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When planning a kitchen remodel, getting the design right will maximize the use and appearance of your space, and applying the 5-zone kitchen design will help you do just that. But what exactly is this concept, and how does it vary from the old kitchen triangle idea?


What Is a 5-Zone Kitchen?

Back in the 1970s, the idea behind the kitchen triangle was born. Kitchens were typically small and used only for meal preparation. As such, they needed to be designed in such a way to maximize efficiency. This included organizing essential elements around the kitchen triangle – the refrigerator, oven, and sink – with only a few steps between each.


The 5-zone kitchen takes this idea even further and incorporates these 5 zones:


  1. Cooking – the oven, range top, microwave
  2. Cleaning – the area used to move dirty items to where they can be cleaned or disposed of (i.e. the sink, dishwasher, trash can)
  3. Food storage – the refrigerator, pantry, or cabinets
  4. Kitchen essentials – pots, pans, silverware, dishes
  5. Meal preparation – countertop space


With the right amount of distance between each of these zones, it’s simple to make kitchen tasks easy and efficient.


Why Choose a 5-Zone Kitchen Design vs. the Traditional Kitchen Triangle?

The short answer to this question is that today’s homeowners expect more from their kitchens. In by-gone eras, families used their kitchens primarily for meal preparation. In today’s modern home, however, kitchens are more multifunctional. They’re still used for cooking but also for entertaining, dining, living, and even as a space for kids to work on homework while a caregiver prepares a meal.


With that in mind, here are some reasons why the 5-zone kitchen beats the old kitchen triangle design in today’s kitchens:


A 5-zone kitchen design works better with open-concept kitchens.

One of the most popular current kitchen design trends is an open concept floor plan. With this type of design, the kitchen is no longer a separate room. Instead, it’s open to the adjacent living or dining spaces and traffic can flow effortlessly between each area.


With an open-plan kitchen, family members or visitors are still able to have personal space but the openness creates a feeling of togetherness. The 5-zone kitchen design keeps the area organized and efficient despite its lack of solid boundaries.


This Mission Viejo kitchen is wide open to the adjacent living area but everything inside the kitchen is positioned perfectly for efficient use.



Multifunctional kitchens are essential for everyday living.

There’s no question that modern kitchens are often larger than those in decades past. For most homeowners, that’s because of what they expect to do IN their kitchens. The modern family wants a space that’s large enough for entertainment but also functional enough for everyday use.


Picture bar seating at an island for an informal meal or snack, a stylish desk area for paying bills or doing homework, and expansive countertop space for the gourmet cook. The 5-zone kitchen design makes it possible to adapt to the needs of different people using the space and what they plan to do in it.


In this coastal Newport Beach kitchen, an L-shaped breakfast nook offers a cozy place to have an informal meal or a spot to catch up on some computer work while a meal is in the oven.



The 5-zone kitchen allows for more extensive storage options.

One of the things today’s homeowners are looking for in a kitchen remodel is the feeling of uncluttered elegance. In order to achieve this, there must be enough storage and the right type of storage for each kitchen zone. High quality kitchen cabinets still fulfill that purpose but there are now even more options than that.


Popular storage options in the 5-zone kitchen include:


  • A butler’s pantry – items can be left out but not in sight of the main work area
  • Appliance niches – things like mixers or toasters are out of sight when not in use but readily available when needed
  • Double islands – these provide more under-the-counter space for cabinets as well as built-in appliances, not to mention more countertop work area
  • Open shelving (for the kitchen items you DO want people to see)


This Irvine kitchen remodel features a variety of storage options including open shelving, island cabinets, traditional wall cabinets, and cabinets with frosted glass doors which give a subtle hint at what’s stored inside.



Maximize Your Kitchen’s Beauty and Functionality With the Orange County Kitchen Remodeling Experts

Does a 5-zone kitchen make sense for every home? Not necessarily. Smaller kitchens, for example, may still benefit from applying the traditional kitchen triangle concept. When you work with a professional kitchen designer, they’ll help you see exactly what’s needed to make your unique space functional but beautiful.


At Sea Pointe Design & Remodel, we believe that you can maximize kitchen function without having to sacrifice aesthetics. Using design elements like the 5-zone kitchen, our award-winning design team works with each client to combine the best of both worlds. The end result? You get a finished product that you and your family will use and love for years to come!


To learn more about the quality of our work, browse through our online portfolio of completed projects or visit our Irvine kitchen and bath showroom. You can also register for one of our upcoming remodeling webinars to learn helpful remodeling tips from the pros.


Then, when you’re ready to start planning your own kitchen remodel, simply give us a call at (949) 861-3400 or fill out the form below to schedule your complimentary design consultation.



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What’s a 5-Zone Kitchen & Why Should You Consider It? was last modified: April 23rd, 2024 by admin