspread Thu 20-Jun-13 20:18:33

laura no, it was a beautiful built in bin, that fits standard big bin liners.
Sort of rolled out from under the work surface.

MadBusLady Thu 20-Jun-13 20:23:13

grin noddy

Laura my mum loves her eye height oven. I find them a bit alarming, I am too much of a klutz not to spill and drop stuff, so I prefer to be close to the floor! But there are aesthetically pleasing ways of doing both, have seen eye height appliances look striking in a sheeny wall of them, or very dramatically hidden in cupboards.

I do think though that if you're at all planning the kitchen with an eye to resale value you can't beat the appeal of a freestanding range thing.

moondog Thu 20-Jun-13 20:36:10

It is a very lovely tall slim Bosch.
I don't like big fridges. They look so greedy.
Yes, yes Bonsoir to scrubbed wooden table.

I must admit to being rather put out this afternoon. The painters had applied the first coat of F&B Slipper Satin and I was thinking how calming it looked in contrast to lovely view outside through the new bifolds to the fields and oak trees. My father came in and said 'Ah, I see you went for magnolia.'

LifeofPo Thu 20-Jun-13 20:45:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LauraPashley Thu 20-Jun-13 20:52:08

Ooh moondog please talk bifolds to me- do you love them? What configuration did you go for?

VerySmallSqueak Thu 20-Jun-13 20:54:51

We have no dishwasher shock.

We have a simple cooker sink and fridge triangle and it works well.

Which is good because it's how it was when we moved in.

Floggingmolly Thu 20-Jun-13 20:54:59

Gold glass island... That is as tacky as fuck, madbuslady. Real Footballers Wives stuff.
Love the cupboards behind it, though.

moondog Thu 20-Jun-13 20:57:53

Oh my goodness, yes I do.
We took out a whole back wall to put them in as our kitchen overlooks a field. It was a big job, putting in reinforced steel joists to pin up the rest of the house. We went to the Grand Designs Show in Birmingham and went for this company after dh spent hours talking to them all (while I sat on a sofa with the Telegraph and a cup of tea).

They delivered and fitted.
I LOVE them. They open onto a big swathe of decking and it is just perfect. One could argue they are also a trend like islands but I can't see that a lovely view and a sense of space can ever go out of style. I spent a large part of yesterday evening buffing them to perfection and sighing with happiness.

There 4 segments and about 3.5 metres in all.
I don't like them when they take up the whole of a wall or the end of the building/ Our house is modern and quite plain and so are these.

BasilBabyEater Thu 20-Jun-13 22:23:24

I have just moved my cutlery drawer on the strength of this thread. grin

ouryve Thu 20-Jun-13 22:26:58

Everyone doesn't have a dishwasher and some of us still buy real food that isn't pre-washed.hmm

My kitchen is a little inefficient, since I took out the tiny under counter fridge and replaced it with a bigger one at the other side of the kitchen. I have my hob and sink either side of me when I work, though, which works well.

Jan49 Thu 20-Jun-13 22:39:09

I've never owned a dishwasher. I also rarely buy any kind of prewashed veg.

I lived for over a decade in a tiny kitchen which wouldn't fit a fridge, so to get to the fridge you had to go via the hall into the dining room. Pain in the neck when you have food cooking that you can't leave. I now have a kitchen diner and it's brilliant. It's still tiny but the fridge is in it, I can lay the table whilst watching food cook, and the washing machine is in an outside porch so there's the kitchen is just for food and washing up. I love it.smile

moondog Thu 20-Jun-13 22:44:41

I'd love a larder with slate or marble shelves. All cool and dark.

fossil971 Thu 20-Jun-13 22:45:11

This is fascinating browsing on ergonomics of kitchens. It's a work zone sequence of food storage-nonfood storage-cleaning-cooking-serving. I obsessed for months over mine with many variants on the Ikea planner.

Every room has its constraints and I didn't quite get ergonomic perfection but the best bits were

The kettle is on top of a unit that has crockery and cutlery in it and mugs/glasses above. Next to this is the fridge and dishwasher. So both dish-unloading and tea-making require virtually no walking.

Also having a wide (1.3m) and deep worktop between sink and cooker with utensils near it for actual cooking/prep/baking etc. I can never figure out how people manage with a cooker stuffed into a chimney recess or an island without a hob in it - aren't you constantly running across the room with handfuls of chopped onions? And no wall cupboards above this space because they block light and headroom.

