What is a 5-zone kitchen and why do I need one?
The kitchen has grown from a space purely designed for preparing and cooking food to one that is used for entertaining, dining and even working. The 5 zone kitchen has two main benefits; A logical flow within the space to make preparing, cooking and cleaning up a seamless and efficient process and assigning dedicated work spaces to allow multiple people to easily complete different tasks at the same time. Think of it like a factory line - different tasks are completed concurrently in a dedicated space with the right tools and equipment at hand. We just apply this same principal to the kitchen. So, what are the zones and how should we arrange them?
All the ingredients you need for cooking, split between both perishable and non-perishable goods. It’s best to have the pantry and fridge close by to ensure you can grab the necessary ingredients at once.
Dedicated bench space for preparing the meal. Consider how much workspace you need for the types of meals you create and make sure things like knives, chopping boards, mixing bowls, oils and spices are nearby. It’s often best to have the preparation zone next to your consumables to save travelling back and forth.
These are all your pots, pans, crockery, cutlery and glassware. Cooking equipment should be kept closer to the cooking zone and all your serving or eating utensils should be kept closer to where you plate up meals.
This zone comprises your oven and cooktop and should ideally be housed between your preparation and cleaning areas. Cooking utensils as well as pots, pans etc. should all be nearby so everything you need for cooking is at hand.
Finally we have the cleaning area. This comprises the rubbish bin, sink and dishwasher. These should be grouped together to create a seamless clean up. Scraps go in the bin, cutlery and crockery gets a rinse in the sink and then everything goes into the dishwasher.
It’s important to remember there is no one size fits all approach for every kitchen but considering how each of the 5 zones interact with each other in your design is an important step in creating a functional, efficient and seamless space.