The dream kitchen
I want a kitchen that is not beautiful but practical: where you can burn, drop, smash, spill and splatter without worry or too much effort. A kitchen that is meant to be hard-used, not seen as a showroom. I've observed that, the more of a showpiece a kitchen is, the less likely it is to be used. Cannot fathom such a waste of coin.
re: Karl S
It's possible to have both beauty and function. For example, I love the look of white marble counter tops but am not willing to deal with the upkeep. I remember reading somewhere that there's some sort of treated granite that looks similar to white carrera marble but has all the durability of granite. It's also more expensive than white marble.
So if money is no object, I'd have a kitchen that is beautiful AND practical. An unlimited budget should allow me to get the best kitchen designer out there to make that dream come true.
A family I know has a kitchen that is a huge room with a fireplace, lounge furniture, and a large dining table (probably seats 12 comfortably). Even though this family is private jet wealthy, it's not fancy, just cozy and functional. (they have several other houses that I'm sure have fancy kitchens). I want that. Great appliances wouldn't hurt. And an awesome view out the window over the sink.
my kitchen, which is as close to a dream kitchen as I am likely to ever get, is completely open to the living/great room and has two sinks, a prep sink on the middle island, and the primary sink facing the living area. I like this even better than a great view out the window: while I work at the sink I can still see out to our back patio through large windows on that side of the house, but can also easily see any guests seated at the counter or in our livingroom, or if I am alone, the primary TV in the house. I realize that this set up isn't for everyone (if there are any dirty dishes in or around the sink area casual visitors will be able to see them), but it works perfectly for me. I spent years cooking in a very small kitchen that was separated by walls from the dining room and living areas, and much prefer this large open set up....
Now, a fireplace would be nice. Our home's only fireplace is in what we call our 'bar room', a sort of den, and isn't easily visible from the kitchen (mostly because of furniture in between).
A fireplace for sure. I had one in my last two homes in Rhode Island and it certainly made the winters enjoyable. In the two houses I've owned in Southern California, I have put in gas burning fireplaces that provide ambiance and heat whenever the weather is cool. My other must have--now that I've had it in three kitchens--is a long length of counter unencumbered by a sink, stove or any other cooking appliance. Ideally it would be made of butcher block, though mine have been solid stone with a large cutting board pulled out for heavy prep work. Both of them have been between the cooking and eating areas at counter (not bar) height. It acts as a buffet, casual sitting spot for a guest and If I want to cook while facing guests I sometimes pull out the old electric frying pan for dishes like risotto so I can stand, stir and talk at the same time. I also love the fact we have a couch on the wall side of our table area so my husband and I can sit next to each other while eating--and across from that is a TV set into the wall that is visible from virtually anywhere in the kitchen....another must have for me. Now if only I had a kitchen large enough to have two wall ovens and a set of pop up shelves sturdy enough to hold our KitchenAid mixer and Food Processor so I could raise them up, use them and then lower them away--instead of carrying them from the hall pantry. But the way it is now at least I get some exercise with the lifting.
When designing my kitchen, the one thing I could not fit in was a wall mounted convection oven. I am sure I would have done a lot more baking and desserts. Also regretted not having a cold plate put underneath the 2 inch thick polished granite slab I used for pastry. Florida gets hot and muggy, and I don't like AC.
It only took eight months for me to come upon this thread, but anyway, for pastry work I simply fill several large zip locks with ice and pile them on my chosen work area for at least a full half hour, usually longer. My granite chills and holds the cold like a charm! Cheap, and requires no additional electricity for the counter and helps me clear and refresh the ice bin. Kills a whole bunch of birds with one rock!
I would definitely want counters that do not show every little speck of food or flour.. so probably something speckle patterned, like stone, granite or even faux versions of those. I currently have black laminate and it is a baker's nightmare. I like my counters clean of course so they are wiped down frequently but I just don't need to see every crumb or dusting of flour highlighted the way they are, especially when I'm basically spending all day in the kitchen and it doesn't make sense to keep wiping between tasks.
Oh I am jealous :)
The funny thing is that I was so in love with the kitchen when we bought the house that it took me 7+ years to realize that there was a reason for my compulsive counter-wiping. And I finally "got" granite and its imitations - I always thought it was nice of course, but rather a luxe upgrade, and I didn't get why one would want "fake" granite at all!