A revelation was putting the breadbin IN the larder. I worried for ages about where to put the sodding thing as I don't have much worktop. Brilliant!

In most rooms you will get a triangle by default but the bits in between are really important too. I think very often designers don't put a proper workspace between the sink and cooker which makes meal preparation very hard work. Or the sink drainer is facing towards the cooker hmm.

moondog Thu 20-Jun-13 22:48:44

Oh another good thing was going for big wide drawers.
Now everything accessible straight away and not all rammed into a pot on the side which looked nice but was not really practical as I could not get at half the stuff.

I wonder what people's favourite kitchen implements are?
Mine I think is a cast iron frying pan my sister found by the side of the road in the west of France. Also some shashlik skewers I bought from an old Russian OAP in a roadside sale in a freezing winter in Russia. Less exotically, a Parmesan grater from Lakeland and a potato testing knife (very long and thin and fragile) I inherited from my grandmother..

My worst was the ice cube trays that broke the first time I twisted them to free the ice.

moondog Thu 20-Jun-13 22:54:47

Oh yes Fossil.
Very nice.
I love the idea of getting it all just right.
My dh is the same with his garage/workroom.
(How traditional we are!)
It is all arranged just so.

Odd cooking in someone else's kitchen and not having stuff to hand.
I did a house swap with an MNer once and she phoned me on the first day, asking where the toaster was.
I didn't have one-we used the grill.

It tickles me that Americans don't seem to have kettles.
I don't like electric ones though.
I only want one to go on the hob as it looks nice.
Plugs and leads are nasty things. I am amazed we still have them. I got the electricians I had in today to replace all the flexes and plugs on my lamp to nice heavy brass coloured ones. They look much smarter.

gamerchick Thu 20-Jun-13 22:58:06

Everyone does not have a dishwasher.. I certainly don't. Height of laziness imo. What's wrong with a sink of hot soapy water and wash up as you go? wink

I certainly don't buy pre washed veg either.. prepare from scratch is easier (also my OP).

I have a decent sized kitchen but the bloke wanted a huge fridge freezer with water dispenser. It's like fucking Gullivers travels in my house. But a dishwasher would be over my dead body.

Bonsoir Fri 21-Jun-13 07:23:20

It's not lazy to have a dishwasher - it frees up time to do more productive things. Laziness is not optimizing productivity!

LifeofPo Fri 21-Jun-13 07:36:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sudointellectual Fri 21-Jun-13 07:36:38

I am considering getting two dishwashers in the new place. One clean, one dirty. grin

I hope I am lazy! It's one of the three great virtues.

Roshbegosh Fri 21-Jun-13 07:43:40

Gamerchick, you are odd IMO to think it's lazy to choose not to spend hours and hours washing and drying dishes. Do you take your laundry down to the river with a wooden scribbling board and out it through a wrangle? No, Lazy girl!

SoupDragon Fri 21-Jun-13 07:53:26

I hadn't thought of the bit about situating your crockery cupboard so it's convenient for the dishwasher.

I can empty 95% of my dishwasher without having to move more than a step away from it (and it's not because I have a teeny kitchen smile) The only things I have to move for are the cutlery and any mixing bowls.

middleagedspread Fri 21-Jun-13 08:18:43

Can I ask where do you put
baking sheets, muffin tins, tart cases etc?
heavy casseroles?
plastic bags?

All the endless bits of paper?

over thinking kitchen

SoupDragon Fri 21-Jun-13 08:23:43

baking sheets, muffin tins, tart cases etc?

Cupboard over the oven

heavy casseroles?

I don't really have any. Bottom pan drawer or drawer under the oven. I also have a corner cupboard with rarely used things like lasagne dishes.

plastic bags?

Fabric "old bag" tube thingy in what amounts to the understairs cupboard.

SoupDragon Fri 21-Jun-13 08:24:47

In my next kitchen, I am having the base units all as drawers, no cupboards.

I don't have any actual firm plans to refit my kitchen but I enjoyed playing on the Ikea kitchen planner thing smile

LifeofPo Fri 21-Jun-13 08:29:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ouryve Fri 21-Jun-13 10:36:05

Of course, all this efficiency stuff is mitigated when your "breakfasting kitchen" is 9' by 12'. Everything is to hand (so long as you don't trip over the giant box of lego that has to be stored in there so DS2 doesn't tip it all out)

moondog Fri 21-Jun-13 14:54:46

I've never got to grips with baking sheets and cake tins.
They were in a jumble in a high cupboard and I expect they still will in new kitchen if I don't Get A Grip.
I may have to submit myself to Lakeland.
A true guilty pleasure although I suspect a lot of that stuff bought by mildly depressed middle aged women (perish the thought that I should be one!) such as the covers for the hobs. hmm

Some is so great though.
It is surprisingly easy to lose oneself in a haze of e cloths and citrus oils......

