The Kitchen Work Triangle: As Seen In Real Kitchens!

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Diana Paulson)

The kitchen work triangle is a design concept that can help create efficient use of kitchen work spaces. The idea is that a line drawn to the refrigerator, sink, and range should create a relatively even-sided triangle within which the major kitchen activities take place.

The triangle layout can reduce unnecessary movement in the kitchen, making your use of the space more efficient. The first image in the gallery above gives you the idea in a diagrammatic way. And following, we thought we’d show you the triangle overlaid on some real spaces (from The Kitchn’s kitchen tours) to really illustrate the idea. Here are a few real kitchens that more or less stick to the triangle layout:

1 Some diagrammatic examples of the kitchen work triangle.
2 A Lovely ‘Before’ from Rena and Derek
3 An efficient little triangle in Jill’s Small Powerhouse of a Kitchen (there’s a good-sized kitchen sink to the right, just outside of this shot).
4 A well-centered triangle in

Ashley’s Bright and Efficient Kitchen

5 From Ulrika and Mark’s Transformed Tudor

6 Ashley Ann’s $500 Light and Lovely Remodel
7 By the books: Pratt Designer Infused Kitchen
8 The broad and functional triangle in

Kelly Moseley’s Calming Austin Kitchen


10 In

Scott and Ray’s Colorful 10-Year Renovation

What kitchens’ work triangles seem to work best here? Do the workhorse appliances in your kitchen form a triangle? Do you agree that this guideline is helpful or are there other kitchen layouts you prefer?

Related: Same Layout, Different Kitchens: Which Do You Prefer?

(Images: See linked posts above for full image credits.)