For years, the ‘golden triangle’ – referring to a triangular placement of fridge, stove and sink – was considered the most efficient way to design a kitchen.
It worked, but times have changed and we’ve realised not everyone wants the same thing from their kitchen space. Just as some people love to entertain guests and others happily spend hours baking up a solitary storm, so too will their dream kitchens have quite different needs.
Enter the ‘zone’ method, a more versatile approach that allows a kitchen to be customised to suit the specific needs of each home chef. If you’re planning a kitchen layout, zoning is a practical way to go. Here are five different zones to consider, plus the top appliances and tricks to tailor them to your exact needs.
The cooking zone
One of the fundamentals of every great kitchen, the cooking zone usually comprises an oven, cooktop and microwave. You might stack them vertically with the oven sitting under the cooktop, or you may prefer to separate them so the oven can be mounted at a custom height. Either way, allow plenty of bench space around these appliances and keep frequently used cooking utensils stored within easy reach.
When planning your cooking zone, be realistic about the type of food you cook and how you like to prepare it. For example, if you enjoy chatting to other members of your household while you cook, consider positioning your cooking zone appliances in a kitchen island, instead of around the perimeter. The Westinghouse WHI955BD 90cm Induction Cooktop is ideal for this, as it heats up quickly but the safer induction surface doesn’t feel hot to the touch. Home chefs also love the cooktop’s cutting-edge BoilProtect feature, which detects rising bubbles in boiling water and automatically reduces to a low simmer to prevent boiling over (BoilProtect applies to stainless steel and enamelled pots filled with water only).
Alternatively, a freestanding cooker offers extra versatility and generally boasts a large cooking capacity that’s brilliant for bigger households. The Westinghouse WFEP9757DD 90cm Freestanding Electric Cooker combines a safe and efficient 5-zone induction cooktop with a spacious 125-litre oven complete with 10 innovative functions to take your cooking zone to the next level. These include an AirFry function to cook crispy, crunchy foods with less oil, and Roast +Steam for the juiciest roast dinner you’ll ever cook.
The baking zone
The right oven is also a centrepiece of this zone but if you take baking seriously, you’ll want to kit out the area with some specific features. Be sure to install additional powerpoints and extra bench space in your baking zone so you can use a mixer or food processor. Store other tools – such as measuring cups, whisks, rolling pins and baking pans – nearby so you can seamlessly transfer your mixture from bowl to pan to oven.
Speaking of the oven, Westinghouse is always happy to help bakers achieve their very best results. The new Westinghouse WVEP6918DD 60cm Pyrolytic Oven boasts 19 different cooking programs including a Bake +Steam function that gives bread, cakes, pastries and scones a crispier crust, fluffier centre and the perfect rise.
The consumables zone
Having a well-organised space to store food keeps every kitchen running efficiently. Ideally, your fridge/freezer and pantry should be grouped together so you can easily move between the two when preparing food. Adding bench space nearby makes the consumables zone even more practical when you’re unpacking groceries.
The drinks zone
Ready to get creative? A drinks zone can be adapted to suit your beverage of choice. Ice on tap? No problem. The Westinghouse 564L French door fridge in matte charcoal black (WQE5650BA) has an automatic icemaker. If you’re a coffee devotee, set aside space to create your own barista-style hub, complete with espresso machine, bean grinder and an airtight container to keep your beans fresh. Position your favourite mug nearby so everything is exactly where it should be to brew the perfect cup.
If cocktails are more your speed, set up a dedicated cart or cabinet to house your preferred spirits plus a set of bar tools such as a shaker, strainer and muddler. Give this zone extra flair by adding your favourite decorative cocktail glasses.
The cleaning zone
Just as important as your cooking areas, a well-planned cleaning zone allows you to scrape and stack dirty dishes with ease. Ideally it will be ordered from left to right, moving from garbage and food waste bins to the sink and then on to the dishwasher. Fast wash cycles make for entertaining or high-rotation use dishes is made easy with the Westinghouse Freestanding Dishwasher in Dark Stainless (WSF6608KXA).
One appliance you don’t need to worry about scrubbing clean is your oven, thanks to the pyrolytic self-cleaning function in Westinghouse’s new Kitchen range of electric ovens. Simply tap the button and leave the oven to heat to an incredibly high temperature, turning grease and splashes into ash that is easily wiped away.