Bonsoir Fri 21-Jun-13 14:56:24

Have you got one of those oversized electric toothbrush thingies for cleaning in corners? A Lakeland old lady special! I have one and bought one for my mother, who bought one for my aunt, and sometimes we have conversations over lunch about it grin

moondog Fri 21-Jun-13 15:49:43

God no, but I would love one.
I once bought a steam cleaner and was very excited but it was useless sadly.

moondog Fri 21-Jun-13 15:56:19
moondog Fri 21-Jun-13 15:57:18
noddyholder Fri 21-Jun-13 15:58:37

I am mid development atm and am living in this one and I have left teh old kitchen deliberately so that I can cook etc and will refit it last. The current one is very 80s with shaker cream units fake wood worktops and basic tiled splash back No drawers or open shelves and a gas hob and plain oven.It is ancient looking but vgc and I am really enjoying how hardy it is and how non precious i can be setting boiling stuff on the tops and spilling stuff all the time. White hard plastic sink which you can scour with bleach and it doesn't scratch or anything Dp thinks we are keeping it I don't think so!No dishwasher It is very easy to work in though New stuff is a lot of cleaning

MadBusLady Fri 21-Jun-13 16:02:43

Ooh we have one of those 80s white plastic sinks. I'd never even heard of them before. I am surprised at how practical it is.

middleagedspread Fri 21-Jun-13 16:13:31

No one has told me where they put all the endless piles of paper.
Please don't say deal with it immediately or file it because I can't.

I did buy some nice storage boxes but I filled them up (with stuff that needs sorting)very quickly.

Would a paper draw be a good idea?

moondog Fri 21-Jun-13 16:22:29

You have to learn how to deal with it otherwise it takes over your life.
I have an old fashioned wooden in/out tray I keep on the kitchen table.
Other papers go into special drawers in the office.

moondog Fri 21-Jun-13 16:24:55

I've got one of these Utensilo wall organiser things too. I don't think it is that great. The comparmtnets aren't deep enough nad not enough key hangers.

SwedishEdith Fri 21-Jun-13 16:39:50

Yes, yes, yes, to drawers everywhere. Some of mine look like cupboards but pull out and have another pull-out shelf/drawer inside. Keep bread in one so no need for a bread bin. I think I need a tiny little hoover though for the crumbs

moondog Fri 21-Jun-13 17:46:59
noddyholder Fri 21-Jun-13 17:53:17

I need that little henry

Bonsoir Fri 21-Jun-13 18:12:36

I don't do paperwork in the kitchen! I have a desk and cupboard in the hall (which is very spacious) and that way post and paperwork never need go anywhere near the kitchen, which solves the random paper pile problem. I do however have box files for all the appliance instruction manuals that I keep at the top of a cupboard near the kitchen.

LifeofPo Fri 21-Jun-13 18:15:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moondog Fri 21-Jun-13 18:15:55
TheRealFellatio Fri 21-Jun-13 18:19:24

Yes we still need it, in an ideal world. It just makes life easier and more streamlined, and if you can achieve it then you should, but that's not to say you can't have a lovely functional kitchen without it.

Tizwozliz Fri 21-Jun-13 19:16:15

I'd disagree on the cutlery drawer by the dishwasher, cutlery goes in a nice basket which is easy to carry wherever you want in the kitchen. Being able to put plates and bowls away more easily is preferable in my opinion. We have to spin and step for ours, which works fine. Siting immediately alongside the dishwasher can cause problems with access to cupboards while the dishwasher is open.

Compromise in our design was the fridge placement. It's a long way from the tea making area but we were constrained by the shape/size of the kitchen and the OH doesn't take milk in his tea anyway.

Tea making is alongside sink, with mugs and tea above.

'Spare' workspace above dishwasher alongside sink for piling plates before loading.

Workspace prep either side of hob with enough space that you can take stuff out of oven and put alongside without taking up all the available space.

