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Jul 3, 2013 04:58 PM

Kitchen Rorschach test

I was reading another thread and I got the inspiration for this. It appears that many of us make judgments about a person cooking skills/ability based on how that person's kitchen is designed and equipped. I’m posting pictures of two very different kitchens that I have been in. I wanted to ask what impressions each of them give you. After there’s enough feedback if any, I will reveal what I know about the owners.

Kitchen Number 1 -


Kitchen Number 2

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  1. I personally like kitchen A over kitchen B, but I am a traditionalist that is not into modernist architecture. Although I can not see the oven(s) in kitchen B, it appears to be setup just as "gourmet" as kitchen A it is just a different style. I would assume they both are very competent and knowledgeable cooks, although I may assume that the owner of kitchen A is more of a classical cook and the owner of kitchen B is more of a nouveau cook.

    1. Hmmm,

      Both kitchens have features that could indicate serious cooks, and ones that might indicate show kitchen.

      Kitchen 1 looks like a kitchen in an older house - the exposed brick, dark wood, the cheaper cupboards, the lack of counter space. The double stove arrangement says heavy duty cooking. It's a bit hard to tell at this resolution, but the blackened bottoms of the pans and the cluttered look of the hanging arrangement might indicate that it is a result of lack of space, rather than artistic arrangement. The rug looks like one from Ikea, which would indicate a lower budget arrangement. There's a full knife block, and bins of utensils on the cupboard. From a cooking perspective, it looks a bit cramped, and there doesn't appear to be much cupboard or counter space.

      Kitchen 2 is much newer and more modern looking - big, clean, bright shiny. There's the huge refrigerator setup, a very fancy looking range, and tons of cupboard space. From a cooking perspective, there's too much floor space, and the sink is much to far away from the stove. The kitchen looks very sterile - the only things visible are cocktail shakers, two coffee cups and a bowl of fruit.

      Kitchen 1, I'd guess that the kitchen was owned or constructed by someone who likes to cook and frequently cooks for a lot of people, but in an older, small house, maybe without the budget for renovation.

      Kitchen 2 is obviously very expensive, and was likely built by someone fairly wealthy. It might be owned by someone who likes to cook and is fanatically tidy (or has someone to clean up after them), or it may be more of a show kitchen.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

        That was my thought: 1 belongs to a serious cook, 2 is a show kitchen, probably used more by caterers than the owner.

      2. Kitchen 1 looks to be older, in a smaller house.

        Kitchen 2 looks to be very new, and (IMO) is very cold an industrial.

        Because I've known cooks who have turned out spectactular fare from a hobbled-together cupboard of a kitchen, and other cooks who couldn't boil water on their top-of-the-range Viking, I pretty much save judgment about ability until I've tasted their cooking.

        4 Replies
        1. re: sunshine842

          I also save judgment on anyone who purchases 'rugs from Ikea', assuming they're on a tight budget and can't afford more.
          I've known multi-millionaires who, unless I knew their background, wouldn't know they had a dime. Just because one kitchen looks more expensive than the other doesn't necessarily mean they don't have money to burn...or the look of the kitchen necessarily means one can cook better than the other.

          1. re: latindancer

            whereas some people buy rugs at Ikea because...they like the rugs at Ikea.

            1. re: sunshine842

              Indeed...we just bought a rug at Ikea today in fact. We are re-doing our daughter's room and they had a rug in the perfect size and perfect shade of purple. :-)

          2. re: sunshine842

            It'll be interesting to read your feedback.

            One kitchen, and its contents, certainly does not mean anything one way or another.
            Just like the car a person drives.
            Driving a Bentley doesn't necessarily mean the person has lots of money. Conversely, a beat up old car doesn't necessarily mean the person doesn't have money.

            1. My impression: Kitchen # 1 took out a wall, spent most of their budget on the stove, and ordered the counter from Ikea. I recognize the drawer pulls from an almost identical remodel I did in an old house one time. Kitchen # 1 people probably enjoy cooking more. I wish I had kitchen # 2.