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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?

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.

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