When you’re creating your basic layout, remember that you want the space between your three major appliances (fridge, stove and sink) to be unobstructed. The rule of thumb is that each leg of the triangle should be no less than 4′ and no more than 9′ and the total perimeter of the triangle should measure no more than 26′. To be honest, I’ve never used this method. I just try to keep them as close as possible while still allowing for efficient counter space, which brings me to my next point.
Think about where to place unobstructed counter space.
Your work triangle will dictate where to place counter space. For example, you will need sufficient counter space on both sides of the sink for dirty and clean dishes. Usually, we leave 24″ for the dishwasher on one side and no less than 18″ on the other side of the sink.
You will also need a minimum of 18″ on at least one side of the fridge to be able to place groceries when taking them out of the fridge. The pantry is usually placed next to the fridge because it’s the same depth of the fridge, therefore creating only one floor to ceiling obstruction in your kitchen.
I like to leave a minimum of 18″ on both sides of the stove. Some designers are comfortable leaving less but this is your main work surface where you are dealing with hot pots and pans and you need enough space to place the utensils you’re using as well as all of your ingredients.
Of course if I just relied on these minimums, I would not have enough functional counter space, therefore another rule is to have at least 36″ of uninterrupted counter space for your prep station. It’s not very important where you put it, but I’ve found that close to the sink is ideal.
Make sure you have enough space to comfortably open doors.
Will you be able to open your fridge and the facing dishwasher at the same time? If you open your corner dishwasher, will it prevent you from opening the drawers beside it? These are all things that you have to think about. If you make the conscious decision to sacrifice being able to open both your fridge and dishwasher at the same time for the sake of your layout, so be it. But if you don’t think of it at all and end up with this inconvenience that could have been avoided, you won’t be very happy.
How far should your island be from the rest of your kitchen?
If it’s a one person kitchen, the minimum is 36″, but I find this very tight. If space allows, I like to leave a minimum of 42-…