Love my under oven drawer for baking trays. Other thing that works well which was entirely unintentional is we have cupboards with internal drawers which leave a lovely space underneath for flat items like trays and chopping boards.

Undersink drawer with bins is great too, open drawer, scoop potato peelings out of the sink straight into drawer beneath.

Tizwozliz Fri 21-Jun-13 19:17:45

Oh and plastic bags go in the cupboard that hides the hideousness that is the boiler complete with pink painted wallpaper behind!

moondog Fri 21-Jun-13 19:34:21

Oh yes. I have had my boiler put in a cupboard in the utility room, also the washing machine, and a cupboard built with shelves for all the sports/school bags and big hooks for the coats.
So now I only have a wall of loveliness to contemplate.
I got the joiner to put in slatted shelves above the boiler so now I have a lovely airing cupboard too.
I think I live the utility room more than the kitchen.

MrsGrowbag Fri 21-Jun-13 20:13:57

we put all our really large but rarely used pans and dishes, plus cake making equipment and tins, in our utility room as we don't use them every day.

Best thing I bought for our kitchen apart from the induction hob, the eye level ovens and the granite worktop is a £7 "baking sheet stand" from Lakeland which allows us to stand the stuff we do use every day upright in the cupboard above the oven and the drawer beneath it. Brilliant invention. A friend of mine with much more money had her kitchen hand built and got the joiner to put vertical dividers in her above-oven cupboard, for the same reason.

wonderingagain Fri 21-Jun-13 20:18:36

I want a utensilo red one please.

Cutlery near dishwasher - I agree it doesn't have to be.

Having a dishwasher - I agree it needs to be had. I wonder if people who disagree are somehow genetically different to me - I don't understand it.

On the subject of dishes, I don't have a drainer I have two large sinks, meaning drying pots stay out of sight.

HOW do you do paperwork? I bought a tabletop paper sorter, it's now on the 'plonky' table with piles of other papers, never used.

Now I want wall cupboards with sliding doors, and a set of drawers for paperwork. And an in-cupboard bread bin. Germans have that, a drawer for bread with a breadslicer to saw through the roggenbrot.

Hey MrsGrowbag, I'm even more frugal. Mine go in the gap between the microwave and the wall.

Though I am hoping that in my new kitchen I can hide them in a drawer somewhere...

moondog Fri 21-Jun-13 20:32:08

God, I have been eying up that Lakeland baking tin holder.
Rock 'n roll, me.
In our old kitchen there was a space between the cupboards that was very handy for breadboards, trays and place mats. I got the builders to do two the same again for kitchen and utility.
Tell us more about that German bread drawer. I've never been to Germany.

LauraPashley Fri 21-Jun-13 20:57:19

So glad it's not only me drooling over the thought of a dedicated bread drawer!

Thank you for bifold reassurance, I was worried they might be faddy too, but as you say, how faddy can more space and more light be?!

I really want a tambor (sp?) door set up with my kettle and mugs etc hidden away, but dh thinks they look awful. He doesn't even want a kettle shock! We are seriously going to fall out about this.

Does anyone have plinth drawers? I thought they would be great for random tat.

Re paperwork, I have been googling things like "kitchen office" and kitchen office "nook" - lots of god awful American kitchens but I really love their idea of having a little area like that. It was the kitchen set in Homeland that set me off, if anyone watched that?

Eastpoint Fri 21-Jun-13 21:42:19

We've decided that you only empty the dishwasher once a day whereas we eat three times a day so our cutlery & crockery is going to be closer to the kitchen table than the dishwasher. We're also having a Qooker so we don't need a kettle anymore, warming drawer under the oven, big drawers under the hob for saucepans & casserole dishes.

sudointellectual Fri 21-Jun-13 22:06:37

omg I need a Qooker!

moondog Fri 21-Jun-13 22:08:44

What's a qooker? I like those roll down shutter things but suspect they will date. Have a kettle on your job. Then it isn't cluttering up your worktop.
We were staying with some American friends in Atlanta last year and they had a great and very tasteful office alcove in their kitchen.
Mind you, they get a mansion for the price of a big standard British semi.

