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Sep 16, 2009 06:01 AM

Is your kitchen the heart of your home?

If your kitchen is really the heart of your home please tell me why. What kinds of things do you do in your kitchen other than cook and eat?

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  1. Our den opens into the kitchen and together they are the heart of the home, so to speak. When we have family or friends over, people gather in the kitchen, den and weather permitting the deck in a way that it often becomes one big group. The kitchen is great for gossiping and drinking as well as cooking and eating.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Janet from Richmond

      One of our first and least expensive homes was probably my favorite because of the way the small kitchen opened up onto a screened porch which had an attached deck that led to a very private fenced backyard. We had some good times in those small but functional spaces. We were able to have some good parties there and good personal and peaceful quiet times as well. There is just something nurturing about bringing the outdoors into living quarters.

    2. For sure, the only other room that we spend any time in (awake). Rearranged a while back so now the kitchen opens to the living room, so that gets more use but really the stereo just get's more use. I study at the kitchen table even though I have a desk, we sit and have a drink and unwind at the end of the day. The windows overlook an intersection with lots of pedestrian traffic, so we watch drunk kids stumble home late at night as well.

      1. After we remodeled, the kichen was opened to the rest of the house, but when we have company I can't move them to the rest of the house! We have a deck off the kitchen, a dining room that seats 12, and the living room you can see from the kitchen, but NO everyone sits on the bench at the kitchen windows, stands around the counter and talks to the cook.
        I love it!

        1. My new kitchen is significantly larger and brighter than the old one... now I sit at the kitchen table (I have a real one now--not just a breakfast bar) to read. I arrange flowers and grow herbs on the windowsill. And DH can now sit at the table and talk to me while I cook and not get in the way. It was the first room I unpacked when we moved in (the first thing I did was plug in the coffeepot) if that's any indication :)

          5 Replies
          1. re: iluvcookies

            I just moved 2 weeks ago and my kitchen is the only room that is completely unpacked and organized. We sit and have a pre dinner drink, chat, my son does his homework at the kitchen table, he plays with his moonsand at the kitchen table while I'm making or cleaning up dinner. I now have a nice 8x8 4 season porch attached to my kitchen, I can't wait to get the construction materials out of that room so it can become an extension of the kitchen.

            1. re: jesoda

              Just wanted to say congratulations. (The four-season porch sounds lovely.) I hope you enjoy many years of good health and happiness in your new home.

            2. re: iluvcookies

              I'm chuckling about your DH not getting in the way.

              My most favorite house ever had one flaw--a U-shape kitchen counter, in which one leg of the U separated the work area from the kitchen table. I don't know why, but whenever we hosted a party, people who weren't actually helping with the food and clean-up loved to come stand inside the U with me and those of my girlfriends who *were* helping me.

              So I "got smart" when designing this house, set up a large island that runs parallel to the cooktop/main prep counter and separates that from the main traffice aisle. I also set the table space at a convenient distance away. Wouldn't you know it? For whatever reason, hubby likes to stand and hang-out in my main prep/cooking aisle. He's not a cook (though he IS a chowhound, LOL), so he's not there to help me. He just likes to run interference between me, my oven, my cooktop, my sink and my refrigerator. :-)

              1. re: Normandie

                MY DH will eat whatever I cook (especially if it contains bacon) chowish or not. He is the "iron stomach" of the family.
                Before with limited counter space we tripped over each other. Now there is a small counter area between the stove and fridge that he uses to fix whatever he wants while I'm cooking or he can sit at the table and see me while I cook.

                I would have thought a U-shape would be ideal, but I see your problem there... and for your current setup, can you put a stool in a convenient spot (for you) so that your DH can be with you in the kitchen but not in the way?

                1. re: iluvcookies

                  Yes, that's my goal (our goal). One would have thought he could sit at the table--it is in the same room, after all :-D--but for whatever reason he loves that work aisle, LOL. Same thing with the guests and the U-shape. I've tried not to complain too much about either situation, because, after all, it's kind of a compliment when people want to hang out with you...except that under those circumstances, as the cook, I'm not actually "hanging out". :-) The island isn't huge, but we did a section of it with a higher counter so we could put a couple of stools there eventually.

                  I like your approach with the small separate counter area. Very smart. I have one section of wall where I plan to do the same thing. The plumbing from one of the bathrooms runs right down the wall behind it, so it should be (relatively) easy to put in a little prep sink, put the coffee and microwave over there, since hubby uses the microwave primarily and I don't use it much. We had to fire the contractor near the end of the process, but after we received the CO, so a few things remain works in progress. But that's turned out to be okay, in one way, because it's given us a chance to live in it and make some changes.

            3. It is now. When we rebuilt our kitchen I took a wall out so the kitchen and the den became one. The big island unit separates the cooking 'triangle' from the bar seats on the other side of the island. Now I can cook while my company drink, nibble and comment. The hi-fi delivers music if we wish. My guests can escape to the deck. The big plasma screen on the far side of the den is visible so I can even watch both the TV and my delectable SO while crying over split onions.

              Best $(very-large-number) we ever spent.