Kitchen layouts made easy

It’s true what they say. Form really does equal function and nowhere is this more evident than in the kitchen. Being able to move around this key workspace easily and efficiently makes time in the kitchen something to enjoy, not something to endure.

So what’s the secret?

You may be surprised to hear it’s not all about the amount of storage and benchspace you have. Good kitchen design actually starts with the basics of layout. A poor layout is a recipe for disaster.

Working triangle

An efficient kitchen layout relies on what is known as a “working triangle”. It refers to the three main kitchen elements – storage, preparation and cooking. You may also hear these referred to in terms of the fridge, the sink and the cooker. For maximum efficiency, these three zones need to be close enough together that you’re not too far between each one, but not so close as to feel cramped.

The working triangle can be seen in action in a number of tried-and-tested kitchen layouts, including galley-style and U-shaped. These are two of the most popular layouts and both work well in today’s open-plan homes.

Working triangle

(Working triangle kitchen layouts - Pinterest)


Think of this layout as creating two parallel lines. It’s a popular arrangement as it makes good use of space and works especially well with contemporary design styles. It also ensures the home chef isn’t isolated from the living area. They can even take stage centre, enjoying instant ‘celebrity-chef’ status when the cooktop is positioned facing the living area.


Considered a more traditional kitchen layout, a U-shaped kitchen makes use of three sides of the space. It typically creates a squarer kitchen, with more benchtop and storage than you might find in a galley-style design.

Regardless of which layout you opt for, the position of the fridge and the pantry is critical to the balance of your ‘working triangle’.

The Maker Designer Kitchens

(U-shaped kitchen - The Maker Designer Kitchens)

One of the following options usually works best:

Side by side

Having the fridge and pantry next to each other is handy for the family cook as all your ingredients are close together in the same zone.

Lotus display home - kitchen

(Side by side style layout of the Lotus display home - Dale Alcock Homes)

Opposite ends

Positioning the fridge and pantry at either end of the kitchen is a good solution in family homes as everyone has easy access to drinks and snacks, without crossing the cooking zone to get to them.

The Maker Designer Kitchens

(Opposite ends style layout - The Maker Designer Kitchens)

Another thing to remember is that kitchen layouts have evolved in recent years to accommodate greater use of technology. Today, an e-nook or a simple drop zone is a must in many kitchens. It’s perfect for recharging the iPad and searching online for a little dinner inspiration or that must-see baking tutorial.

Bon appétit!

How can we help you transform your kitchen and create an efficient working triangle?

Download your free kitchen renovation guide or have a chat to one of our Design Consultants to book your free design consultation here.