8 core principals of kitchen design

Kitchens take on their own personality with the finishes you choose. From the colors to the tiles the options are endless. With all this possibility, there are some things that all kitchens have in common. A proper kitchen follows the 8 core principals of kitchen design. From the work triangle to ease of use, follow these design principals when restoring your kitchen.

The Work Triangle

When designing a kitchen there should be a well-planned work triangle. This is the relationship between the refrigerator, sink and stove. You want the walking distance between these top used objects in the kitchen to be free, clear and easy to maneuver. You must have room to turn between these areas if you are in a wheelchair.

Ease of Use

When designing the kitchen you should keep in mind how it will be used. A dishwasher is great for washing glasses. What is even better is if all the glasses are stored in cabinets above the dishwasher. The combination of these two items in the same space makes it easy to put the dishes away. If the sink is close to the dining table, it is easier to clean up at the end of the meal. If the pots and pans and seasonings are near the hotplate and oven it is easier to cook. Consider ease of use when planning the countertops, cabinets and placement of appliances.

Consider Your Lifestyle

If you are going to be making a lot of pies you will want a smooth countertop for rolling dough rather than a tile countertop. If you have small children who may spill things, marble countertops may not be the best choice. A universal design idea is to offer counters at varying heights. You can use the same material throughout or vary the materials depending on what the space will be used for.

Practicality of Use

When planning cabinets you need to plan for the person living in the space. You do not want to have all the cabinets out of reach of the person living in the home. Shelving racks installed in the cabinetry can make a space more efficient. Lower cabinets benefit from drawers with sliders that pull out. Corner cabinets benefit from a turntable so that you do not have to reach into the back corner.

Minimize Risk

In a kitchen there are many dangers. Sharp knives, hot stoves and the abundance of water and electricity are a concern. A good design principle to follow is that the tolerance for error should be low. Outlets should be positioned away from the sink. Consider safety when you are planning kitchen renovations.


To create flow in the kitchen you should not interrupt the work triangle. You do not want to place a tower of cabinets in between the sink and stove or stove and fridge. You want to be able to easily slide between these stations.

Low Effort

It should not be a hassle to move around the kitchen. If you are short and cannot reach the counters this is an issue. If you have low vision and cannot see under the countertops you run into another issue. Make your kitchen work for you.

Follow Traffic

Especially with all the action that takes place in a kitchen you need to be aware of the flow between doorways. A kitchen island is wonderful, unless people walk into it over and over again. Live in the kitchen for a week or two before you remodel to see what the flow of traffic will be.

Following these core principles will help you design the perfect kitchen.


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