The art and practice of interior design presents endless opportunities for creativity and self expression. At the same time, there are certain tried-and-true guidelines and rules that savvy practitioners have come to rely on again and again. In the kitchen, one such rule in particular has remained relevant and unchanged for nearly a century, and for very good reason: it works without fail!

It’s called the triangle rule, and it’s a principle that holds just as true today as when it was first conceived back in the 1920s. Lillian Moller Gilbreth, an industrial psychologist and engineer, partnered with the Brooklyn Borough Gas Company to design the optimal kitchen layout. Based on her research concerning economy of motion, Gilbreth’s “Kitchen Practical” was first presented at a Women’s Exposition in 1929.

Introduced as “circular routing,” the concept was later labeled more simply as the “kitchen work triangle.” It soon became the definitive guideline for ensuring the most efficient possible use of any kitchen, regardless of size or shape.

Basically, the triangle rule stipulates that the zones occupied by the fridge, sink, and stove, as the room’s major work centres, should always be situated in the shape of a triangle. Specifically:

  1. The spaces should be no less than 4 feet and no more than 9 feet apart.
  2. The sum of all three sides of the triangle should measure between 13 and 26 feet.
  3. Islands, free standing cabinets and other sizeable elements should not encroach more than 12 inches into the triangle.
  4. If possible, no major traffic should flow through the triangle.

That’s it! Four simple steps to ensuring optimal functionality and flow as you move about your kitchen.
Here at LFI Design, we’re full of bright ideas like this to reduce the stress and ensure the success of your every design decision. Take some time to browse our website and then let us know how we can help!