Murtette Fri 21-Jun-13 23:37:58

We had our kitchen done a few months ago and I love it as it works so well. I also feel slightly smug as it works so well because I spent ages planning it. Having said that, I can only take limited credit as I spoke to about 6 or 7 different kitchen companies and used the best ideas from each.
So, we have:
- the triangle which I'm really glad about as it reduces the chances of tripping over a child whilst carrying stuff
- a larder fridge with a small internal freezer which has the herbs, peas & ice cubes in it. All of the rest of the frozen stuff is in the freezer in the utility room
- the utensils and saucepans are all in drawers under the hob
- in base units next to the saucepan drawers is a cupboard with internal drawers which has herbs & spices in one drawer and then rice, pasta & other ingredients you grab whilst cooking
- the bin (inc the small compost bin) are in a base unit directly beneath the main prep area so when I've peeled a load of veg, I can just pull the bin out & push the peelings directly into it
- the dishwasher is next to the sink and on the other side of it are the cutlery & crockery drawers
- we have a tea making zone
- we have a "kids drawer" which contains all of their crockery as well as the tupperware etc
- the base unit with 5 drawers in it is in the most hidden bit of the kitchen as they contain things which I only need to get out once a day like tea towels and dishclothes
- I have a tall unit with the hoover, broom etc in it and swear the kitchen is tidier since this as I don't have an excuse of having to go to the utility room to get it.

wonderingagain Sat 22-Jun-13 00:02:30

the bin (inc the small compost bin) are in a base unit directly beneath the main prep area so when I've peeled a load of veg, I can just pull the bin out & push the peelings directly into it

Pure genius! but I'm sure I saw that on the Ikea site...

Moondog the Germans all have their bread in a drawer, they all use an adjustable electric bread slicer, kept in the drawer and brought out ceremoniously twice a day. They are slightly obsessive about it being sliced just the right thickness for the right type of bread, in the same way they have different beer glasses for different types of beer. They laugh at our plastic sliced bread and beer out of cans despite their alleged lack of a sense of humour.

I like to look to the Americans, they do what they like, each to their own, unlike us, slaves to our class obsessed Aga fetishes and the Germans with their brot und bier control freakery.

Great website combining US individualization and Scandi utilitarian - Ikeafans.com

wonderingagain Sat 22-Jun-13 00:04:20

I don't want to have anything to do with a Qooker until it gets its U back.

Eastpoint Sat 22-Jun-13 08:00:47


I took the 'u' out of Quooker, not them. wonderingagain you can come back into the hypothetical kitchen.

moondog Sat 22-Jun-13 09:33:52

I like the idea of different glasses for each beer.
Love the idea of proper bread, properly sliced too.

Very civilised.
What I loathe is those big flashy kitchens where people do nothing more than watch tv and eat microwaved food at marble islands on barstools.

middleagedspread Sat 22-Jun-13 09:39:27

In this hypothetical kitchen...
We obviously have a compost bin, possibly built in. Wouldn't it get smelly & dirty?
What are the best taps? I'm rather taken with those with a spay nozzle for washing soft fruits, is this a bit faddy?

moondog Sat 22-Jun-13 09:54:57

I once lusted after one of those big industrial type ones.
I'm glad I didn't.
They look pretentious

wonderingagain Sat 22-Jun-13 11:03:28

I got an industrial tap. Rarely use the sprayer, want rid. When i win the pools (do they exist still) Im getting a quooker. Health and safety nightmare, but an excellent idea.

BasilBabyEater Sat 22-Jun-13 11:09:38

"I regard anyone who chooses not to have a dishwasher with enormous suspicion"


I must admit I don't really see the big deal about having to walk all the way from the fridge to the kettle/ oven if it's not in the right place. Most people do not have kitchens big enough for this to be an issue. I've always understood that the reason fitted kitches were invented in the first place, was to maximise the use of small spaces (is that wrong? - someone told me that years ago and I've always believed it since, but she may have made it up). I don't know anyone with such an enormous kitchen that preparing a meal counts towards their daily exercise regime. I can see the benefit of the sink being near the hob because of safety, but otherwise, unless you have a disability, carrying the milk an an extra 2 steps to the kettle being defined as a problem, slightly mystifies me.

I love that dynamicspace thing and have spent hours pissing about on the B&Q one, the IKEA one and now I fear I can waste hours on the dynamicspace one as well. grin

moondog Sat 22-Jun-13 11:41:31

Ok, understand what a Qooker is now.
I don't see why you can't wait a few minutes for water. Good things come to those who wait and all that.
I want a pressure cooker. My sister uses one all the time-it seems more prevalent in France.
Fantastic but I am terrified of cocking it up.

Those drawers inside bigger drawers are not my cup of tea.

