As we enter the silly season and your home becomes a hub for entertaining, it’s only natural to look around your tired kitchen and wonder if 2020 is the year for that kitchen renovation you have been talking about?
When planning your new kitchen layout the ‘working triangle’ is often referred to as the perfect place to start. The triangle was created to ensure no more than a few steps are taken between the fridge, cooktop/oven and sink, but as we approach 2020 do these century old rules still apply?
Back when the kitchen triangle was developed kitchens were small, with only a couple of big appliances required, and the usability of the space narrowly focused on only one cook being in the kitchen at a time. This is a stark contrast to the Australian kitchens of the twenty-first century with bigger kitchens to house a multitude of appliances from dishwashers to microwaves, double sinks and separate cook tops and wall ovens, it makes the neat kitchen triangle very difficult to achieve in the heart of the home. And that’s before you even consider how many people will be in and out of the space working and socializing! It’s no wonder we have seen the 3 zone kitchen triangle evolve into 5 work zones to maximize functionality in a larger space to suit all users of the kitchen.
You will zone your kitchen according to the 5 key tasks performed within the kitchen, keeping in mind that you will not only need to group the appliances and fittings together required to perform these tasks but also allocate storage to ensure you have all of the equipment you need within the one zone.
Consumables zone: This zone consists of your fridge and pantry; place them together for easy access to all of your food products.
Preparation zone: This is your bench space, conveniently located in close proximity to your consumable zone for packing and unpacking all of your food products. Also closely located to your cooking zone, for meal preparation. Ideally you want to aim for at least 1.2m of open, uninterrupted bench space dedicated to your preparation zone.
Cooking zone: The cooktop, oven and microwave, are zoned together to maximise productivity, and minimize travelling from one end of the kitchen to the other when you have more than one dish on the go. Oils and spices, as well as cooking utensils should also be kept within the cooking zone.
Non-consumables zone: Your cooking and dining items such as pots, pans and plates, are kept all together in this zone to avoid opening every drawer and cupboard throughout the kitchen to find that one bowl.
Cleaning zone: The sink, dishwasher and bin live in this zone as well as all of the required utensils from washing up liquid to bin liners. Ideally you will locate the sink in the middle of the bin and dishwasher to ease the cleaning process. This allows you stand in front of the sink and pivot to scrape scraps into the bin before rinsing at the sink and then pivot to stack the dishwasher. It’s all about maximizing productivity, particularly when cleaning is involved!
By separating your kitchen into these 5 zones you will set your kitchen design up for success, allowing all users to harmoniously come and go from the space. Need help integrating the ‘five-zone’ approach into your 2020 kitchen renovation? Our team of experts can work with you to transform your kitchen, simply book a FREE in-home consultation with one of our kitchen designers today.