I get it now. I really do :)
This is the "pattern" I'm drawn to as we plan on a kitchen renovation. I call it "calico" just because it reminds me of the cat. At least that's the vision I have in my head at this point.
I've also been thinking about black or mostly black granite, but good points about seeing everything on it.
Monavano, not all granite is made alike. Something with a high gloss is going to show dust as is something with an even, solid color. However, I chose a matte granite ("antique" finish) and a somewhat mottled black (Cambrian black). It's very forgiving of dust, crumbs, spills, etc.
I went through a small kitchen remodel a few years, so hardly a dream kitchen. But if I were to do it all over again I'd make sure 1) the upper cabinets were deep enough to hold large plates such as chargers; regular-depth cabinets are too shallow 2) I'd have a pastry station where the countertop is lower than the regular ones, to make it easier to knead.
What I love are the mostly lower drawers (no cabinets except in my unavoidable corner) and the (retrofitted) Blum soft close hinges and drawer slides. Oh, and my bullet-proof, easy to clean granite.
I won't be able to fit in a pastry station, but I am looking forward to my island being lowered. The previous owners were over 6 foot tall and made all counter heights a bit too high, with the island being ineffective for pastry, despite the granite surface.
I love the idea of lower drawers.
In my readings on granite, shiny black granite seemed to be the one people hated most because they said it always looked dirty. The one we picked---calico is a perfect description--was the least expensive and we felt it looked classic, but then we are New Englanders. The two seams are also invisible. (If there's one problem, it's that you can miss particles of food, which we do often around the coffee grinder. But it's a small price to pay.)
I have beige speckled countertops (not even sure what the material is, I must admit) and they do almost too good a job of hiding food particles. Flour, bread crumbs, tea leaves - everything disappears. The only way i can tell if they're clean is by crouching down and looking across them at eye level.
As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I have highly polished black granite counter tops, island, and wet bar, and I LOVE them! The fact that they announce loud and clear when they are dirty is one of the things I like most. It' sooooooo much easier to keep things clean when you don't have any problems seeing the dirt! '-)
I'd install at least two dishwashers so there would be plenty of room for mixing bowls, food-processor parts, whisks, measuring cups, pots, pans and serving ware. And then the other one would be for the dinner dishes.
My dream kitchen would have an enormous walk-in pantry with custom shelves so I could store my dozens of varieties of rice, for instance, in neat, accessible rows.
I'd put cork or some other comfortable material on the floor, instead of the torturous ceramic tile over concrete slab I have now.
I'd add an enormous built-in refrigerator with space to keep a farmers-market of produce fresh and readily visible.
A stand-alone freezer with shelves and drawers for organization instead of the bottomless pit I've got now.
A spice cabinet built into the studs, large enough to keep all my spices arranged alphabetically.
An enormous wall of built-in bookcases to hold my ever-expanding collection of cookbooks.
An exhaust hood that can stand up to the smokiest cooking and is silent.
Double ovens that vent out the roof and don't pump hot air into the kitchen.
Enough cabinet space to store all my cookware, china, etc. so that it is easily accessible and isn't all piled on top of itself.
A linen closet.
At least two sinks, so more than one person can work at the same time.
A stand-alone ice machine that can churn out enough ice to keep the party going all night.
A couple of sous-chefs :-)
A huge pantry large enough for the 220v convection oven, water bath cooker, holding ovens, etc.
A kitchen large enough for a La Cornue grand palais, a built in rotisserie, deep fryer, 2 Hobart dishwashers, oversize granite composite sink, 36in refrig and freezer and loads of countertop space. Oh, I forgot, a built in wood fired brick pizza oven. And a commercial grade popcorn maker and ice cream maker. Hey, you never know.
It's funny about big kitchens. I always thought that would be wonderful until I cooked in one. It had this huge island that seemed perfect but it turned out to be too big and I was worn out after a couple of hours with all the walking from place to place. But it certainly had all the bells and whistles.
A lot depends on how you cook. I once designed a kitchen for a multi-generational family that all got together on weekends to cook. Grandma, Auntie, Husband and Wife, Two Kids, a Daughter In Law, and three young Grandchildren who 'helped out.' And of course assorted friends and family at various times. It might not be everyone's dream kitchen, but it was what they needed.