Both my sister and my parents have recently had new kitchens and have both opted for that. You have to open a drawer twice (shock horror) to get your knives and forks! shock

BasilBabyEater Sat 22-Jun-13 12:24:22

What's the rationale for that AmazingBouncingFerret?

It sounds very impractical and peculiar.

It's odd isn't it. Huge double wide pan drawers and then a smaller drawer to keep your utensals in. Suppose it does make things very streamlined. Both the kitchens are gorgeous though. grin

WafflyVersatile Sat 22-Jun-13 12:35:55

I have cutlery divided between two drawers one beside the cooker one beside the fridge. People laugh but it's very sensible. It is, ok! angry

When I am cooking a dinner, the big forks and knives and soup spoons and utensils are beside the cooker and prep area and the big plate cupboard and ingredients cupboards. When I am making cereal or toast or getting a dessert out of the fridge or making a cup of coffee the dessert forks, pudding spoons teaspoons are beside the fridge the cereal/bread cupboard, the kettle and toaster and bowls and dessert plate cupboard, on the other side of the room. Ok so this is only a step and a twirl away from the cooker and other stuff but it still works well.

wonderingagain Sat 22-Jun-13 12:44:52

My pressure cooker is on the hob all winter, just put it away in hope of a summer.

Basil, if you are concerned about stealth boasting, we had a budget cowboy extension, but wisely fitted the kitchen oursrlves. It cost 2k all in except fridge. I think most of this thread is about wishful thinking. By the time I get that quooker and that quooker utensilio i will be downsized and mimimalist.

BasilBabyEater Sat 22-Jun-13 12:51:19

I was in a kitchen shop the other day looking at those pull out things they now put in underneath cupboards. It occurred to me that although they're lovely and practical and comfortable to use, there's an awful lot of space being wasted in the cavities of the cupboard in order to accomodate such loveliness.

I just can't account for all the food in the cupboards, why is it necessary. If I were a breathearian I wouldn't need it. I'd starve to death though, so that's not a solution.

amazingmumof6 Sat 22-Jun-13 13:05:01


marking place

BasilBabyEater Sat 22-Jun-13 13:07:54

£2K? Where did you buy it?

The kettle question will never be settled satisfactorily.

If you have an electric one, it sits on the surface taking up preparation space.

If you have a hob one, you have to move it on to the surface while you're cooking and sometimes, if you only have 4 cooking rings, you can't have a cup of tea while you're cooking.

<1st world problem>

hanahsaunt Sat 22-Jun-13 13:13:49

I am learning to love the island in our kitchen. It's large thus preventing optimal triangulation but it's beautiful solid wood and designed for proper cooking so gives larger area an a worktop for pastry, plating up for loads of people etc. It accomodates some well thought-out drawers (fab for snacks, children's crockery, linens etc) and cupboards. It was designed by someone who cooks for a living so will be brilliant when I get used to having it. I am increasingly fierce about there being nothing on it ever. I also like having kitchens with no cupboards (or anything) above worksurface height so kitchen feels spacious and airy. If I had more cupboards I would end up with more stuff; don't need any more stuff!

gamerchick Sat 22-Jun-13 13:14:40

Roshbegosh Fri 21-Jun-13 07:43:40

Gamerchick, you are odd IMO to think it's lazy to choose not to spend hours and hours washing and drying dishes.

hours and hours? how many dishes do you use? hmm

Do you take your laundry down to the river with a wooden scribbling board and out it through a wrangle? No, Lazy girl!

that has to be one of the most bizarre things anybody has ever said to me in all my years on forums. Bravo. grin

Seriously it takes a couple of minutes to wash plates and pans when they are still fresh, rinse under tap and leave to dry on the drainer. There's nothing time consuming about it and no extra products to buy or electricity to use and space being used up in the kitchen for an extra appliance. Takes all sorts I suppose. smile

wonderingagain Sat 22-Jun-13 13:46:31

You will evolve to grow extra scouring fingers and your skin will develop a rubber sillicone coating. The washup brigade are definitely a different species.

Pannacotta Sat 22-Jun-13 15:25:44

wondering what is an industrial tap?
Can anyone recommend a good tap, one which is easy to use with mucky hands and easy to clean too!

moondog Sat 22-Jun-13 19:03:58

Regarding time saved with dishwasher argument, people who don't cook make the same argument about convenience foods which again I don't buy (no pun intended).
An omelette or sardines on toast takes minutes.
All that faffing with microwaves and stirring and piercing plastic. Urrgh. Soul destroying.
I saw a well dressed woman in M&S the other day with what seemed to be shopping for four. Lots of the same meal times four. By the time thei last one had been microwaved, first one would be cold surely?

