‘Barefoot Contessa’: Ina Garten Shares the ‘Common Mistake’ People Make in Their Kitchens

Ina Garten has had a lot of experience working in the kitchen and she knows the best design and workspace rules that help her make amazing recipes and easily entertain guests. During a 2009 interview with House Beautiful magazine, Garten explained the “common mistake” that most people make with their kitchen design.

Ina Garten cooks in her kitchen with Willie Geist during Sunday Today
Ina Garten and Willie Geist | Mike Smith/NBC/Getty Images

Ina Garten said people make this ‘mistake’ with their kitchen layout

While discussing kitchen design with House Beautiful, Garten shared the common mistakes she sees in kitchens, noting that one big one is “not following the rule of the triangle,” which is the arrangement of the stove, sink, and refrigerator.

They “have to be in some proximity to each other and you don’t have to walk around something to get to one of them,” she explained, which cuts down on wasted time while making a meal.

“You want some work space in between those three pieces of equipment but you want them fairly close so you can almost twirl and get it done,” Garten added.

Ina Garten’s kitchen workspace layout is very specific

Garten also shared why she prefers to have the kitchen in a large room, but likes her cooking workspace to be small. “I think the most important thing is that the workspace isn’t too big,” she explained. “That it’s a space that you can actually handle easily. And the thing I think that people do wrong the most is that the workspace is out of the traffic area.”

The Barefoot Contessa star has a traffic flow that allows people to pass through the kitchen without disrupting her workspace.

“So that if there are people — you know kids and dogs and friends — and running back and forth, they’re not underfoot when I’m working,” she said.

RELATED: Ina Garten Said She Once Worried ‘This Is the Stupidest Thing I’ve Ever Done,’ but Her Husband Jeffrey Had the Perfect Advice

The ‘Barefoot Contessa’ star’s kitchen is set up perfectly for entertaining

Garten loves to entertain and prefers to do it all in her kitchen. The layout of her kitchen work area keeps people from interrupting her flow, but there’s still plenty of room for people to congregate on the other side of the counter.

“Everybody can hang out there, they can hang out at the table, but my workspace between the island and the back counter are sort of sacrosanct,” she explained. “Nobody moves around in there unless, of course, they’re cooking with me.”

During a tour of the dreamy space, Garten called the kitchen “the new living room” because it becomes an area to hang out in before a meal and eat there, too.

With that in mind, Garten has areas of seating throughout the room, such as armchairs by a cozy fireplace, a number of counter stools, and comfortable chairs at the dining table.

“Everybody hangs out there, they come there in the morning, they stay all day, and then we have dinner there,” she explained.