Think of zone design as an expansion upon, rather than a replacement for, the classic work triangle approach to kitchen design and layout. It’s a practical (and increasingly popular) way to group kitchen activities together in appropriately organized spaces, allowing for multiple cooks and work centers.
The original model for this designates the zones as being very clear cut, with cleaning next to preparation, followed by cooking. Dishes are conveniently stored next to the cleaning area.
- Consumables (Food Storage)
- Non-consumables (Dishes, glassware, pots/pans)
- Cleaning (sink & dishwasher)
- Preparation (counter space mostly, preparation utensils)
- Cooking (cooktop, ovens and microwave)
This new model changes things
Kitchens.com came up with a new model that is a bit more American and a bit less rigid by separating the cooking & baking areas. Designers in this country have been trained to separate cooking, which needs frequent monitoring, from the baking area, which requires little to no attention until the bell rings. Ovens are usually pushed to more remote areas of the kitchen. The new model also takes into account the importance of new technology/communication areas and eating spaces that should be taken into account in their own zones. While the work triangle focuses on the positioning of the range, refrigerator and sink, zone design addresses the full scope of appliances, plumbing fixtures and gadgets available to today’s homeowners. It also considers the many activities — entertaining, doing homework, charging cell phones and more — that occur in the kitchen, as well as the fact that kitchen size is growing and floor plans are more open to the rest of the home.
But don’t fret if you don’t have a kitchen large enough to house a distinct area for every activity: few people do. Prep, cooking and cleanup areas are the primary zones, and they’re mandatory. All other zones (baking, beverage and communication centers, for example) are not necessary and therefore called auxiliary zones. By combining some zones into one area or eliminating zones that don’t fit into your layout and lifestyle, you can make your kitchen multi-task just like you do.