Once upon a time, our kitchens were strictly utilitarian spaces. This was back when June Clever (Leave It to Beaver mom for those too young to remember) was in the kitchen all day alone. They were very functional for one cook. The kitchen was isolated from the dining and living room where people gathered, so the finishes didn’t have to be fancy. As a result, these kitchens sported laminate cabinets and countertops, vinyl floors, and avocado green or harvest gold appliances.
Although kitchens for the past 25 years are not as mundane as June Clever’s kitchen, a good number of us do not have a Messy Kitchen. Nonetheless, it’s fun to dream. Perhaps you will be building in the next year or two and have been thinking about incorporating one. Or maybe you plan to remodel your dated kitchen soon and have a closet or pantry near the kitchen that would better serve your lifestyle as a Messy Kitchen. Whatever the scenario, we can all agree that the kitchen is the heart of the home in today’s world and is meant to be a shared space.
Basically, today’s kitchens have come out of hiding and have been transformed from the utilitarian room to entertainment central! Yes- this is where the party is. In response, homes now feature furniture-grade cabinets and high-end countertops with wood or tile floors. They open to other entertaining areas such as the family room or outdoor living areas such as covered porches.
They include oversized islands with ample seating and designer pendant lights. In a nutshell, our kitchens are meant to be showcased!
Take this one step further and welcome the concept of the Messy Kitchen. Now that our kitchens have become the center of entertainment, we feel compelled to keep our countertops free of clutter. You know, the coffee maker, toaster, blender, and other small kitchen appliances we use on a daily basis. Where do they go? The Messy Kitchen, of course! Since it is just off the kitchen, they remain ready to use, but out of sight. You could say the Messy Kitchen is like a walk-in appliance garage!
Another benefit of having a Messy Kitchen is if you’re entertaining and you don’t want your guests to feel compelled to help with the dishes. Simply stack them in the Messy Kitchen where they are out of sight until after they depart.
I love the idea of an optional sink in the Messy Kitchen as a second source of water and for cleaning up. A second dishwasher is another great option – especially for entertainers. Adding a second refrigerator makes for the premier Messy Kitchen. The Messy Kitchen can also double as a catering kitchen – a place for food to be prepared out of view of the guests.
Ultimately, the Messy Kitchen brings back the utilitarian function to our kitchens so they can still be the center of entertainment and our daily lives.
Adapted from Housing Design Matters Blog