Large Double sink (34" width) next to the dishwasher
prep sink at the island
60" wolf gas range with double electric ovens, pot filler at range.
custom stainless steel hood, roof mounted multi speed fan
30" Wide Double Wall Oven (convention) with warming drawer below. (only one?? - yep)
Microwave under counter (easy access for grandkids)
All custom cabinets, all drawers under counters w/ lazy susan in 2 corners, 14" deep overhead cabinets
Granite Counters (one section of island was butcher block)
Pantry Closet adjacent to Kitchen (7x9)
In the dining room was the following
bar sink with adjacent dishwasher
27" undercounter fridge drawers
27" undercounter freezer drawers
24" undercounter fridge cabinet
24" undercounter ice maker
30" full height wine cooler
china and stemware storage
One bank of cabinets formed a peninsula between the living and dining room, the oppostie wall were the remaining appliances and cabinets. Third wall was open to the hallway and kitchen, the 4th wall all glass opening to the lanai/patio. All the dining room appliances were built in and matched the cabinets, so it just looked like buffet cabinets on either side of the large oval dining table.
Basically the tableware never left the dining room, after eating it went directly into the dishwasher. All beverages were in the undercounter fridges, so no one was interrupting cooking or serving to get something to drink.
I'm told that during holidays and famly parties every single part of the kitchen and dining room is in use at the same time.
Lots of accessible, convenient storage space, with pull-out bins and turntables and so-on. A really good fridge with accurate temperature control, and somewhere, not necessarily in the kitchen, a separate chest freezer.
A four burner stove, gas, with one burner that does a good low simmer and one high powered one that's set up to use a wok, an oven, and a very quiet but efficient ventilation system.
Lots of counter space, in a relatively dark colour (so I don't have to bleach out tumeric and beet stains), with intelligently placed electrical outlets.
A double sink, one half of which is extra large (for washing things like woks), the other half a good size for regular washing. A well drained, large, dish drying area.
*No* garbage disposal, but a convenient area under the counter for regular and fresh garbage.
A small pantry off the side, with space for recycling bins, a small chest freezer, and spare linens.
A window over the sink that gets good natural daylight.
Things like cupboard doors and ventilation hoods that are either low enough or high enough to prevent me from braining myself on the corners (a big problem in my current kitchen).
For layout, I think I'd want something medium. Big enough that two people can work at the same time, but small enough to be convenient. Probably the stove, a stretch of counterspace, and then the sink area, on one wall. An island in the middle, with the microwave and toaster oven to one side. The cupboards here contain commonly used ingredients and cooking dishes.
This gives a fairly compact working area with lots of counter space. On the far wall, the refrigerator, entrance to the pantry, storage for eating dishes, appliances, and less used stuff, plus a TV that's located so I can watch videos and chop stuff at the same time.
1) Removal of part of the wall so I can talk to folk in the living room while cooking so I don't feel like I'm isolated in a dungeon, preparing food while everyone else has fun.
2) More counterspace, replacing the horrid 2" tiles with a quartz top that doesn't have grouting which catches food.
3) A medium butcher block island with storage, possibly on casters so it can be pushed aside.
4) MORE cabinets and drawers, all swivel and/or pull-out.
5) A walk-in pantry.
6) More lighting and windows.
7) Either a fridge unit AND a freezer unit, or a tiny walk-in and a chest freezer.
8) Since there would now be room, an electric dishwasher (currently, I am the dishwasher).
9) A GOOD stove where all the burners work and a GOOD vent and hood that doesn't sound like a 747 engine.
10) Ample cabinets for my myriad of books and cooking magazines.(Don't want a computer in there: it would end up all covered with flour, chicken juice, and/or dough).
11) Replacement of the butt-ugly avocado, maize, and cocoa- brown colors -circa 1962- with clean, simple, warm southwestern colors like white, terra cotta, and teal.
12) Plates, bowls, glasses, silverware, and linens of my choosing (currently we have hand-me-downs from my MIL and my husband's bachelor days).
13) Someone to come in two or three times a week to clean the greasy stuff that collects on the walls and cabinets, clean the fridge, the windows, and the floor, and leave fresh flowers.
I have the floor to ceiling (10') windows across our south facing wall overlooking my rose gardens, open fields and the Smokey Moutains in the distance (on clear days). To have that, I had to sacrifice some storage that I would want- like glass storage immediately above the sinks and dishwasher. For me, that view is worth minor inconveniences.
