Kube Kitchens

Kitchen Design - Step 3: Designing by Zones

The idea of designing a kitchen by zones is a slightly broader take on the work triangle.  This is not to say it replaces the work triangle, but it should be seen as an expansion of it.  While the work triangle focusses on the sink, cooking and fridge area, zone designing expands on this to include such things as the eating and prep areas or zones.  I guess you could say that kitchen design by zones is a modern take and expansion of the work triangle and when planning your kitchen, both should be taken into consideration.

Kitchen Design Zones

So the 5 main kitchen design zones are:

1.  Consumables

The consumable zone is the area in your kitchen where food items for cooking and baking are stored.  These items are both chilled and unchilled and include bread, tea, coffee, sugar, flour, canned food, milk and other chilled food and frozen food.  They need to be easily accessible for everyday use and when designing your kitchen, make sure you plan in enough storage space as possible for these consumable items.

With this in mind, it is obvious that the fridge and freezer are an integral part of the consumable zone in your kitchen.  But you also have lots of unchilled food that needs to be stored and a great way of doing this is by having a larder unit in this area.  You will find they hold most of your food items when coupled with the fridge and freezer and they offer easy access to everyday food.

2.  Non-Consumables

Non-consumables are items that are not foodstuffs.  Items that will be stored in this zone are things like cutlery, plates, glasses, utensils and storage containers.  As these are heavily used items in the kitchen, it is important to have easy and comfortable access to them so it is worth considering keeping them in the lower base units and using pull out drawers and wireworks to store them in.

You will also notice from the above illustration that the non-consumable kitchen zone and the cleaning zone and next to each other.  This is so that you can wash dishes, glasses and cutlery and easily put them away, making your kitchen easier to work in.

3.  Cleaning Zone

The cleaning zone in your kitchen is the area where the sink and dishwasher are positioned.  In this area you will also store things like cleaning detergents, cleaning utensils, bin bags etc.  It is also the ideal area to have your waste bin as food waste can be scraped off plates and go straight into the sink or dishwasher.

For undersink storage, it is worth considering undersink drawers.  These drawers are shaped inside to avoid waste pipes but offer easy access to an otherwise awkward area.  All your cleaning products and even your waste bin can be housed in these drawers so they really do make great use out of the sink cabinet.  If you sort out your household waste into non-recycleable, recycleable and food waste then you should consider having a sorter bin fitted that will allow you to do that.

4.  Preparation Zone

Lots of people find that the area of their kitchen where they would like more space is in the preperation zone.  Therefore when you are designing your kitchen try to factor in as much room as possible for this area.

As this is the area of the kitchen where you will be preparing food, it is important to have items close to hand that you regularly use when cooking and baking.  Things like your knife block, certain utensils, chopping boards, oils, spices, mixing bowls and small appliances should be kept around this area so that you don't have to walk long distances to get them.  This zone should also be in close proximity to both the cooking and cleaning/sink area so that food items can be easily dropped into pots and pans and water can be got with relative ease.

5.  Cooking Zone

The cooking zone is obviously where the oven, hob, extractor and microwave are positioned in the kitchen.  You will therefore store items such as pots, pans and cooking utensils here so they are to hand when cooking.  A set of pot drawers are ideal for this area especially when a utensil drawer is placed in the same cabinet.  One thing that is very important in this area of the kitchen is counter space.  It is important to be able to take food from the hob or oven and put it on plates or serving trays without having to move around the kitchen for safety and convenience reasons.

To sum up the Kitchen Design by Zones step, it is a useful guide when designing a kitchen and offers a template so that you consider all the important area of the kitchen.  The illustration above is for demonstration purposes only and will vary slightly depending on the layout of your kitchen and its size.  Some cleaning, cooking or preperation zones may be incorporated into an island unit and this is obviously fine as long as the basic guidelines are followed and the right amount of space is allocated to them.  So in general the designing by zones model of kitchen design is a great way of making sure you have everything covered.
Go back to "The KitchenIndex.ie 7 Steps of Kitchen Design"

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Move on to the next step: Step 4: What Does A Kitchen Mean To You?
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