Kitchen designers often utilize the work triangle, a term that refers to the placement of the refrigerator, sink, and range, and their relationship to one another. The three legs of the triangle should be no shorter than 4 feet and no longer than 9 feet, meaning that each of the major elements (refrigerator, sink and range) should be no less than 4 and no more than 9 feet apart. Very large kitchens with more than one refrigerator or sink may have overlapping work triangles. Most kitchens fall into one of these categories:
Galley kitchens – have an entry-exit on each end with cabinets and countertops lining parallel walls.
One-wall kitchens – have the sink, refrigerator, and range all on the same wall.
L-shaped kitchens – have work areas on adjacent walls and can include an island.
U-shaped kitchens – have work areas on three adjacent walls.
G-shaped kitchens – are basically U-shaped kitchens with an extra stretch of cabinets at one end.
Before deciding on a layout, consider the common traffic patterns in your kitchen. It's best to place the refrigerator at the outer corner of the cooking area so that people can walk in to get a snack without getting in your way when you are attending to hot pans on the stove.
Also think about how traffic from adjacent areas, such as the dining room, will affect your plan. Don't place the dishwasher in a spot where it will open into the doorway that people walk through with stacks of dishes from the kitchen table, for example.
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