What would you do with a kitchen like this?

rjl443May 14, 2014

Hello fellow TCO'ers. DH and I renovated our kitchen about 18 months ago with a ton of help from y'all. We cannot seem to finish the job, as well as the rest of the house. We are considering buying a home that needs a lot less work, that is in an area we would love to move back to (VA versus MD).

We keep coming back to this one house, funky kitchen that is basically a u-shape with 2 functioning kitchen sides with a fridge in the middle. Each side has cabinets/sink/dishwasher/corner cabinet/36" cooktop with 30" oven under.

Island in center, with no cabinets, just workspace/seat. On each side is a pantry closet.

My first thought was that it was a kitchen for someone who kept kosher, but wouldn't that have 2 fridges.

The space looks great just not sure if I would reconfigure or what. The house is quirky too, I will post the link if anyone wants to see.

What do you think? I am big-messy cook but not sure this might not be a strange space for me to work in.

This post was edited by rjl443 on Wed, May 14, 14 at 18:10

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Here is the link for the home itself:


The kitchen is sort of in the center back. Beyond the island/pantry there are archways to a dining room that is int he center of the house so has not real windows - but doorways on both sides - one side leads to a breakfast type square room beside the family room. The other side leads to an "unknown" square room (perhaps a den/playroom).

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 6:03PM
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Wow!! That home is massive! 7300 sq ft?!? That kitchen is the epitome of a 2 cook kitchen. Honestly I'm surprised there isn't a second fridge.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 6:29PM
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What would I do in a kitchen like that? Keep kosher and not worry about stressing out the help.

I can 99% guarantee that the is the point behind the design. One side is the dairy kitchen, and the other is the meat kitchen. You don't need separate kitchens to keep perfectly kosher, but if the family is lax or the help are confused, it's easier that way. In the fridge, other than the neutral soy cheeze, it's easy to know that the dairy goes here, the meat goes there, and everything else goes in the rest of the space, but even when it's color coded, people pick up the wrong pot or spoon. Notice that there's a white stove and a black stove to remind people where they are. :)

It looks like a nice kitchen, however, and you could just use half and use the rest for storage, or use one side for cooking and the other for baking. If you grow your own produce, or by flats and process at home, you could use one side for cooking and the other for canning.

As to redoing it, there are all kinds of ways you could redesign the space. I'm better at floorplans than photos, but you could do any number of configurations of "normal" kitchen, and use part of the extra space as a killer pantry. You could even have a pantry on one side and a butler's pantry on the other, with the kitchen proper in the middle.

The question is, what you do want?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 6:32PM
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I'm not a fan of the fridge being in the center like that in between windows....HOWEVER....I think I'd live in that kitchen just fine. Have a cookoff or two. Maybe a cooking class. Not stress about cooking a ton for the holidays.

Draw a line down the center I Love Lucy style and tell my husband that that side of the house is his until he cleans.

You get my point.


The kitchen is pretty enough. It could be fun keeping it like that for awhile or forever. Maybe when one of the stoves broke I'd think about losing it, but maybe not.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:29PM
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My first thought is that I would turn one of the stove sides into tall pantry storage.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:09PM
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Like magsnj, my mind went first to having cooking competitions--put a competitor (or team) on each side, place the ingredients on the middle peninsula, and GO!

In seriousness, I think you could pretty easily just confine your cooking to the half of your choice, for most of the time. It is a pretty space.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:59PM
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The only kosher kitchen I saw only had one refrigerator. It looks wonderful to me. I'd rather have two sinks and lots of windows. I love the island. It looks like a fun kitchen to work in.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:07PM
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If that is a Sub-Zero as it appears to me... they come with a Kosher mode so you only need the one fridge.

As far as the look and function of that kitchen I'm not a fan.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 1:42PM
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Thank you so much for the thoughts. The cabinets are not that nice, but I do like that there is so much space there. I like the countertops too so not sure I would want to redo and lose those.

I like the idea of adding storage pantry or a butler pantry but I would not want to block the windows. Hmmmm. The fridge is a GE Monogram. I have 2 dishwashers now and love them but don't like having them separate like this would also be. This is so much brighter than my current kitchen thoough.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:03PM
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I'd put a really lovely range, in between those windows! Keep the sinks and dishwashers (great for clean up) and put the fridge and pantries on one side and have a baking area on the other! Maybe an undercounter fridge and microwave with the baking area, to make a great snack area.

The island should have seating, IMHO and I'd have it on two sides...either keep as is or rotate 90 degrees to fit the room best.

With all that light, I'd be tempted to get a colorful range and maybe do something different with the cabinetry. The white is a little 'blah' in that room...I think a wood tone or color would look great! And maybe some color on the back splash...glass tile maybe? Just my two cents :)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:17PM
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Just for clarification, fridges come with "Sabbath mode", which can be certified kosher by a rabbinic authority. Sabbath mode turns off the light (people used to use unscrew them, or tape over the pip), and puts the machinery on an old fashioned timed or random schedule, rather than reactive to opening the door. If opening the door caused the machine to cycle, rather than it doing it on its own timing, it wouldn't be Sabbath compliant. The "kosher" certification means that the rabbinic inspectors have given there stamp that it works correctly for those who are observant.

For keeping kosher, the meat and milk just have to be contained in their own spaces so that if there are leaks they don't contaminate other foods. Something that coincides with general rules about food safety.

Rjl443, since the cabinets aren't nice (they look okay in the pictures) and you don't want to mess with the windows, if you're going to start over, you could definitely use the side walls as floor to ceiling cabinetry, one side food pantry and the other side china. You could even do "walls" of islands, down each side, with a fairly small walking space (42" or less). Remove the island that is there. What's behind the doors to nowhere behind the island? A pantry? House equipment (electronics, mechanicals, etc.)? Elevator? It's hard to tell if it's structural or not.

First thought would be to put the fridge where that island is now and cooktop or range between the windows. Either retain one sink as prep and one as cleanup or move one or both sinks to the islands (good arguments for either). Put a free standing butcher block in the middle for a landing place that won't form a barrier.

BTW, if there's going to be in interior room with no windows, the dining room is the one to do it with. Dining rooms are meant to feature the company rather than the view. :)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 5:09PM
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I would definitely put a bunch of stools all around that island, it would make the space more cohesive. I am drooling over that fridge! Massive! I like the wall color too. Enjoy that house, the stone patio is TDF!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 5:36PM
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Pantry storage on one of the walls with the stoves wouldn't block any windows.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 6:25PM
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I'd be tempted to take the white cooktop and everything on that wall out and put in large double ovens, tall pantries and storage -- I'd have a full cooking kitchen on one side and a baking workshop on the other. :D

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 1:01AM
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