A kitchen with mosiac backsplash tile and wood cabinets.
Tria Giovan

Beginner or Pro?

Are you America's Next Top Chef or would you mistake a warming drawer for a trash compactor? Answer a few simple questions to determine your kitchen competency.


A modern kitchen with cabinets.
Alec Hemer

Question 1: Kitchen Cabinets

The standard depth for kitchen cabinets is:

A. 21 inches
B. 21 1/2 inches
C. 24 inches


A close up of kitchen cabinets.
Thomas J. Story

The Answer: Kitchen Cabinets

The standard depth for kitchen cabinets is:

A. 21 inches
B. 21 1/2 inches
C. 24 inches

Answer: The standard depth for kitchen cabinets is 24 inches, something to consider when you’re buying appliances such as refrigerators, which can extend up beyond the cabinet depth by up to 10 inches.

Learn More:
Basics: Your Guide to Refrigerators
Basics: Kitchen Cabinets


A white kitchen with stainless steel appliances.
Thomas J. Story/ Sunset

Question 2: Work Triangle

What are the elements of the conventional "work triangle"?

A. Sink, refrigerator and cooktop.
B. Cooktop, refrigerator and dishwasher.
C. Sink, dishwasher and cooktop.


A modern kitchen with a work triangle.
Thomas J. Story

The Answer: Work Triangle

What are the elements of the conventional "work triangle"?

A. Sink, refrigerator and cooktop.
B. Cooktop, refrigerator and dishwasher.
C. Sink, dishwasher and cooktop.

Answer: The traditional "work triangle" is the sink, refrigerator and cooktop. Devised in the 1950s to minimize the harried housewife's movement around the kitchen, the triangle has since been replaced by designs to accommodate the modern lifestyle, such as more than one cook, the incorporation of family rooms and the popularity of islands. 


A concrete counter top.
Courtesy of Sonoma Cast Stone

Question 3: Countertops

Which of the following is not a countertop surface?

A. Concrete
B. Paper
C. Blue jeans


A kitchen sink and counter top.
Doug Ogle, Courtesy of Richlite

The Answer: Countertops

Which of the following is not a countertop surface?

A. Concrete
B. Paper
C. Blue jeans

Answer: Concrete countertops are gaining in popularity due to their eco-friendly nature and versatile look. And several companies make countertop material from compressed paper products. Blue jeans, however, while useful in home insulation , have not found a place in modern kitchen design. . .yet.



A white kitchen with yellow accents
Tria Giovan

Scorecard

If you got 0 correct:
Dull blade: Your kitchen drawers are likely filled with takeout menus. You may even store your shoes in the oven. Check out our "Basics" galleries to get a crash course in kitchen design.
The Basics: Kitchen cabinets
Shopper's Guide: Countertops

If you got 1 to 2 correct:
Semi-sharp blade: You've got working knowledge of your kitchen's features and would probably cook more if you liked your appliances. For easy upgrades and guides to renovations, visit our new channel devoted to kitchens.

If you got all 3 correct: Razor-sharp blade: Congratulations! You deserve your own cooking show. You're a kitchen whiz. You know a convection oven by sound from the next room. You probably change your refrigerator's water filter on time.

For the newest appliances and innovations in kitchen design, check out these galleries.
Stuff You'll Love: Large appliances
Our Top 25 Kitchens


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