Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Guidelines For Making the Most Out of Your Kitchen Area

Arranging and planning the layout of a kitchen, according to interior design experts, is very much dependent on the demands of the homeowner, as well as on the impulse or urges of the architect. Based on a study made by architects from the University of Illinois, the concept of a kitchen "work triangle" revolved on the three basic roles or functions of the kitchen, which are storage, preparation, and cooking. The team who devised the kitchen work triangle concept asserted that the standard outline would be a triangle with the refrigerator, the stove and the sink at a vertex each, whereas a single-file kitchen layout would have these three on one wall.

While the University of Illinois architectural team coined the term "work triangle" for the kitchen, the phrase actually began as an industrial process, with the late Henry Ford organizing his manufacturing team in a way that they worked on a specific set of tasks within as small an area as possible, in order to efficiently complete the vehicle manufacturing process. The University team then got hold of the idea, and adopted the model as a method for maximizing kitchen design. Basically, the idea of a kitchen working triangle revolves around a guideline which imposes ideal distances between the kitchen sink, the refrigerator and the cooker. Aside from this standard, there are other factors to consider as well. The concept implies that the refrigerator is the most visited appliance in the kitchen, and is an important piece in the kitchen work triangle, since a lot of necessary items are stored in it, and everyone goes there for the water, the cold beer, juice, hotdog and just about anything else that requires a cold storage. Because of this, the positioning of this important appliance equipment is so vital and needs a lot of consideration.

Generally, most standard kitchen layouts are done in a manner, in such that there must be a gas oven or a microwave oven or other cooking gadgets, as well as a sink that provides water for cooking and washing the dishes or utensils. There would also be a contiguous pantry room, kitchen cabinets and a freezer compartment. In some other arrangements, a family will have the laundry machine right in the kitchen, so they place it in a nook or closet in the kitchen. The concept of a kitchen design or layout is a relatively modern idea, with the publishing of a book called "A Treatise on Domestic Economy", done in 1843. Catherine Beecheer, the book's author, wrote about the systematic blueprint for designing the "model kitchen". The early concept placed extra focus on the assertions of having enough space with shelves on the wall, as well as storage space for various food items. The author then separated the cooking area from the location where the food preparations are made. Because of this, she moved the stove into a compartment adjacent to the kitchen.

Modern kitchen safety and health regulations indicate that stoves, ovens or cookers should not be located under windows, or next to doors. Under the kitchen work triangle arrangement, the left hand wall should be the most conducive area for positioning the cooker. The kitchen sink on the other hand, could be transferred or constructed under a window, which will mean that those working there would have a clear view of the garden, or the backyard, depending on where the kitchen is placed. Devising a work triangle in your own kitchen could help in reducing excess movement by centering your work space, because you certainly don't want to waste your time running around a disorganized section of your home, when you could be doing something else important.

Jo is a writer for 'Benchmark Interiors' (, a UK kitchen furniture company that focuses in bespoke handmade kitchens, bedroom and home office furniture development and fabrication. If you are keen on creating a luxury kitchen> and would like it to be elegant yet functional or just would like to know about bespoke kitchens design then you ought to check out Benchmark Interiors.

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