Similarly all those 'dine in for £10' deals.
Each to their own, but microwaving food is not my idea of a romantic evening in with my dh.

BasilBabyEater Sat 22-Jun-13 20:30:44

Microwave ovens come into their own when you are making sauces.

You cannot fuck up a bechamel if you do it in the microwave and it takes about 3 minutes. You never have to deal with lumps, you don't have to guard the hob and if you step away (to wash a pan as you go along wink) it won't be ruined.

Also there are brilliant recipe books for proper meals which you can use the microwave oven for. I've got one. I haven't actually looked at it for ten years grin but in principle I know you can use a microwave oven for loads more than just heating up beans or ready meals. <Note to self - take a look at that recipe book>

Does anyone else have a shelf of recipe books they don't look at any more because it's quicker to get it from the internet?

notcitrus Sat 22-Jun-13 20:54:16

BasilBaby - tell me how to do bechamel in the microwave? Now I can't cook without a toddler clinging to me, I've been buying the stuff in cartons...

Currently I have a step running all across my kitchen cutting it in half, so going from the fridge to the hob or sink involves a step down, and from the hob to the sink involves going round a table and chairs. Yes it is ridiculous, and I dream of the day hopefully in about 6 weeks when the entire sodding room is being knocked down, stupid step, tiles that actually have a pattern of grey smears, and all.

moondog Sat 22-Jun-13 20:56:11

I am a real hoarder of cookery books but in light of new kitchen and Rethinking Life, I have moved them into the kitchen and decided if they don't fit into the cupboard I have designated for them, they have to go.

Thus there is a pile in the garage with all the furniture I no longer want/need and plan to flog but I am wavering. Is it bad and a tacky move to get rid of cookery books?
Even naff stuff like Gary Rhodes numbers from 1992?

moondog Sat 22-Jun-13 20:58:56

I have an integrated microwave/cooker now (still not worked out how to use it) and did very well with a £26 number from Asda for years. Nowt against microwaves, I just wouldn't want my whole dinner to come from one.
I worked out how to do porridge in one which saved me from a gluey saucepan every morning before going to work.

BasilBabyEater Sat 22-Jun-13 21:14:26

Here you go notcitrus

I like adding a bayleaf once you've added the first bit of milk, to give it that infused flavour. If I want a posher sauce and have time I use pre-infused (with peppercorns, bayleaf, carrot and onion) milk. Then you can just use that milk to pour in - you can infuse that in the microwave too. I'm not all that keen on nutmeg in white sauces so often leave out.

Honestly, I'd never do it on the hob again, unless the microwave was actually broken.

BasilBabyEater Sat 22-Jun-13 21:17:30

I haven't quite come to terms with porridge in a microwave. Does it have to be special microwaveable porridge, or will any oats do?

Must mention scrambled eggs - again, they come out perfect every time from the microwave, no damp pools on your toast.

moondog Sat 22-Jun-13 21:30:11

Just regular oats.
I buy the cheapest there are-a huge bag at a time.
You do it on medium and stop every now and again and stir.
I'll try the béchamel too, and the scrambled eggs. I was doing eggs in microwave when we were all cooped up in one room like illegal aliens while they knocked down walls and what have you but came out as solid mass with liquid centre. Too fierce in terms of power? Mind you, I find that hard to believe with £26 microwave.

BasilBabyEater Sat 22-Jun-13 21:58:22

I do them for a minute then stir then another 30 seconds to a minute depending on how much, then stir again when they come out if needed - they come out perfect every time.

Will try the porridge thing.

wonderingagain Sun 23-Jun-13 00:05:53

I was taught that you have to 'toast' the flour in the butter until it smells a bit biscuity. Probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a microwaved one anyway though.

wonderingagain Sun 23-Jun-13 00:09:23

I make it Gordon Ramsay style - doesn't take any longer than the microwave version and you don't have to keep opening doors.


Jaynebxl Sun 23-Jun-13 07:01:44

Wow, Bechemel in a microwave? I think I've just had a revelation! Can't stand scrambled eggs microwaved though. They don't have that lovely light fluffiness in my experience. Mind you we keep chickens, have glorious fresh eggs and are total egg snobs grin

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