Silent hoods seem to be a universal dream.
There are days that I wish I could just hose down the floor, especially after a day of baking.
Money's no object, so...
1. Double mounted 5 rack convection ovens
2. Wood-burning brick oven
3. 6 top burner with the burners well spaced
4. Massive walk-in food pantry
5. Chilled walk-in fridge and freezer (with big cambros to store flours)
6. Full pantry spice cupboard
7. Granite countertops
8. Marble slab station for pulling sugar and whatnot, along with a heat box, lamp, etc.
9. Bread station with a solely devoted kneading surface
10. Cake Decorating station - with silpat for rolling, drying racks, several turntables of various heights, along with a stool at perfect level for decorating; a nice holder/showcaser for my airbrush (functional to use)
11. "As if from nowhere" appliances -- press a button and the kitchen aid rises out of the counter, along with food processor, fryer, etc.
12. 3-4 kitchen scales -- 2 for large, at least one for .001 g measurements
13. Walk-in utensil pantry with all tools, pots, pans, etc hung from nails on the wall
14. Easily accessible waste receptacles and recycling bins; compost bin outside
15. Greenhouse off of the kitchen to grow herbs and small plants (massive garden out back growing 10 kinds of 1000 things :) )
17. LOTS of DEEP counterspace; an island as well
18. A bar with stools along one side of the island so people can sit and hang out whilst cooking
19. Cozy eating table and a more formal dining room
20. Water through my fridge (I can't ever go back to not having this ;)
21. Built in music system so I can mood-cook
22. PEOPLE who I LOVE that want to be in my kitchen with me and share the LOVE
Since money is no object, I'm going to assume technology is no object, either, and ask for a kitchen, any kitchen, that also doubles as a giant, room size dishwasher. When you're done cooking and eating, you seal off the doors, a drain opens up in the floor, and a robotic contraption comes out of the ceiling to spray and wash every surface, drying and putting the dishes away before you need the room for the next meal. And because this technology is so efficient, the entire process only takes 15 minutes.
And that, folks, is my dream kitchen.
I just went on a kitchen tour and this was exactly the kind of board I was looking for.
If money is no object...
Minimum of 2 ovens
warming drawer (I don't think I can go back to not having one)
Have a Kenmore elite which is nice but love those full size fridge/freezer build back into the cabinets
trash hidden in a drawer is a must
Appliances that lift up onto their own counter (saw this done with kitchenaid mixer--definitely cool)
Spice racks that pull out from the sides of the stove
dishwasher next to sink
would love an additional dishwasher in a butler's pantry area
granite or marble
center island with prep sink
I've seen two islands done in a very practical and beautiful way (perpendicular to one another
hearth room area with built-in bookcase shelving for all my cookbooks, a fireplace, wingback chairs
pantry and/or butler's pantry. I would love an area to store dishes, extra dishwasher, refrigerator drawer(s), warming drawer
Just did a kitchen reno so I have firm ideas about the dream kitchen. What rocks: the solid surface countertop, the deep porcelain sink, the plethora of cabinet space, the kitchen island with pull out storage underneath.
One downside of our current kitchen is that the stove is in the corner all by its lonesome. I would love to have countertop space on either side to be able throw things into pots and pans without crossing the room. Other things we couldn't afford: double oven, pull out drawers for the lower cabinets, large fridge with a bottom freezer.
