Julia Child had a kooky kitchen feature: a pegboard with the outline of her pots to precisely hang them in their proper places. Functionality, love it. Three times in my married life, we’ve torn a kitchen to the studs. One was our commercial building (renovated a 50-year-old Hungarian restaurant into offices and professional test kitchen). This house, a decade later, I can give an honest critique. These are FIVE decisions that ended up working well, and TWO I’d say you can skip.
- Two-way swinging restaurant door. I like closing the door between our dining room and kitchen. Here, the window is key – it helps us not crash into a cabinet, guest or open dishwasher. The two-way swing is quite useful when hands are full and you are using your be-hind.
- One massively deep storage drawer. “Hey lady, what size do you want your drawers?” I went to a restaurant supply store and bought the LARGEST stock pot that a home cook would use, handed it to the cabinetmaker and said, “At least one drawer this deep.” Also bought the tallest box of cereal for them to build the pantry shelves. The stock pot is handy for brining turkeys, BTW.
- Warming drawer. We use it more than I ever dreamed we would.
- Two ovens – one gas, one electric. The electric is in the wall, and the gas is part of the range. I gravitate to the gas oven for its cooking nature and frugality. Larry prefers the electric, I think because the window is at face-level. When we entertain, both are going.
- Disposal in the proper side of a double sink. Pick a double sink that can lay a half-sheet baking pan in one side. Put the disposal in that side. Strangely, some people have two sinks the same size. And/or the disposal in the small side. NO. You need to be able to lay pans, platters, etc. flat in soapy hot water to clean, which means that is the gunk can also go into the disposal.
And here are two decisions that were “cool” but I wouldn’t do again:
- Pot filler. Never use it. One would think it’s great for filling really large pots, true. But, you still have to carry that full pot to the sink to empty. And even one drip onto the stove is annoying. Yet, everyone goes ooooh when they see it, so maybe it will be a selling feature.
- Beverage fridge. We built a terrific bar, so of course, a beverage fridge is needed, right? In hindsight, I’d opt for a second under-counter food fridge. We usually have a fairly stuffed fridge. Yet I am too cheap to add a second garage fridge. Again, hopefully a selling feature.