Life has taught me that my dream kitchen is a quest I'll never completely achieve, but it's an adventure and fun trying to get there. Well, not always. I've had to deal with some contractors who would be better at sheep herding, but only if they had a really really smart dog! With unlimited funding and free reign for my imagination, I have some ideas I would love to implement! My dream kitchen would have a sweep of cabinets/counter tops on three walls, but the upper cabinets would be fitted with roll-down/up tambour doors that can be raised or lowered to cover some or all of the cabinet interiors, including being lowered until they were flush with the counter tops. In that closed position the cabinets tambour doors would look more like a paneled wall than kitchen cabinets. Brazilian rosewood would be my wood of choice. Freezers would be under counter drawers. Refrigeration would look like over-counter cabinets, with double wide shelves so oversized containers aren't a problem. At least one refrigeration unit would be fitted with narrow pull-out shelves for jars of mayonnaise and pickles and jellies and all the stuff like that there is never quite enough room for. The cooktop would be convection, of course, but I would go for a series of four or five built in individual units along the edge of the island so there are no "backburners" that require reaching over front burners to stir something. I'd have the same ovens I have now -- an Advantiom and a Trivection, plus a pizza oven and a salamander. The cooktop would be in a large island -- black granite, the same as I have now -- that also has a small prep sink with a pull-out faucet that will do double duty as a pot filler. Oh, and the fourth wall would be all glass with a breathtaking view of the Pacific. Or the Mediterranean. It would definitely be an "eat in" kitchen with a fun crystal chandelier like I have now. Maybe the one I have now as an economic token. Just off the kitchen would be a special hallway with access to a walk-in pantry, butler's pantry, china closet (no bulls allowed!), a wine vault, and a powder room. Give me a drawing board, a tee square and a few triangles and I'll draw you a picture! Wanna pay for it? I'll bake you a cake!!! '-)
Reminds me of a Mythbusters episode; they put china on shelves in a fenced-in area and then let bulls in. These silly bulls were so delicate in the way they walked between these precarious shelves! They even put several bulls in at the same time, and NOTHING was broken!
Since my kitchen is small, and I have to store pots and pans in the oven, use the cutting board on the stove, or if making a biggish dinner involving guests--store parts of dishes as they are being assembled in the living room: I'd like true counter space --like, 5 ft. long would be ok, and some more shelves/cupboards. I'd be fine then.
"Hello? Yes this is the guy who just won fifty million bucks. You are the company who designs Kellers commercial kitchens right? How about coming over and designing a ultra practical efficient home kitchen for me? We do not 'do' big dinners. Usually just the two of us and maybe another couple once in a while and we'll be having a big diner a few times a year but some of that will be catered. OK we'll see you tomorrow". That was easy.
Well, we finally bought our dream kitchen about 6 weeks ago, it has been delivered and is sitting in our garage. Next spring we'll break ground and expand our kitchen by 200 sq. ft and then install.
Money is always an object, but we bought the Clive Christian Showroom display kitchen my wife had dreamed about for years and saved more than $125,000.
Kitchen has 36 feet of running 4" granite countertops. Viking 6 burner gas cooktop with griddle. 2 Thermador wall ovens, 2 thermador warming drawers. SubZero Side by side fridge/freezer.A center island that is 4 1/2 feet wide by 13' long with twin sinks and twin Miele dishwashers. There is both a wine fridge and an ice maker, as well as a 6' wet bar with glass fronted china cabinet above
The faucets, garbage disposals, hot water dispensers were included.
What was missing that we can't live without?
Garbage Compactor, pot filler for over the cooktop.
Now we are working to design how we'll lay out the cabinetry to suit our needs/desires and views to the grounds. The wet bar, wine fridge and warming drawers will go in the new dining room.
What was missing that we might have wanted? A built in wok for the cooktop. A separate freezer (but we own one and with all the cabinetry, we may be able to build it in.
Hmmm... I'm not too picky. I'd want double wall ovens along with a large 6 burner + griddle range. Lots and Lots of windows, maybe a whole wall of them with no upper cabinets and just windows. I agree w/ the above poster that mentioned sometimes kitchens get too big. I lived in small apartments with small kitchens for most of my adult life, so I don't think I'd want a huge one.
I liked my former apartment kitchen pretty well, the only thing it was missing was a pantry and a more hidden place to put the garbage can/recycling. But the windows were south facing and let in lots of light and I liked the island as it faced into the living room so I could watch TV while cooking. Also almost all the lower cabinets were deep drawers, or had pull-outs. So, basically I think my dream kitchen would be like this, only a bit bigger, and maybe w/ white cabinets. Oh, and a big range hood instead of the microwave. That can go in the pantry.
I would like more money for new cabinets but they seem to be surpisingly costly. I live in a 1,600 sq ft saltbox type house in the woods. I could also use more light....but I have an old 1989 Viking stove (told never to replace..".they don't make them like that anymore")...a potrack over an 8ft maple butcher block countertop surrounded by tall director chairs,....For some reason the general Chowhound folk don't like butcher bock counter tops....Well it looks great and every now and then I scrub it down with bleach. Like I did in my restaurant......I just want new cabinets, really nice ones w/vertical slots with glass for viewing plates and glassware...Oh, I guess I need new plates and glassware...Oh, never mind it's all pretty cool as is....